By Barry Janoff
September 2, 2012: It's never too early to jump on the Super Bowl bandwagon, especially when you are a veteran of the marketing strategies associated with the big game.
Cars.com, an online destination for buying, selling and reading reviews about new and used vehicles, said it would be back on the road as an advertiser in Super Bowl XLVII with a 30-second spot. The media buy on CBS marks Cars.com's sixth consecutive year as a Super Bowl advertiser.
Thirty-second spots during Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3, 2013, are going for upward of $4 million, according to industry analysts. The game will be played in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
The commercial will be part of a larger multi-media campaign, the first from McGarryBowen, Chicago, for Cars.com, which was named the site's lead agency this past May, replacing DDB.
Although details on creative were not disclosed, the company said it would maintain the theme of "buying with confidence" from previous Super Bowl commercials and would show "how the site's tools make car shopping a great experience."
"Commercials during the big game have proven to be very highly anticipated, so there is no better platform to start the year off with an all-new campaign," Linda Bartman, vp-marketing for Cars.com, said in a statement regarding the news of a Super Bowl buy some six months before the game. "Year after year, the Super Bowl has afforded us the opportunity to showcase Cars.com in a powerful way, giving us a significant boost to our brand, and this year we expect to see even greater results when we unveil our latest brand campaign."
The campaign seen during Super Bowl XLVI and subsequent marketing featured people whose confidence in using Cars.com was manifested in the form of a second head (pictured above). Two spots that ran during Super Bowl XLV showed cars reading and glowing over their reviews on Cars.com. Previous Super Bowl spots featured fictional people named Timothy Richmond and David Abernathy, who each had the confidence to overcome difficult situations in life except when it came time to buying a car — until they found Cars.com.
According to Bartman, "Buying a car is the second largest purchase most people will ever make. Car shoppers often indicate that they feel stressed during the process, so our new campaign taps into this insight and highlights the tools that Cars.com offers to help take the stress out of car shopping."
Cars.com was formed in 1998 and is a division of Classified Ventures LLC, which is owned by media companies, including A.H. Belo, Gannett, McClatchy, Tribune and The Washington Post Co.
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