Halfords plain-English ‘garage speak’ is clearly a success
14th March 2011
‘Your big end has gone’, ‘you have mayonnaise under your oil filler cap’ and ‘your brakes are spongy’ are all confusing mechanics catchphrases that a Halfords Autocentres campaign hopes to drive out of the industry.
WAA helped the independent garage network develop ‘Garage Speak’ in an attempt to put the brakes on gobbledegook that baffles and alienates motorists.
Halfords Autocentres is a new name to the marketplace after Halfords acquired and rebranded the Nationwide Autocentre network.
The business was keen to announce its arrival and its key messages of expertise, trust and value for money.
Garage Speak presented the perfect platform for WAA to achieve this. We created a ‘Garage Speak’ glossary, a book of the most confusing terms used by mechanics and their actual meanings, which was officially endorsed by Plain English Campaign.
Another key part of the campaign was the recruitment of respected motoring commentator Mike Rutherford, who undertook media interviews regarding the glossary and spoke about the frustration garage customers experience and highlighting the honest, transparent and trustworthy approach taken by Halfords.
These combined elements resulted in Halfords Autocentres getting widespread national media coverage for the campaign, including BBC Breakfast, TalkSport, The Sunday Telegraph, The Scotsman and The Daily Express, as well as regional coverage.
Over £500,000 worth of media value was achieved; with dozens or radio stations also giving out the Halfords Autocentres web address for downloads of the glossary.
The campaign was led by PR account director Jeremy Merckel. He said: “At some stage most people have felt overwhelmed by a visit to the garage.
“We undertook surveys and used the results to tailor Garage Speak to resonate with both the target market and the media. The depth of coverage shows the media appetite for stories of this nature and a gap in the marketplace for Halfords Autocentres’ straight-talking approach.”