Chicago—March 3, 2006—Cars.com announced plans to accelerate its 2006 media campaign with the launch of all-new television ads scheduled to debut on Monday, March 6. The campaign, "Cars, Cars, Cars," features three new spots that will air through December on ESPN and other top-rated cable networks, reaching more than 170 million viewers.
The national television campaign complements a comprehensive online marketing program and extensive local advertising support from Cars.com's network of 200 newspaper and television partners.
"Valued at more than $100 million, our media investment supports our aggressive business growth goals and is expected to drive another record year of traffic to the site," said Mitch Golub, president of Cars.com. "As we grow the Cars.com brand and continue to make enhancements to our consumer site, we are able to deliver even more value for our advertisers."
Created and produced by DDB Chicago, the television spots build upon Cars.com's award-winning "Joy" campaign by using humor to distinguish the site from others in the category and to position Cars.com as an approachable resource for car shoppers.
"We use humor to personalize the experience of using Cars.com to virtually kick the tires and get behind the wheel of any car you like," said Bruce Cascia, associate creative director at DDB.
The spots — "Landscaper," "Meter Maid" and "Hydraulics" — track car buyers through the search process on Cars.com. As the online shopper browses vehicle listings in search of the right car, an outsider in each spot is surprised to see the vehicle parked in front of them change before their eyes as the car buyer works toward a final vehicle selection.
"Only the online car shoppers in each spot remain blissfully unaware of what's literally happening in the outside world as they click on a multitude of cars until finding exactly the right one," Cascia said.
"While the spots clearly emphasize the wide selection of cars available in Cars.com's 1.5 million vehicle listings, we also show that Cars.com allows you to do more than see cars, cars and more cars," said Dave Kasey, associate creative director at DDB. "What sets the site apart is the power to research features, specs and reviews in an approachable way that lets you see which car best fits into your life."
The tagline "Find the right car for you" is continued from the previous campaign, and a new mosaic end-device is introduced to strongly reinforce the Cars.com brand and the breadth of the site's vehicle listings. This device uses hundreds of vehicle images to form the Cars.com logo.
"While our past campaign drove site awareness to new levels and was a hit with critics and consumers, we expect the strong brand emphasis in the new spots will do even more to move the needle," said Carolyn Crafts, vice president of marketing at Cars.com. "The ads further position Cars.com in the minds of consumers as the one-stop destination they need when they are in the market to research, buy and sell a car."
ESPN continues to be at the center of Cars.com's television buy, with ads featured in popular programs such as "SportsCenter" — in which Cars.com will be a sponsor of "Top-Ten" and "Closing Number" features — "Baseball Tonight," "Pardon the Interruption" and many more. Spots are also scheduled to air during ESPN's live sporting events, including Major League Baseball, the NBA and PGA Golf. For the first time, Cars.com will also be the exclusive sponsor of Saturday Afternoon College Football on ESPN.
In addition to a targeted audience of sports viewers, the campaign will reach a broad audience of men and women with spots and unique sponsorships running on original cable programing and syndicated hits on top cable networks including Discovery, Food Network, TBS, TLC, TNT, USA and WGN.
Partnered with more than 200 leading metro newspapers, television stations and their Web sites, Cars.com is the most comprehensive destination for those looking to buy or sell a new or used car. The site lists more than 1.5 million vehicles from 10,000 dealer customers, classified advertisers and private parties 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. Recently selected by Forbes.com as a Best of the Web site for car shopping, 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 car shoppers connect with sellers each month.
Launched in June 1998, Cars.com is a division of Classified Ventures, LLC, 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).
DDB Chicago is the largest DDB agency and is one of the world's most awarded agencies in terms of creativity and effectiveness. Named Agency of the Year by the Clio Awards in both 2003 and 2004, DDB Chicago works for a strong roster of blue-chip clients including Cars.com, Anheuser-Busch, McDonald's, Dell, State Farm, OfficeMax, JCPenney, Capital One, LensCrafters, Midas, the Chicago Tribune and Dairy Management Inc.