CASSIES Bronze: Fix Auto’s first word

The auto shop played on the f-bomb to make its brand top of mind after a collision.

This story appears in the February/March 2016 issue of strategy.

Bronze: Off to a Good Start

Situation Analysis

While Fix Auto had the largest network of automotive collision repair facilities in Canada, it was not the industry leader anywhere but in its home market of Quebec. Fix Auto had very low unaided top-of-mind awareness at 3.5%, driven partly by each province running their own marketing. For 2014/2015, a national approach was being adopted to drive a 10% increase in national brand awareness and increase sales by 2%.

Insight & Strategy:

Canadian drivers have an accident once every 10 years on average, creating little opportunity for brand affinity through first-hand experience. After an accident, the driver would usually call their insurance company and be asked if they had a preferred collision centre and if not, to choose from a list of recommendations, thus making consumer top-of-mind awareness crucial. The campaign needed to imprint the Fix Auto brand as the go-to solution should it ever happen.


Launched in November 2014 and supported nationally with a spend of $1.4 million,

“First Word” ran across 15-second television spots, five-second pre-rolls, mobile and in-game virtual billboards. The creative leveraged the first word that comes to mind after a car collision, replacing the “f” bomb utterance by “Fffffix Auto,” while media was placed when the notion of “collision” was top of mind (e.g. live sports, live news, traffic and rush-hour weather reports).


The Fix Auto “First Word” campaign generated a year-over-year sales increase of 7% during the first five months of 2015 while national top-of-mind unaided awareness increased from 3.5% to 8.3%, putting Fix Auto comfortably in first place nationally. Aided awareness in Quebec went from 44% to 66%. Over the first five months of 2015, direct web traffic increased 81%, while the proportion of satisfied customers who said they had first heard of Fix Auto on TV went from non-existent to one in 10.

Cause & Effect:

There was no unusual price discounting during the campaign and the number of Fix Auto franchisees was unchanged.


Client: Fix Auto

VP, marketing: Carl Brabander

Brand manager: Jamie Rodrigues

Fix Auto advertising board: Chelsea Graham, Richard Lant, Kim Roberts, Claudia Morgillo, Justin McPherson, Patrice Magnan, Nick Allegretta

Agency: Cundari

CCO: Andrew Simon

CD: Sébastien Tessier

AD: Jérôme Bajulaz, Bernice Lo

CW: Dominique Bulmer, Andrew McKenzie

Account director: Marie-Zélie Sainz, Anne Spence

Account executive: Madjid Hamidi

Agency producer: Julie Charlebois

Production manager: Simon Durivage

Strategist: Malcolm McLean, Jean-François Mallette, Adam Ralph

Media planning: Luke Moore

Production company: Les Enfants

Executive producer: Visant Le Guennec

Director: Jonathan Bensimon

Post production: Vision Globale

Editor: Gregory Kaufman

Colourist: Jérôme Cloutier

Online: Fred Milot

Audio: Sonart

Sound engineer: Vincent Dufour

Radio producer: Megan Waychison

Radio production: Pirate Toronto

Radio director: Chris Tait

Sound engineer: Keith Ohman