Auto Trader is planning its largest marketing push yet to guard its
classified motor ad territory against a host of newcomers, including
Loot’s Hot Car and web ventures Fish4 and Autobytel.
The ’find your perfect partner’ campaign, which plays on the emotional
attachment people have to their cars, will break on 8 May.
The marketing offensive involves television, press and online
advertising, direct marketing, point of sale activity and public
Matt Thompson, group marketing director of Auto Trader, has instructed
the Scottish agency Media Faulds to blitz TV, radio, cinema, the net and
business-to-business magazines across the UK. He described the
advertising drive as ’popular and populist’.
’The campaign is aimed at all potential car buyers - men, women, old and
young,’ explained Thompson. ’Our research shows that we are highly
regarded. However, a proportion of car buyers still don’t feel Auto
Trader is for them. We want to encourage them to try it.’
Creative agency Faulds Advertising has produced television and cinema
commercials plus five radio executions based on the ’perfect partners’
Media Faulds has bought spots on national terrestrial stations,
including Channel 4 and Channel 5, and a raft of regional stations.
Radio ads will run on ’virtually every regional radio station’ from
Capital in London to Clyde in Glasgow, according to Thompson.
Ads in the trade press have been designed to appeal to specific target
groups such as owners of newsagents.
Meanwhile Carat Interactive, which is handling web buying for the
campaign, is snapping up ad space on portals such as Yahoo!.
Auto Trader is 20 years old. According to the last batch of figures from
the Audit Bureau of Circulations (July-December 1999), 326,389 copies of
the magazine are sold each week. The website recorded more than two
million visits in February 2000.
However, the brand’s market share is being eroded by new rivals. For
example, Fish4, the localised web venture formed by a consortium of
regional newspapers, runs a motoring site called Fish4Cars. Loot’s
latest venture Hot Car, which launched earlier this year (Media
Business, 6 March), along with older players like Exchange and Mart and
regional newspapers are also eating into Auto Trader’s ad revenue.
The Auto Trader newspaper and website carry a total of 200,000 vehicle