MotoMaster is all ears in latest campaign

Who: Canadian Tire (MotoMaster brand), with Leo Burnett for strategy and creative, Touché! and Canadian Tire Digital for media.

What: “If I Only Went With MotoMaster…” a new brand platform and accompanying campaign for the retailer’s in-house automotive brand.

When & Where: The campaign is in market now, running through the end of the month. It consists of three 15-second video spots running across TV and online, supported by social and out-of-home, and banner ads on the automotive classifieds site,

Why: According to Leo Burnett and Canadian Tire, the MotoMaster brand is often the “unspoken hero” in ensuring that Canadians get where they need to go every day. They wanted to highlight how its more than 1,000 products reliably help Canadian motorists and the people who rely on them, all supported by an “unbeatable” warranty.

How: The campaign uses humour to show car troubles at important moments. “We wanted to show scenarios where the stakes were high,” said Sam Cerullo, creative director at Leo Burnett. “It pokes at how this kind of stuff happens at the worst possible moments.”

The video creative consists of three 15-second spots depicting a slice-of-life scenario in which people’s plans get messed upbecause of car trouble. The payoff being that this would never have happened if they had used MotoMaster products.

“Sometimes, a brief for :15 [spot] can lead to work that lacks humanity and insight,” said Leo’s chief creative officer, Steve Persico. “It can become very tactical. In this case, all involved knew insight and storytelling had to be part of creating work that works.”

In one spot, group of sports fans have painted their chest to spell the message “Go Ears.” The spot then cuts to the man who’s the “B” in the word “Bears,” but didn’t make it to the game because his car overheated.

Another spot shows a woman sitting in a downpour surrounded by her possessions, before showing the person who’s supposed to help her move, his pick-up truck stuck in mud because it doesn’t have the proper tires.

The video spots are supported by a series of contextually relevant billboard ads placed in the vicinity of sports stadiums, airports and recreation centres. Each billboard features an array of MotoMaster products including tires, batteries and oil, accompanied by messages like “Leave no friend waiting at arrivals” and “Gets little goalies to their big games, every time.”

Finally, a clever out-of-home execution developed by Montreal’s Eat It Up Media features a flatbed tow truck that’s being driven around Toronto and Montreal. It is carrying a van painted in Canadian Tire’s signature red, bearing the message “Don’t wanna end up here? Choose MotoMaster.”

And we quote: “We love how smart, sticky, and simple this platform is. We know how important reliable vehicles are to Canadians, and unfortunately, it’s in the moments they break down that we wish we bought the better part. That insight stood out to us and allowed us to build a platform that approached the category in a different, meaningful way.” —Jonathan Anderson, associate vice-president, strategic marketing, Canadian Tire Corporation.

Chris Powell