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


Oasis #springasmile digital campaign gets people doing good deeds
Coca-Cola: 'Don't approach bloggers with a fait accompli'
Tesco CMO Matt Atkinson: 'It is so important not to stereotype mothers'
McDonald's gives Ronald a new look ahead of global 'Fun times' social media push
In pictures: BrewDog opens first craft beer shop BottleDog for 'beer aficionados'
Facebook ad revenue leaps $1bn as it invests in targeting
Malteser or Maltesers? Mars takes Hershey trademark dispute to court
Apple Q2 profits top $10bn as iPhone sales soar
Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers