I-CAR announced that its Collision Careers platform launched its first-ever digital advertising campaign aimed at attracting high-potential talent to the industry and showcasing the benefits of a career in collision repair to solve a talent crisis that is estimated to be 100,000 skilled technicians short.
The campaign features a series of fast, engaging videos with the theme, “Bolt Ahead with Collision Careers.” Aimed at attracting technicians to the field, the videos highlight various professional roles in collision repair including structural technicians, estimators and electric diagnostics technicians.
“The launch of this first-of-its-kind campaign is a natural next step on the critical work I-CAR has undertaken through its Collision Careers program to attract talent to the industry and to illustrate the benefits of this stable, growing and innovative career journey,” said Dara Goroff, vice president of planning and industry talent programming. “This campaign lays the foundation for Collision Careers to begin pursuing promotional partnerships across the industry to help us more broadly reach the public with consistent messaging that positions the collision repair industry as the trade of choice.”
The campaign, developed in strategic collaboration with full-service ad agency Push 22, will run this first-wave primarily on YouTube and is designed to target both students and parents. The videos will initially run in several major markets, including Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Philadelphia, which were chosen for their high need for talent, proximity to strong collision repair school programs and shops, and ability to reach the target demographic.
Collision Careers will expand its campaign later this year with opportunities for like-minded, talent-concerned organizations and marketing leaders across the industry to partner on content and develop co-op advertising campaigns to further promote career paths in collision repair. The 15-second spots and a longer campaign video can be viewed on Collision Careers’ YouTube channel.
“We are taking a very current consumer marketing approach and applying it to an industry that has never approached positioning itself in this way to attract talent,” said Arianna Sherlock, senior director of marketing at I-CAR. “There is a tremendous amount of competition for Gen Z’s attention. We’re not just competing against other trades or colleges, we’re competing against all of the digital content they consume, so it’s imperative we meet them where they are and stand out.”
Collision Careers resonates with technician candidates by leaning heavily on social media and established marketing channels, leveraging relationships with educators, institutions and associations and identifying key population segments to target. The digital advertising campaign will be used to draw more attention to the benefits of a career in the industry. In a survey released late last year by the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) and I-CAR, technicians reported they are motivated and excited about new vehicle technology and agreed that it will help progress their careers.
Collision Careers, launched in 2023 by I-CAR in partnership with the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) and 2023 winner of the SEMA Global Media Award, offers comprehensive resources for students, career changers, parents and school counselors on the growing, exciting and stable industry of collision repair. I-CAR is using its unique position as a collaborative, centralized and neutral organization to unite the industry, align its efforts and close the technician gap.