CAMPAIGNS: Event PR - Attendees driven to PA auto show

Client: Automobile Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia

Client: Automobile Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia

Client: Automobile Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia



PR Team: Tattar-Cutler - DBC Public Relations (Philadelphia)



Campaign: 2000 Philadelphia Auto Show



Time Frame: November 1999 to February 2000



Budget: About dollars 65,000





For years the Philadelphia Auto Show was part of a traveling caravan of

auto extravaganzas produced across the United States by Liberty

Productions.



For the 2000 gathering, the Automobile Dealers Association of Greater

Philadelphia broke ranks and decided to go ahead and produce the show on

its own. Philly-based Tattar-Cutler won the account to promote the show

and handle the media.





Strategy



The show dates were slated for January 29 through February 6.

Tattar-Cutler set goals of improving attendance and reputation and

worked hard at developing unique story angles. ’We wanted to front-end

load the campaign,’ says President Scott Tattar, ’making sure that

people would create a window of time to attend. If they didn’t know it

was going on until the weekend, they might not make the effort.’ Tattar

adds, ’We also wanted to change public perception of car dealers as a

result of the show. There are public perceptions that people who sell

cars aren’t community-oriented.’





Tactics



With everyone from professional wrestlers to hi-tech engineers in

attendance, Tattar-Cutler pushed the catch phrase ’Something for

Everyone at the auto show.’ Reporters had something to cover almost

every day.



A week before the start, Tattar-Cutler sponsored a remote-control car

race at The Shops at Liberty Place, one of the busiest lunchtime

locations in Philadelphia. Passers by had the opportunity to win tickets

to the auto show. During the show, the team sent out ’Hot Points’ each

evening to the local media outlining the next day’s events.



On February 1 at 5 pm, the team realized that the next day was a major

media holiday and an official holiday in Pennsylvania: Groundhog

Day.



The team placed auto show chairman Jim Peruto in an otter outfit (the

stores were all out of groundhog costumes) and had him emerge from a

Mercedes as state groundhog Punxsutawney Phil’s sister Lil. When Peruto

saw his shadow, it was proclaimed there would be five more days for the

auto show.



The local ABC affiliate WPVI Channel 6 came out at 6:30 am to cover the

event live.



Two days after the show, Tattar-Cutler staged another media event to

publicize the car association’s donation to The Children’s Hospital of

Philadelphia. All the toys that were available to children during the

auto show in the Kid’s Activity Room were given to the hospital as part

of the Automobile Dealer’s Association’s ongoing commitment to the

hospital.





Results



’A great deal of media coverage was generated for the show,’ says Kevin

Mazzucola, executive director of the Automobile Dealers Association of

Greater Philadelphia. ’We had a record-setting opening day (26,934

people) and achieved the highest paid gate in the 83-year history of the

show,’ about dollars 175,000 (not everyone paid the entrance fee).





Future



’We are looking forward to working on the show again next year,’ says

car enthusiast Tattar. ’It’s been a dream of mine to be a part of the

auto show since I was six years old.’



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