When to use TV as a channel according to James Hind, Carwow …

Carwow recut
Q1. Why did you decide to choose TV as a marketing channel?
A1. TV is the best way to build significant brand awareness fast. But it goes beyond that: it also clearly shows to all our audiences, car buyers as well as car dealers and manufacturers that we are a serious business, that we are here for the long term, that we can be trusted. Building this trust and showing we are here to stay is especially important when you are selling expensive, up market products such as brand new cars through your platform..
Q2. What examples of successful TV ads have you seen in similar stage businesses in the UK?
A2. We really like the TV ads by Secret Escapes. Even though they focus on a different sector, there are similarities between our businesses. We both have to strike the right balance between price and quality and Secret Escapes’ TV ad is a great example on how to achieve this. Zoopla’s TV ad served us as an example on how to explain a consumer proposition clearly and yet connect emotionally with the viewer.
Q3. How do you know it worked for them?
A3. We spoke with them to really understand not only their insights and learning on TV but also how it integrates into the entire company. Additionally, we also networked many other startups that had already created their own TV campaign so we could learn from their experiences, both positive and negative. and used this to our advantage. We didn’t just rely on this but also used insights from in-depth interviews with our target audience.
Q4. Who were your target audience?
A4. New car buyers are more mature, usually 55 +. As you can imagine when you buy a product with the average value of £27,000 (the second largest purchase after your house) , new car buyers tend to be wealthier than the general population. We used this first TV burst to learn a lot about their viewing habits and tried different media planning approaches for each week. The data is really interesting, for example we have found that men are our primary target audience on TV, as they convert at a higher rate on our site. Even though buying a car is a joint decision, men are leading the research.
Q5. Why did they choose the diagrammatic angle as opposed to people being featured, Was it budget or something else?
A5. We were very clear about the objectives of our ad: It needs to be distinct and work for new car buyers, dealers and manufacturers alike. All our choice were made against this criteria, for example, if we showed one specific car, we might alienate buyers of other brands and peck our brand to the brand values of this specific car. The same holds true when choosing actors. We chose Michael Gambon as our voiceover as he gives the ad more gravitas and resonates well with the new car buyers: He is very British, well thought after and has a corner on the TopGear track named after him. It’s the perfect combination.
Using this approach and style also allows us to reutilize the advert globally with simply changing the voiceover to the language relevant to where it is being shown. This made the advert in some ways more cost effective.
Q6. What challenges did you face?
A6. You only have 30 seconds, so it took us some time to distil everything we wanted to say about Carwow into this short timeframe. Especially highlighting that it isn’t just about price, but also about convenience and customer experience, that there are benefits with the Carwow dealers associated with the platform.
Q7. What has been the response so far?
A7. We have had a great response so far. The TV ad ran for a month and we have had the highest record number of users and visitors to the website. Our brand awareness has increased. We have had more car dealers and car manufacturers coming to us and it has been a record month for sales. There are also secondary effects: more people have applied directly to the job opportunities that we have displayed on our webpage.
Q8. What’s next?
A8. We will be running the TV ad again in the UK during January, February and March, the peak months for car purchasing, so look out for it! We are also looking to utilize different mediums such as radio and billboards.
Q9. So in essence the TV ad has been a great success?
A9. Yes, I would recommend it to startups trying to raise awareness in their sector, but articulation and knowing your audience is key!
Look out for Carwow Advert showing on your TV screens in January, February and March.
In the meantime you can view it here, along with the making of it! – Carwow, The Way Forward


Leah Martin
Marketing, Communications & Events Manager
Events and Marketing and Communications. Platform and network, supporting our portfolio companies with events, PR and community. I love cooking and entertaining for my family and friends, discovering the tastiest and best restaurants. Travelling and enjoying walking in nature.



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