NYTimes.com Redesigns Auto Section

  |  January 24, 2005   |  Comments

The redesigned site features an enlarged dealer database and greater search functionality.

NYTimes.com has launched a redesign of its Automobile section, adding a larger rich media unit and more precise targeting, in a bid to woo automakers' ad dollars.

"Because rich media executions are becoming more popular in the auto category, we have created a new big ad unit on the section front to accommodate this demand," said Ira Silverstein, director of classified operations at NYTimes. "The new ad size gives advertisers a broader palette to tell a story."

The new 336 x 280 ad unit appears on the lower right of the section home page. The site features several other enhancements over the previous version, including an increase in the number of photos appearing on every page and a photo slideshow on the site's home page. NYTimes projects the redesign will double the number of page views in the next few months.

The larger rich media unit joins the array of half page, skyscraper, and leaderboard formats already available. The site also sells "dealer spotlight" and "vehicle spotlight" ad positions.

The site will also now allow advertisers to target their ads more precisely. For example, advertisers can choose specific placements on the expanded NYTimes dealer inventory pages and on the section dedicated to Detroit Auto Show coverage. Advertisers have long been able to target by gender, age, income, geography, and behavioral characteristics.

The redesign features easier-to-access car reviews, articles covering the auto industry, features from the New York Times print edition, and a searchable database of 25,000 cars. The Times tapped CareerCast to power the enhanced search tool, which allows readers to research new and used vehicles by price, make, model, and year.

"Our primary goal was to create a better experience for users so they could pull out content in a compelling way," Silverstein said. "We did this by the simplifying the site down to five major sections, each using a lot more photos."

The site continues to leverage its partnership with Edmunds.com in the form of content such as "This Week in Autos" top 10 lists and a "Find a Dealer" function that allows visitors to search dealerships by ZIP Code and request a free price quote.

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