Campaign Imminent: Napa Auto Parts names three new AORs

NAPA Auto Parts recently established a trio of new agency partnerships and started transforming its marketing team. The shift concludes a competitive RFP process that kicked off in October 2021, and it concluded with the hires of The VariableMerkle and Golin. The Variable has become NAPA's AOR for brand strategy, creative, content and social. It will leverage an integrated team to help the brand discover and develop new business growth approaches. This hire replaces VMLY&R, which previously held this account. The Variable will initially focus on putting together a brand strategy, and it expects to launch its new integrated creative campaign for NAPA in Q3 2022.

Second, Merkle was named as NAPA's CRM agency partner. It will spearhead the brand's customer marketing, and it will enhance its existing rewards program efforts.

Last but not least, Golin is now NAPA's first-ever PR AOR. The agency will also team up with NAPA's parent company, Genuine Parts Company, to drive its strategy forward.

The brand is currently particularly focused on differentiating NAPA "in the highly competitive auto care and auto repair industry," per a press release.

In 2021, iSpot reports the brand allocated roughly $9.4m toward national TV commercials, down 2% from the roughly $12.1m it allocated in 2020. NAPA's 2021 commercials aired programming such as Last Man Standing, SportsCenter, Two and a Half Men, NBA Basketball and Bitchin' Rides.

According to Adbeat, NAPA spent approximately $55.4k on digital display in 2021, a huge drop from the approximately $471.6k it spent in 2020. Most of its 2021 spend went toward programmatic ads placed via Google Display Network (35.4) onto site destinations such as atlantafalcons.com (20.2), kniakrls.com, adn.com, apg-wi.com, foxnews.com and accuweather.com.

Additionally, Magellan shows NAPA has aired three podcast ads within th e past 12 months.

As you can tell, overall spend is declining notably; this may result from lower-than-desired ROI. Sellers should reach out soon to secure ad dollars relating to the soon-to-launch campaign, and those able to offer higher-ROI strategies among male consumers will have an advantage. Per Kantar data, NAPA also invests in broadcast, print (magazines), radio and OOH. It holds planning conversations in Q4 and buying conversations in Q3.

Agency & martech readers - NAPA may be in search of a new media agency partner, but I feel like if it was, it would've been part of this slew of hires; the fact that the brand announced three hires at the same time leads me to believe it's set for now. You may be able to secure project-based work at some point, though. NAPA's current media buying and planning AOR is Spark Foundry