AutoIQ shows how it gets customers what they want

Words like "omnichannel" don't mean a lot to consumers, so the dealership network used its campaign budget on the song.

AutoIQ knew it had some challenges to overcome when it launched its first marketing campaign.

The dealership network, which includes 17 dealerships in Ontario, was not an established brand, and communicating what differentiated it from its competitors – both physical dealerships and online retailers – was not going to be easy.

At the heart of it, the group wanted to clearly establish that customers could shop both online and in-store – and they could do so throughout all of the different parts of their journey, from consideration to purchase and beyond.

“Omnichannel is not a consumer-friendly word, so we had to find a way to communicate the concept that is consumer-friendly,” says Carrie Heath, VP of marketing for the network. “Customers don’t all necessarily want to transact in the traditional dealership model, but some still want to touch and feel the car, test drive it and talk to an expert. Communicating that we could do both within their journey was our biggest challenge.”

To aid in getting its message across, the network enlisted the help of creative agency Angry Butterfly, which brought some finer touches to its branding and image – to make it more “approachable and comfortable,” says Heath – while also developing a platform that hinges on Journey hit “Anyway You Want It” to succinctly convey what AutoIQ is all about in a way that would stick with consumers.

The spot is tongue-in-cheek, beginning with a mock advertising pitch before the marketers decide to spend the ad budget on the Journey song and call it a day.

“Our team just immediately fell in love with this idea,” says Heath. “It conveyed our brand promise so quickly, simply and memorably that it actually helped us reimagine how we think about our business.”

“We see this campaign as a beginning, not an end,” says Erin Kawalecki, CCO and partner with Angry Butterfly. “It establishes a positioning that’s true to who AutoIQ is and their value proposition – their model is built around their consumers, not the other way around.”

The campaign launched on Monday across TV, OLV, radio and display, with influencer support. It will run for three months. Stryker handled the media.