Cars.com owns one of the most valuable web domains in the world—the simple and easily searchable moniker is one reason why the online auto marketplace derives more than 60% of its site traffic organically, according to executives. But as auto retailing grows more complex, the brand must still put money into marketing.
“We absolutely do need to continue to make sure that our brand is top of mind,” said Chief Marketing Officer Jennifer Vianello.
To that end, the Chicago-based company today is rebranding with a new ad campaign and updated logo to complement recent changes to its website that attempt to make shopping easier for consumers who are doing more research online.
The logo update, which was handled internally, marks its first change since Cars.com was founded 25 years ago. The new look keeps the brand’s signature purple but replaces the circular border with what Vianello described as “wings” in a move to make the trademark look more transparent. “That was very intentional—we have always sought to provide transparency and choice since our inception. It is what consumers want,” she said.
The campaign, called “Possibilities,” introduces a new tagline, “Where to Next.” Ads dramatize the fact that most people buy new cars in the wake of big life moments, such as having kids or getting a promotion.
“We really view car buying as signifying where you're going in your life as much as where you're going physically,” Vianello said.
The spots also give a nod to its dealer partners, showing cars being driven off lots.