CAA in first ad push for sign-up drive

BEIJING: The nine-year-old roadside rescue service China Auto Association (CAA) has embarked on a major recruitment drive with its first-ever advertising campaign.

As private car ownership becomes more common in China, the organisation is running two TVCs and inserts in local newspapers and car magazines to help raise its profile with Beijing's motorists.

Few people have heard of the CAA, which has no direct rivals and hasn't promoted itself in the past.

The ad push will be followed by a DM blitz and a series of roadshows designed to persuade more people to join the CAA.

"The target is anyone with a car more than a year old," said Gordon Chung, group account director of the Publicis, the agency behind the integrated campaign. Car buyers in China are automatically covered for 12 months after their purchase.

The tagline running through the TVCs, which take a light-hearted look at the frustrations of breaking down, is 'For any problem with your car, call the CAA'.

CAA's inserts, also featuring the characters from the TV ads, are attached to an extended arm folded onto the cover asking the question 'Having problems with your car?'

The campaign is set to run for 12 months, with a review after an initial three-month burst. The magazine ads will be tweaked next year to enhance their appeal to women, who are seen as the principal target for CAA's services.

Private car ownership is a new phenomenon in China, with few private owners in possession of a car more than four years old. The average lifespan of a vehicle tends to be shortened by the parlous state of Beijing's roads.

The CAA, acquired last year by Insurance Australia Group, plans to expand from its current Beijing base into Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzen.


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