BEHIND THE HYPE: Flogging cars from an online forecourt - Jamjar tries to cash in on the ’rip-off Britain’ debate is Direct Line’s website for car buyers and motorists. is Direct Line’s website for car buyers and


It sells new cars online and offers part-exchange deals on used


The service also provides second-hand cars, rental deals, route

planners, finance and insurance.

Characteristics The site’s subject categories include car buying,

insurance, rental and glovebox - which is each customer’s personalised

section. The website also has its own online magazine, which carries

news on the motoring industry and related sports.

The design is pleasing to the eye and navigation is fast and


Target demographics is aimed at 25- to 55-year-old ABC1s,

with a slight male and London/south-east England bias.

Principals The site was developed and is run in-house by Direct


Backers Direct Line is owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland, which

provided the funding for

Marketing strategy The portal, which launched last week, has a pounds 15

million marketing budget. The TV advertising, through Mortimer Whittaker

O’Sullivan, went live last week and will be accompanied by press,

outdoor, radio and online. The campaign aims to exploit anger at

’rip-off’ car prices in Britain as compared with the Continent.

Competitors One of Jamjar’s strongest competitors is,

which launched in May, but, and are also rivals. The incentive of saving up to 40 per cent

on a car if you buy from the Continent will work in favour of all of

these online car portals.


We’re not convinced

Difficult to say.

Provided Direct Line communicates its ownership of the Jamjar brand to

consumers - which should inspire confidence - it stands a chance against

the Virgin offering.

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