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CASSIES 2013 Grand Prix Winner Case Summary

autoTRADER.ca: The Most Cars in One Place

For over 25 years, in nearly every convenience store from Victoria to St. John’s one magazine was THE go-to-source for Canadians looking to buy and sell their used vehicles. A part of Canadiana culture, autoTRADER’s print publication business profited from car dealers who listed their used inventory in the magazines to expose their vehicles to a much wider audience. For many years, the formula worked. That is, until a little thing called the Internet came along.

With the shift from print to digital, the autoTRADER magazine format started to become outdated. Suddenly, Canadians had thousands of vehicle listings at their fingertips. autoTRADER made the decision to augment their magazine offering with online, entering the daunting world of e-business. But balancing print with digital was a delicate act, which together lowered barriers to entry in the market, resulting in consumer market share being eroded to the benefit of pure plays.

DDB Canada needed to attract a high volume and high calibre of consumers to the newly revamped autoTRADER.ca.  The objective was to not only be the go-to place for consumers looking to buy, but for dealers as well.

Through a deep dive into the brand, it was discovered that autoTRADER.ca has the largest car inventory in the country. This was a surprising, relevant, distinguishing, superlative truth that could be used as a compelling, silver bullet for autoTRADER.ca. Qualitative research confirmed that a site with the most inventory was very motivating and psychologically reassuring to consumers because it made them feel that they had ‘left no stone unturned’ in their quest to find the perfect car.

To drive interest in the new autoTRADER.ca and contemporize the brand, DDB Canada launched a breakthrough communications campaign driven by the core differentiator: The Most Cars In One Place. The National campaign included Television, Online, Social, Public Relations, B2B, and Radio. The creative executions needed to breakthrough, attract attention and give consumers a reason to visit the site.

Television: “Stoplight” opens on four thugs cruising the streets of downtown listening to gangster rap. As they pull up to a stoplight, a very traditional, suburban family pulls along next to them. Exchanging stares, each party realizes that they are both driving the exact same vehicle. As the family drives away, our four, hardened thugs, are left in bewilderment. Suddenly, they and their cool car, aren’t so cool or tough after all. In a seamless transition, the visual of the car turns into an online listing on autoTRADER.ca. Pulling back, viewers realize the listing is on the computer screen of three wannabe “homies”. While the car is no longer cool for the true “thugs”, it’s the perfect match for a few suburban gangster imposters.

Social Media: THE AUTOLYZER. As buying a car is a very social process with most buyers eliciting advice from friends and family, we harnessed the power of social media with the creation of autoTRADER.ca’s very first Facebook Application. Dubbed The autoLYZER, the unique app helps Canadians discover three automobiles that are for sale on autoTRADER.ca at that moment in time, best suited to their personality and social life.  The app analyzes real-time data via Facebook, looking at an individual's lifestyle, interests, social activities, and Facebook friends' opinions via existing posts, to help narrow down which cars would be the best fit for his or her personality. The creative execution of the app re-enforced The Most Cars in One Place messaging, highlighted autoTRADER’s move to the digital world and provided greater brand relevance among our target-set.

Campaign results:

18 per cent – increase in traffic to autoTRADER.ca over the campaign period
27 per cent – growth in monthly unique visitors since campaign launch
76 per cent – increase in page views
18 per cent – increase in dealer listings
169 per cent – increase in private listings
273 million media impressions