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Meridian Success Story: 9

Prestone Antifreeze, formerly a unit of Union Carbide Corporation, now part of Honeywell Consumer Products Group

An Innovative TV Advertising Campaign Strategy and Execution Confounded the Critics and Resonated with Its Male Target Audience to Help Prestone Recapture its Position as the Best-Selling Antifreeze in North America in the 1980s

  • Client Issue:
    Competitive Pricing Pressures: How should Prestone address escalating competitive pricing pressures?
  • Consulting Team’s Contributions:
    1. Market Analyses Combined with Primary Consumer Research: Consulting Team undertook a competitive brand review and oversaw design and implementation of innovative consumer research to identify a new positioning for Prestone TV advertising
    2. Developed Hard-Hitting, Comparative TV Advertising Campaign: Recommended a new brand advertising strategy that called for TV commercial executions to include a side-by-side visual of a car engine that had been treated with Prestone antifreeze and one NOT treated – with copy referencing a car owner who had taken time to use “preventive maintenance” and one who had not. Campaign was titled: “Prestone: the Prevent Defense”
    3. Helped Win Legal Approval for this Innovative TV Advertising: Consulting Team collaborated with Prestone Brand Management to submit performance data that helped gain legal approval for this new strategy, which pushed the envelope for advertising in this category, which made Union Carbide legal counsel initially reluctant to grant ad approval
  • Result:
    Prestone Recaptures Market Position: A brand under serious competitive pressure broke out to recapture its position as the best-selling antifreeze in North America within months of launch of the new advertising campaign
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