Cars.com Drives Ad Campaign to Web

Cars.com added an extensive online media buy this week to the TV campaign it began in March. A mix of display and rich media units will run on portals, auto and lifestyle sties.

“We are using a variety of high-profile placements to break-through in the online environment, including rich media ads, impactful unit sizes and premium positions,” said Carolyn Crafts, VP marketing at Cars.com.

Crafts told ClickZ News the media buy includes PointRoll rich media units with streaming video of the “Metermaid” TV spot. Rich media units also include an interactive game within PointRoll units that match people to cars. Additional media buys include homepage takeovers on three CBS sites; behavioral targeting on Advertising.com and Tacoda’s network of sites and on Yahoo; email roadblocks on Yahoo Mail; and integration into eVite invitations. On AOL, ads will be targeted to visitors to the AOL Autos channel and AOL Autoblog.

The online component compliments an existing campaign that began in March on TV, as well as promotional efforts with the company’s 200 local media partners. “The online creative is integrated with our TV campaign by leveraging our mosaic branding device. Together, the new online campaign and existing offline campaign reach more than 200 million people with our ‘Find the right car for you’ message,” said Crafts.

“Our online and offline branding campaign works synergistically with our search efforts to attract consumers to cars.com when they are in the market to shop for a car, whether that’s immediately or in the near future.”

The overall campaign, valued at over $100 million by Cars.com, devotes a significant portion to the online channel. “With consumers now spending as much as 30 percent of their media time online, Internet marketing plays an increasingly important role in building brand awareness,” said Mitch Golub, president of Cars.com.

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