Chicago—May 3, 2004—Cars.com, the one-stop shop for buying and selling a car, today announced its largest media campaign in company history. Building upon extensive brand promotion in local markets across the Cars.com network, Cars.com will extend its reach with the launch of its first national television campaign on May 3.
"Cars.com has always leveraged the local media assets of its 175 newspaper and television partners to build local leadership through unmatched promotion," said Cars.com president, Mitch Golub. "Now on top of heightened local marketing efforts, we are extending our reach nationally with a powerful combination of national television, online advertising, and premier distribution partnerships. It's all about reaching more, high quality, ready-to-buy customers, attracting them to Cars.com, and ultimately, to our dealer partners."
The center of the national television campaign is sponsorship of ESPN's "SportsCenter," the number one sports information show. Cars.com will sponsor two features per week including 'Top-Ten' and 'Call of the Day'. Additionally, Cars.com will also have a presence on top-rated ESPN shows including "Baseball Tonight," "Golf: U.S. Open Highlights," "Pardon the Interruption" and the "NFL Postgame SportsCenter."
In addition to its anchor package on ESPN, the Cars.com ad buy includes primetime and early morning slots on top-rated news and information programs of premier cable networks including, CNN, CNBC, Discovery, Food Network, MSNBC and TLC. Spots are scheduled to run on news programs such as "Larry King Live," "Closing Bell," "Squawk Box," the "Suze Orman Show," "Hardball with Chris Mathews," and popular lifestyle and education programs including "Junkyard Mega-Wars" and "Emeril Live."
"By using a combination of hard news programs, talk shows, sports news shows, 'how-to' programs, lifestyle and general interest news we will reach a dynamic audience of information seekers, with whom the Cars.com message resonates," said Gail Haft, vice president of marketing, Cars.com. "In attracting these qualified consumers to our site, we are able to build meaningful connections between buyers and Cars.com sellers after they have been online."
The national television campaign will reach 125 million viewers with more than 2,000 spots airing in peak car buying months, May and June, as well as September and October.
Three New Spots Showcase Joy In Finding the Right Car
The campaign features three new :30 television spots that all portray the joy a shopper feels in finding the right car. Created and produced by DDB Chicago, "Big Moment" and "Hand Shake" showcase the quality connections made between ready-to-buy customers and their local dealer.
A third spot, "Skeptical Wife," shows just how quick and easy it can be to sell and find your car on Cars.com. A husband and his skeptical wife are pleased to find just the right buyer for their lime green hatchback, a passionate connoisseur of all things green, who is equally enthused to find his perfect vehicle match.
The spots use humor to position Cars.com as an approachable resource for consumers. "We wanted to convey that Cars.com is a little more human and approachable than all the other automotive Web sites out there," said creative director, copywriter Sean Bryan.
The new ads all include Cars.com's new tagline; Find the right car for you. "Each spot features a car shopper finding exactly the vehicle he or she wants, and getting a little too excited about it," said creative director, art director Tom Murphy. "It shows the value both the buyer and seller experience when shoppers prepare online and identify their vehicle choice."
Cars.com Network to Increase Local Promotion
Building on its heritage of local promotion, the Cars.com network of 175 leading newspapers, television stations and their Web sites will increase local marketing efforts to heighten the impact of the national campaign. Markets across the Cars.com network including leading properties such as Los Angeles Times, The Arizona Republic, The Boston Globe, The Dallas Morning News, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Washington Post and the Star Tribune will run print executions closely integrated with the television campaign. Also produced by DDB Chicago, "Car Hug" and "Cartwheel" express the satisfaction a consumer feels in finding the right car. In addition to in-paper insertions of the brand campaign, many local markets will also run online advertising, local television spots, outdoor billboards and radio.
"Only Cars.com has the marketing power of 175 media leaders. Our unparalleled local promotion sets Cars.com apart and allows us to reach consumers in the local market when they are really ready to buy," said Mitch Golub.
Integrated Online Marketing Campaign Delivers the Message to Internet Audience
Beyond local promotion, the campaign is backed by a national online presence designed to extend the message to the Internet audience and drive traffic directly to Cars.com. Cars.com's online advertising, created by Tribal DDB, matches the theme of excitement in the television spots and will run on leading sites including ESPN.com and Discovery.com.
Keywords on premiere search engines and exclusive distribution partnerships with leading consumer destinations, Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com and MSN Autos, are also expected to drive a high volume of qualified visits.
Partnered with 175 leading metro newspapers, television stations and their Web sites, Cars.com is the one-stop shop for those looking to buy or sell a new or used car. The site places vehicle listings from more than 7,400 dealers alongside nationwide classified advertising and private-party listings to offer consumers the best selection of new and used cars online, as well as the content, tools and advice to support their shopping experience. Cars.com combines powerful inventory search tools and new-car configuration with pricing information, photo galleries, buying guides, side-by-side comparison tools, original editorial content and reviews to help millions of consumers connect with sellers each month.
Launched in June 1998, Cars.com is a division of Classified Ventures, LLC, (http://classifiedventures.com), which is owned by six leading media companies including, Belo (NYSE: BLC), Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), Knight Ridder (NYSE: KRI), The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), Tribune Company (NYSE: TRB) and The Washington Post Company. (NYSE: WPO). ). For more information, visit www.cars.com.
Named 2003 Agency of the Year by the Clio Awards, DDB Chicago is the largest DDB agency and is one of the world's most awarded agencies in terms of creativity and effectiveness. In addition to work with Cars.com, DDB Chicago works for a strong roster of blue-chip clients including Anheuser-Busch, McDonald's, Dell, State Farm, ALLTEL, JCPenney, The Home Depot, Novartis, FTD, OfficeMax, Midas, Unilever and Dairy Management Inc.
DDB Worldwide (www.ddb.com), Advertising Age's and Adweek's 2003 Global Agency of the Year, is one of the leading advertising agency networks in the world with 206 offices in 96 countries. Acknowledged as the industry's most creative multinational network, DDB has won more Grand Prix Awards in the 50-year history of the International Advertising Festival in Cannes than any other agency, and over the last 16 years, has won more awards in Cannes than any other agency network. In 2003, for the third year in a row, DDB was also named Network Agency of the Year at the Clio Awards.