- The Washington Times - Monday, May 7, 2001

There's a new super hero in town. Precision Man, representing Precision Tune Auto Care, is making his national debut this month.

The automobile tune-up and maintenance chain, headquartered in Leesburg, Va., has started introducing the corporate super hero to its franchisees, which head more than 400 shops throughout the country. There are 27 Precision Tune locations in the Washington and Baltimore area.

Until now, Precision Tune has had a lot of "vanilla campaigns ones that looked like everyone else's," says Kevin Bates, vice president of marketing at Precision Tune. The company did not have any marketing that its franchisees were enthusiastic about either, he says.

Precision Man, who apparently roams the planet analyzing and repairing automobiles in distress, is the creation of Williams Whittle Associates, which became Precision Tune's agency of record in September.

The Alexandria-based advertising agency was hired to create a new marketing and advertising campaign that would make Precision Tune stand out in an overcrowded industry.

"They needed something more than a new campaign," said Martha Wilcox, account director at Williams Whittle. "They needed a new brand identity."

Mr. Bates says one of the most important aspects of the new Precision Man campaign is that franchisees are excited about it and willing to use it as part of their own marketing efforts on the local level.

"We wanted to give our franchisees a campaign that would be consistent across the country, but flexible and customizable for each location," Mr. Bates says.

He says that broadcast spending is likely to increase considerably since franchisees like the new super hero and marketing campaign.

Signs of Precision Man are popping up in some shops already but the full roll-out will happen within the next couple of weeks, Ms. Wilcox says.

Six television ads, ranging from 30-second to 10-second spots, and 12 radio spots are being created. The agency is also creating print and outdoor advertising.

Pepco targets residents

E. James White Communications, based in Herndon, has been hired by Pepco Energy Services, a wholly owned, separately managed subsidiary of Potomac Electric Power Co., to implement a new integrated marketing campaign.

The campaign, which will promote Pepco Energy's products, will target residents and consumers in the greater Washington area including surrounding areas in Maryland and Northern Virginia.

Several different direct mail pieces will be sent to residents.

The first of two pieces already created will be mailed to 500,000 households within the next week. Another direct mailing, which will include a refrigerator magnet, will also be sent out to 500,000 households later this month.

Eleven different 30-second television spots and regional print ads will also run.

Agency officials declined to discuss the cost of the campaign.

New wins

• Strategic Communications Group in Silver Spring will develop and implement a public relations program for Software AG Inc., a Reston-based subsidiary of Software AG, a European system software provider.

• KSK Communications, based in Vienna, has added Inter.net, based in Herndon, to it's client list. KSK will first develop a marketing communications campaign for the company in Oklahoma City including print, Internet, radio and outdoor advertising. Inter.net provides global, regional and local Internet access and creates portal and content tailored to certain consumer marketplaces.

• Donna De Marco can be reached at 202/636-4884. Advertising & Marketing runs every other week.

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