Press release

Auto Trader launches new car Christmas campaign

Auto Trader to attract millions of new car buyers during peak sales period with advertising campaign relaunch

  • New car advertising set to run from Christmas to March plate change
  • New car audience records 101% growth since January 2019
  • Top 10% of retailers advertising brand-new stock with Auto Trader influence 23% of their total new car sales

 Auto Trader, the UK’s largest automotive digital marketplace for new and used cars is set to build on the huge success of its summer advertising campaign by relaunching it on Christmas Day. The multi-million-pound marketing creative focuses on Auto Trader’s new car proposition, which enables retailers to promote their entire brand-new car stock on its marketplace, and will run throughout Q1, building up to the all-important March plate change.

The original advertising, which was shown between June and August, was seen approximately 366 million times and reached over 80% of the UK adult population. Its impact was dramatic, driving 2.6 million unique buyers to view brand-new cars on Auto Trader during the three months the campaign was live – more than the total number of new cars registered in 2019 to date. Such was the success of the campaign, there was a 30%[1] increase in new car leads sent to retailers. Today, each brand-new car on site receives over 50 unique visitors per month, helping retailers’ showrooms become truly digital.

The relaunch of the campaign, which will use the same creative depicting the modern-day new car buying experience, will cap what has been a successful year for Auto Trader’s new car offering. Since January 2019 the number of unique users searching for new cars on the marketplace has increased from 750,000 per month to over 1.5 million[2]; a growth rate of 101%. It positions Auto Trader as the number one destination of choice for new car buyers, confirmed by the fact that 74% of motorists think Auto Trader can help them find a brand-new car, whilst 46% of buyers now think of Auto Trader as the very first place to find one[3].

Throughout 2019, Auto Trader has worked in partnership with many retailers to help bring their brand-new stock out of hiding. Not only has Auto Trader provided an advertising platform but has integrated with partners such as SalesMaster to make it easier for businesses to take what is still a new step for many in advertising their new car stock. What’s more, new car finance offers have also been integrated for a variety of brands, which means their brand-new stock on Auto Trader automatically features the manufacturer’s own finance deals.

Auto Trader’s Commercial Director, Ian Plummer, said: “2019 has been a hugely significant year for our new car proposition in terms of both growth and the level of value we’ve been able to provide our customers. Not only are we helping retailers to bring their new cars out of hiding and making them visible to millions of engaged car buyers, but we’re making the sales process more efficient. As a result, the top 10% of retailers advertising brand-new stock on our marketplace directly influenced a massive 23% of their total new car sales. We know this is only the start of the journey to make new car buying better for consumers,  retailers and brands alike, but it’s an achievement we’re very proud of and one we have every ambition to build on.”

The advertising creative dramatises the often-conflicting opinions from friends and family, social media and changing government policies. As well as being exposed to 10,000 branding images every day, today’s car buyers face a constant stream of contradictory messages from national media, particularly around fuel, the economy and finance, represented by the squawking of all too familiar messages by parrots:  “buy hybrid” “buy diesel”, “don’t buy diesel”, “buy electric”, “falling pound” “good time to buy” “bad time to buy”. In consumer research following the initial campaign, car buyers had a very clear understanding of the creative concept, with 85% identifying that the parrots represented the confusion and noise associated with car buying. But a focus on “pre-haggled prices” makes the job of car buying simpler and more transparent. The campaign aims to highlight that it’s possible to make car buying simpler and to clear that noise with the strap line “silence the squawk”.

Commenting on the campaign, Plummer continued: The new car market is becoming ever more challenging and with the first quarter of the year representing nearly a third of annual sales, we wanted to ensure our customers had the very best opportunity to profit during this peak period. Our new car advertising was extremely successful during its initial run, so we’re confident relaunching it during the build-up to the March plate change will help drive millions more engaged consumers to our retailers’ new car adverts.” 

You can watch the advert here.

[1] Between 1st June and 31st July 2019

[2] November 2019

[3] Auto Trader Brand Tracker study, September 2019

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