Autotrader.ca launches a refreshing campaign

The used car site speaks to a younger audience to change consumer perception of the brand.
autotrader.ca

Autotrader.ca has rolled out a national campaign spanning both TV and digital in the hopes that it will be put back on the map for those in the market for used cars.

Late last month, Trader Corporation, parent of the online and print product, brought media and creative shops OMD Canada and DDB, to change the consumer perception of the brand from a print classified to a digital destination.

In order to change the current consumer opinion of the brand, autotrader.ca decided that it needs to speak in a younger tone than it had in the past, Shane Cameron, managing director of digital and emerging media, OMD tells MiC.

“This is a brand that is going from the way that your father or grandfather may have gone to find a car by taking the print version off the stand, to something that is online centric,” he says. “So we have focused on people who are younger than those who are consuming the magazine.”

The new voice can be heard in two TV spots, “Spotlight” and “Date”, where the brand uses humour to convey to consumers how handy its digital platform can be for those looking to either purchase and sell a used car.

The creative will be placed on a mix of television and online, with digital ads being placed on YouTube, MSN and Yahoo, as well as additional online space negotiated through RTB desks, The Exchange Lab and Accuen, says Cameron.

“We’re trying to take into account that those people will also shop, learn, research, and visit other sites,” he says. “We’re looking for people who have displayed behavior that looks like they’re in the market for a vehicle.”

Michael Davidson, senior VP business unit director, DDB says Auto Trader has done very well for itself in the UK, but that the brand has been somewhat ignored in the Canadian market.

“The competitive situation has changed with digital and the introduction of brands like Kijiji biting at their heels,” he says. “We had to find, creatively, what changes people’s perceptions of a brand that is kind of yesterday’s news to one that’s here. The creative was really important to break through and give them a reason to go there.”

Davidson adds that through research the brand found that consumers resonated most with autotrader.ca’s comprehensive listing of used cars, which is why it decided to incorporate the tagline, “The most cars in one place” into the campaign.

“[Trader Corporation] realize that the brand has been ignored,” he says. “We needed to find that place strategically where they could own again, and get them back on peoples radars to make them relevant in the market.”