Chicago—February 4, 2008—Cars.com, the leading online destination for car shoppers, announced details today of the most extensive marketing campaign in the company's history. Building on last night's Super Bowl debut, Cars.com will leverage a record $200 million marketing investment across broadcast, print and online channels to reach more than 261 million people in 2008 with its new integrated campaign and brand message.
"We had the opportunity to introduce our new message to millions of viewers who tuned in to watch the Super Bowl last night," said Mitch Golub, president of Cars.com. "Now we are looking to build on that momentum with our largest-ever media campaign running throughout the year. Our goal is to educate consumers that Cars.com has all the information they need to prepare for their next car purchase."
Because of its reach, television will play a major role in this year's "Car Shopping Confidence" campaign. Viewers will see Cars.com spots on top networks, including ABC, Comedy Central, the Discovery Channel, ESPN, ESPN2, TBS, TNT and USA. Cars.com will further its on-air presence with high-profile sponsorships on "The Colbert Report," "The Closer," "The Office," "Burn Notice" and "FutureTrans." Episode sponsorships, original Cars.com-branded content and special commercial placements on these shows will differentiate the Cars.com message from other advertisers.
The site's 2008 media plan also calls for an expanded presence in sports programming, including sponsorship of the NCAA "Tournament Reports" on ESPN's "SportsCenter" and a new sponsorship of ESPN2's "NASCAR Now." Cars.com will also renew its presenting sponsorship of "Saturday Afternoon College Football" on ESPN.
"We challenged ourselves to deliver an innovative media program that will push the Cars.com brand through the clutter and engage our audience across touch points," said Carolyn Crafts, Cars.com vice president of marketing. "Using a combination of programming that is equally appealing to a male and female audience, unique sponsorships and live sporting events, we are well-positioned to rise above challenges of today's DVR-driven media environment and reach consumers with our new message."
Online will also play a critical role in the campaign. In addition to its recently launched listings partnership with Yahoo! Autos, Cars.com will reach in-market buyers with a targeted roadblock on various sections of Yahoo!, including My Yahoo, News, Mail, Messenger and Sports. Search engine marketing will also be leveraged to drive quality traffic to the site. Beyond driving traffic, Cars.com will also work to maximize brand awareness online with key placements on sites such as YouTube, MySpace and NFL.com.
The national television and online campaign will be supported by aggressive local advertising through the power of Cars.com's affiliate network of more than 175 leading newspapers, TV stations and their respective websites.
"With our largest investment ever, we are committed to building the Cars.com brand and driving even more qualified traffic to our advertising partners," Golub said.
Cars.com is the leading destination for online car shoppers, offering credible and easy-to understand information from consumers and experts to help buyers formulate opinions on what to buy, where to buy, and how much to pay for a car. With comprehensive pricing information, side-by-side comparison tools, photo galleries, videos, unbiased editorial content and a large selection of new and used car inventory, Cars.com puts more than 8 million unique visitors who log on to the site each month in control of their shopping process with the information they need to make confident buying decisions.
Launched in June 1998, Cars.com is a division of Classified Ventures, LLC, which is owned by leading media companies, including Belo (NYSE: BLC), Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE: GCI), The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI), Tribune Company (NYSE: TRB) and The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO).