Auto Trader adopts stories to ‘humanise’ brand

Auto Trader is rolling out its first digital only campaign to tap into drivers’ emotional connection with cars as part of its efforts to shift perceptions of the brand.


It is the first campaign in a three-year strategy for Auto Trader to shift its strategic direction and encourage consumers to reappraise the brand and what it stands for beyond a place to buy and sell cars.

Auto Trader has created a series of online videos inspired by users’ stories about their relationship with their car. The films will be hosted on its own site, as well as YouTube and MSN and via its mobile-optimised site and apps.

The brand says it is the first time it has fully integrated its mobile and online marketing.

It will encourage its Facebook and Twitter communities to submit their own stories to win one of 45 “dream driving experiences”.

Auto Trader plans to use the user-generated content from the digital campaign to inform the future direction of the campaign and a planned TV campaign in September.

The campaign, developed by Glue Isobar, launches on 14 June.

Dan Daly, Auto Trader head of consumer marketing, told Marketing Week: “Consumer needs are changing and we’ve got a new vision. We aspire to be the only place that car lovers need.

We have been very transactional in the past, but now consumers are putting their trust in brands that have authenticity.

“We’re keen to humanise the brand alongside our buying and selling heritage – there’s a very emotional connection with cars so we want to develop a stronger human connection.”

Auto Trader recently revamped its site and introduced a raft of new information and content features such as video reviews in a bid to encourage repeat visits to the site.

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