Cars.com, the premier online resource for buying and selling new and used vehicles, struck a chord on Sunday with a quirky, 30-second commercial during Super Bowl 46. Love it or hate it, the ad resonated with viewers and media, with outlets such as the Huffington Post saying "we have a feeling people will remember this Cars.com spot" and CNN calling the ad the "the most talked about Super Bowl commercial" prior to the game. Additionally, the ad has hit the pop culture scene and was spoofed in a recent monologue on NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
"Our Super Bowl commercial was meant to grab the attention of viewers and we certainly did that based on the feedback we've seen," said Mitch Golub, Cars.com president. "The volume of conversation about our ad shows us that its quirkiness and catchy tune helped Cars.com to break through the clutter with its message of confidence. Generating these conversations to build our brand is one of the key points of advertising to this huge audience, so I'd say our ad was success."
As a result of the commercial, the site saw increased traffic during and after the big game. Most notable on these days was the increase in traffic to Cars.com's mobile site and apps, and traffic from mobile devices to the Cars.com wired site, which was up more than 107% from 2011.
The site also saw increased attention to its corporate-giving initiative, Cars.com Cares. For this program, Cars.com selected seven different causes that build confidence in kids and young adults. During the Super Bowl, when the Cars.com commercial aired, viewers who used the popular Shazam App to tag the ad earned $1.00 for the cause that generates the most votes on Cars.com's Facebook page. Voting began on January 26 and lasts until February 13.
"This year, through our partnership with Shazam, we were able to bring our Cars.com Cares initiative into the spotlight," said Golub. "The interaction with our ad to support this program shows the willingness of viewers to engage on a deeper level with brands, and I'm happy to report that Cars.com will be donating the full $100,000 to the winning cause."
Cars.com was recently named the "Best Overall Customer Experience" by Keynote Systems, the leader in internet and mobile cloud marketing. Cars.com is an online destination for car shoppers that offers 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 price listings, side-by-side comparison tools, photo galleries, videos, unbiased editorial content and a large selection of new- and used-car inventory, Cars.com puts millions of car buyers 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 and The Washington Post Company (NYSE: WPO).