Twitter #CreativeFavorites: @Maaco and @PitchAgency offer drivers real-time #Twestimates on auto repair after an accident

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The summary (in 140 characters or less)

@Maacover and @PitchAgency rescue drivers after a car accident with real-time #Twestimates on cost of repairs.

The brand

Maaco is a collision and auto body repair chain with more than 500 stores in the U.S. After more than 40 years in the business, the company wanted to infuse its marketing with a warmer and more inviting voice.

The agency

Maaco partnered with Pitch to evolve its brand personality and find new ways to connect with customers by simplifying the process of auto paint and repair. Knowing that social and digital would play a pivotal role, Pitch dubbed Maaco’s rebranding a #Maacover.

The strategy

To better understand and meet the needs of drivers, Maaco and Pitch conducted a major study together. The research found that if cars aren’t repaired within five days of sustaining damage, it’s likely they will never be repaired. The study also showed that people can find repair costs as “scary” as accidents themselves.

Another key insight: Many drivers today take mobile phone pictures immediately after a car accident. Maaco knew there was an opportunity to use those pictures to connect with potential customers in the moment they needed help most.

The creative

Pitch Executive Creative Director Xanthe Wells explains, “We created #Twestimates to make it easier for consumers to get a cost estimate sooner than anticipated.”

Here’s how it works: People can tweet a picture of their damaged cars to the account @Maacover and the company responds immediately via Twitter with free repair estimates (or “#Twestimates”) plus coupons valid at Maaco locations.

To execute these #Twestimates in real time, Pitch joined forces with Maaco at the brand’s Charlotte, N.C. headquarters. The agency created a dedicated team pairing its expertise with brand voice and Maaco’s expertise on repair cost and local franchise information.

While #Twestimates was designed for the real-time nature of Twitter, Maaco has also extended the use of the #Maacover hashtag to other platforms including Instagram, Tumblr and even TV ads. “There was never a question of what platform would be at the center of this campaign. The whole point of Twitter is to have a short, immediate conversation. Twitter was the natural place for it,” explains Pitch’s President Rachel Spiegelman.

The results

As of July, Maaco has provided more than 150 #Twestimates and garnered more than 500,000 impressions. The executive team is thrilled with the way the sympathetic yet witty voice of @Maacover has resonated with customers. “#Twestimates was the perfect way to rebrand Maaco by bringing personality, warmth and immediacy to auto body and repair,” says Spiegelman.

What’s next?

The @Maacover team is focused on providing #Twestimates round the clock and the Pitch team is working on building a robust social media calendar for the rest of 2013.

Credits

The agency team doing this work includes Pitch President Rachel Spiegelman, Executive Creative Director Xanthe Wells, Creative Director Julie Gordon, Art Director Sheldon Melvin, Copywriter Scott Hanson, Account Director Sujei Sierra and Management Supervisor Erin Shanahan.

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