Auto Trader gets personal to shift consumer perceptions

Auto Trader: debut digital campaign features a series of short films
Auto Trader: debut digital campaign features a series of short films

Auto Trader, the second-hand car magazine and website, is to tap into the close personal connection that owners have with their cars with its first exclusively digital campaign, launching on 14 June.

The campaign features a collection of short films that dramatise some of the car stories Auto Trader has helped people start over the last 35 years.

It will include YouTube and MSN homepage takeovers and distribution across key video sites.

Creative agency Glue Isobar, which won Auto Trader's £4m advertising account in September last year, has developed a fully integrated digital campaign across mobile and online channels, based on individuals reliving memorable moments they have had with their cars.

Ads will drive viewers to a campaign page on, where users have the opportunity to create an automotive story of their own by winning memorable driving experiences.

Auto Trader will engage its existing Facebook and Twitter communities, encouraging them to share their own personal car stories, while a mobile campaign will give mobile and tablet users the opportunity to watch the films and play to win one of the automotive stories on offer.

Media has been handled by Carat and iProspect, with an estimated seven-figure spend.

This mobile and online-only approach is a first for Auto Trader, although a second wave of activity in September will include TV.

Jonathan Williams, Auto Trader's recently appointed director of consumer marketing, said: "With this campaign, we hope to strengthen the relationship we have with our customers and shift the consumer perception of Auto Trader as being just an online marketplace for buying and selling used and new cars.

"We're proud of Auto Trader's rich heritage in helping people find the right car for them since 1977, but that's not all we do. We are constantly evolving the business, and this is a new approach for the business. It is our first time advertising solely online and YouTube advertising in particular is a platform we've not previously explored."

Auto Trader has already engaged with new platforms, launching a Facebook plug-in in January that allows users of the social network to tell their friends which cars they desire the most.

The circulation of Auto Trader magazine averaged 60,524 copies during 2011, according to the latest magazine ABC data. This is down from 102,620 copies in 2010 and 147,459 copies in 2009.

Follow Nick Batten on Twitter @NickBatten2


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


Virgin, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer
Mumsnet admits users' emails and passwords accessed via Heartbleed bug backs 'rubbish' mobile app with TV ad
Powerade launches global World Cup campaign
Subway considers taking fast food to fast lane with F1 sponsorship
Burberry's flagship Shanghai store facade responds to weather changes
Ikea splurges 'grey' Belgium with colour
Grim outlook for Tesco boss Philip Clarke ahead of expected profits fall
Thomson to create first crowd-sourced wedding decided by Facebook fans
Currency wars meets origami in Alpari FX trading ad campaign
Amazon rumoured to launch 3D smartphone in September
Facebook to allow European users to store and transfer money on site, claims report
Unilever pilots multi-brand advertising with YouTube beauty channel
Lego, Coca-Cola, Net-a-Porter, Bitcoin and AOL: the digitally creative brands