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Cars.Com Joins Pepsi, GM, Visa On The Road Again To The Super Bowl

October 18, 2010: Cars.com, is mapping plans that would take the online auto destination from its Chicago headquarters to Arlington, Texas, the site of Super Bowl XLV.

Calling it a "proven investment," Cars.com said it would air two next spots on Fox during the game on Feb. 6, 2011, at Cowboys Stadium. This is the fourth consecutive year that the company will run ads during the Super Bowl.

Spots are said to be going for between $2.8-$3 million for 30 seconds, according to industry analysts, although brands that buy multiple spots, such as Anheuser-Busch (Bud, Bud Light) generally pay less on average. Other companies that already have unveiled Super Bowl ad buys include PepsiCo's Doritos and Pepsi Max, which will air three spots each; General Motors and Visa.

Reuters recently reported that Fox had sold more than 90% of its Super Bowl ad time. During Super Bowl XLIV on CBS, 41 companies bought 66 spots for a total of just under 48 minutes of ad time.

Cars.com said it would continue its 'With Knowledge Comes Confidence' umbrella campaign with two 30-second spots: one in the third quarter and one in the fourth quarter. The new ads will show how "Cars.com drives confidence with expert and consumer vehicle reviews, helping car buyers confidently pick the right car." Lead agency is DDB Chicago.

"Advertising in the Super Bowl is a proven investment, which is why we're returning," Mitch Golub, president of Cars.com, said in a statement. "The massive audience gives tremendous lift to our business, and as we continue to grow Cars.com and our offerings to car shoppers and dealers, it's paramount that we devote our resources to channels that will continue our trajectory as the fastest-growing brand in our category, and bring more overall value to our advertisers."

Specific details were not released, but Cars.com has been using the same basic story line for the past years: Someone who shows an extensive knowledge of life around them has trouble buying a new car. During Super Bowl XLIV, the Cars.com spot followed "Timothy Richman," who as a toddler knew how to put out a grease fire, as a junior high school student traveling overseas explained "in perfect  Italian" to a young woman how he could neutralize her jelly fish sting and as a young man on safari helped a wild Bengal tiger to give birth, but was unable to buy a new car until he found Cars.com. During Super Bowl XLIII, "David Abernathy" at birth congratulated his doctor, as a fourth grader student twice ran into his burning school to save class pets and at 24 "performed open-heart surgery in a crowded opera house — with a ball point pen." Like Richman, however, he lacked the confidence to buy a new car.

Timmothy Richman is a smart toddler who grows up to be a Cars.com customer in this TV spot from Super Bowl XLIV.According to Carolyn Crafts, Cars.com vp-marketing, "The unique attention paid to Super Bowl ads ensures our messages are delivered. Our ad during last year's Super Bowl reached more than 106 million viewers . . . After the game we not only saw an enormous surge in visitors to Cars.com – and a record number of referrals to our advertisers –  [but] our awareness has continued to grow since then."

Launched in June 1998, Cars.com is a division of Classified Ventures, LLC, which is owned by such media companies as Gannett, Tribune and The Washington Post.

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