CarMD® Rolls Out National TV Infomercial: There’s Never A Good Time For Your Car To Break Down

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CarMD.com Corporation launches national DRTV campaign on the heels of a successful 13-week test. Designed to educate drivers about the CarMD Vehicle Health System, this TV spot will be supported by a PR and ad program, and rolled into a major retail launch

CarMD.com Corporation is pleased to announce the launch of its major national direct response television (DRTV) campaign earlier this week. The 28.5-minute infomercial, which features the theme “There’s Never a Good Time For Your Car To Break Down,” is designed to educate drivers about the CarMD® Vehicle Health System. This award-winning handheld device and Mac/PC software system is the first product ever to provide consumers with the tools and information they need to monitor their vehicles’ health like a pro. The national rollout, which will be supplemented by a print ad and public relations campaign, follows a successful 13-week TV infomercial test conducted from October 2009 through January 2010.

“You can never fully prepare for the launch of a major national campaign, but all indicators from market size to consumer demand tell us that now is an ideal time for this rollout,” says Art Jacobsen, director of business development for CarMD.com Corp. “The average age of a light vehicle has jumped to 10 years old, gas prices continue to skyrocket, and drivers need affordable ways to keep their vehicles healthy and well-maintained. CarMD empowers drivers to monitor their car’s health to catch hidden problems before they snowball into expensive repairs.”

There are more than 170 million vehicles on the road with computerized on-board technology to monitor hidden problems and trigger dashboard-warning lights such as the “check engine” light when a problem is found. Until today, the information from these computers was only accessible to a select few trained automotive technicians. CarMD’s main goal is to educate drivers that this technology exists and show folks how they can use CarMD to tap into this information – for less.        

Jacobsen adds that because so many drivers are still unaware that their vehicles have an on-board computer that they can tap into using this technology, CarMD opted to use the DRTV medium for both education and sales, rather than going straight to retail with this cutting edge consumer automotive system. The company’s business strategy calls for a full-scale retail launch in early 2011.

The CarMD® Vehicle Health System, which was just named a silver award winner in the electronics and computers category of the prestigious 2010 Edison Best Product Awards, works on all 1996 and newer cars, light trucks, SUVs and minivans manufactured for use in the U.S. The easy-to-use system has been used by tens of thousands of customers to “Quick-Check” their vehicles. Within seconds, its color-coded (green, yellow, red) LEDs tell the driver if the vehicle’s systems are running normally, which is beneficial when inspecting a used car, preparing for a road trip or checking for state emissions test readiness. What makes the product different from a diagnostic tool you might find at a local automotive parts store is the CarMD database, which was developed over a 12-year period and is updated daily with real-life fixes from Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Technicians. If a problem is found, CarMD customers can connect the device to their own Mac or PC and generate a report with probable cause, fix and estimated repair costs, including parts and labor by region. CarMD customers also get Staying Healthy information such as safety recalls and scheduled service reminders.

The 28.5-minute long-form CarMD infomercial was scripted, filmed, produced and edited by Salt Lake City-based Barry Marketing Group, a leading infomercial marketing company. Consulting on the project is Art Wing, president of Little Giant Ladder Systems, which has one of the most successful infomercial campaigns in U.S. history. The CarMD spot features host Chris Jacobs, TV celebrity and automotive enthusiast, as he demonstrates the product’s ease of use, features and benefits. Using the theme, “There’s never a good time for your car to break down,” it shows situations that most drivers can relate to, including a couple trying to find a sound used car for their teenage daughter and a busy mom who has to get her car repaired in time to pick up the kids from school. In filming the infomercial, the crew also traveled from coast to coast in the CarMD truck and trailer to hear real-life stories from hundreds of CarMD customers. Nearly 40 of these testimonials are featured in the spot. To view a portion of the CarMD TV Infomercial, along with other CarMD video content, visit http://www.youtube.com/carmdtv.

According to Jacobsen, the CarMD management team has long believed that television is the ideal venue to educate and empower consumers about the company’s tool and technology. “CarMD is a highly demonstrable product. Once people see how easy it is to use and hear our customers share their testimonials, we believe CarMD will become a must have for glove compartments across America,” adds Jacobsen.

“Initial infomercial tests yielded a positive media efficiency ratio (MER) or more than 2:1 and in some markets such as Hartford, Pittsburgh and Corpus Christi, hit numbers over 3:1,” said Bill Kittel, president, The Barry Marketing Group. “To prepare for this much more robust national debut, we made a few minor enhancements to the creative, but spent the majority of our time enhancing CarMD’s call center support, shipping and fulfillment, returns, and warranties processes to ensure the company is ready for the road ahead.

“It’s rare to find a product that has such mass-market appeal, and we believe CarMD is poised to change the way drivers approach car maintenance and repair,” adds Kittel.

About Barry Marketing Group
Founded in 1986, Salt Lake City-based Barry Marketing Group is a leading infomercial marketing consulting company. Barry Marketing Group consists of a network of advertising, marketing and public relations professionals specializing in cost effective, results oriented advertising and direct marketing campaigns.

About CarMD.com Corp.
The mission of Fountain Valley, Calif.-based CarMD.com Corp., is to empower consumers by providing the tools and information needed to make better-educated decisions about their vehicles’ health and maintenance. Distributed by CarMD.com Corp., CarMD is priced at $98.99 and is available in the U.S. direct to consumers via two convenient options: 1) toll-free phone: 888.MyCarMD (888-692-2763), or 2) online at http://www.CarMD.com. The product is supported Monday – Saturday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m (PST) by live ASE certified technicians based in the U.S.A.

(Media Note: Select media interviews with CarMD.com Corp. management team and Barry Marketing Group are available. High-resolution photography and broll are also available. Please email requests to KristinB (at) CarMD (dot) com.)

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KRISTIN BROCOFF
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