Cars.com, one of the original dot-coms and one-word URLs, is celebrating its 25th year with the first major redesign of its logo and a brand campaign.
Three new 30-second spots with the theme “Possibilities” feature the brand’s new tagline, “Where to Next?” The premise is that Cars.com isn’t just a search engine, but also provides a platform for possibilities, says Jennifer Vianello, Cars.com chief marketing officer.
“It is rooted in the recognition that car buying is exciting and it is a life moment,” Vianello tells Marketing Daily. “Every time you buy a car, that’s a really memorable moment in your life. It is physical transportation, of course, but there are so many deeply personal and meaningful reasons why you pick a specific vehicle at a specific time from a specific retailer.”
“Quadruplets” features a couple contemplating the need for a bigger vehicle to accommodate their growing family, while “Where To Next” shows a couple thinking about how different type of vehicles allow them to take on different personas.
“Grazie” shows a young woman exploring her vehicle upgrade options (and a possible boyfriend upgrade, too) after being promoted.
The effort in partnership with Leo Burnett Worldwide also features cut-downs and other creative assets to be used across network TV, social, custom integrations, out-of-home, and a range of digital and online video executions.
The new logo keeps the familiar purple oval, but opens it up and lightens the font.
“We wanted to make sure that we were keeping elements that were recognizable and have been working for us while introducing some new features and some new symbolism,” Vianello says “The signature purple is actually sitting outside of the cars.com text, and we are calling those the wings. Those two wings on the outside of the text are symbolizing the two sides of the marketplace that we sit between the car buyers and the car retailers, and we facilitate both.
"The second really notable feature is that it's transparent. We have always led in the space of creating more transparency in automotive shopping, and it's what consumers want and it's what we're going to continue to do.”
The company has continually innovated to stay relevant to consumers and their changing needs, says Matthew Crawford, Cars.com chief product officer.
“We're really trying to take the company to the next level and go from listings to really becoming the omnichannel commerce for automotive,” Crawford tells Marketing Daily.
Cars.com offers the largest database of auto reviews, he says. Another area of distinction for the brand is how it creates an open marketplace of automotive financing.
“The vast majority of people do need financing -- they’re not buying with cash,” Crawford says. “And so what we're doing here is really connecting a large network of automotive lenders into our marketplace so that [users] can get prequalified across a broad set of lenders and find the best rate financing options.”