Auto Trader: The Awesomobile

How do you attract a highly-specialised audience who don’t always connect with ‘traditional’ media?

That was the task presented to TMP by Auto Trader, when they were looking to shake up people’s perceptions of what their business is. We needed to let our audience know that Auto Trader isn’t ‘just an old magazine’. They’re actually a 100% digital, forward-thinking, bold, fun company. We wanted to raise our brand profile with the elusive, in-demand Java developer community.

Awesomemobile

The Challenge

How do you attract a highly-specialised audience who don’t always connect with ‘traditional’ media?

That was the task presented to TMP by Auto Trader, when they were looking to shake up people’s perceptions of what their business is. We needed to let our audience know that Auto Trader isn’t ‘just an old magazine’. They’re actually a 100% digital, forward-thinking, bold, fun company. We wanted to raise our brand profile with the elusive, in-demand Java developer community. Individuals who demand meaningful, digitally-driven engagement with brands. And we also hoped to broaden our appeal with women. Faced with these challenges, we knew that cutting through in a crowded marketplace wouldn’t be easy.

The Solution

We didn’t believe standard outdoor posters were up to the task. So we set out to create a digital engagement experience that was just as innovative as our client, an experience that would generate lots of ‘free’ exposure through word of mouth and PR.

Meet the Awesomobile: a mobile-interactive-disco-DJ experience. An invention magicked-up, A-Team style, from a regular van we bought from the Auto Trader website (where else). Once we’d kitted it out with metallic scales, flashing lights, steampunk pipes, an LED screen, decks and a resident robot DJ, we were ready to take to the Manchester streets.

The centrepiece of our outdoor campaign, the Awesomobile entertained the public with its epic, eclectic playlist, belting out Rick Astley via Daft Punk. And our travelling show was also interactive: from the vehicle’s LED screen, the public picked the tunes, jukebox-style, tweeting them to us at #AutoTraderLife, and getting everyone talking about our weird and wonderful machine.

#AdventuresInAwesomeness was up and running.

“Quite a lot of people still see us as a magazine and don't realise that we are 100% digital. This changed that. The immediate reaction on social media was ‘Wow, what is this?’. We definitely challenged misconceptions about who we are.” Jane Fitzmaurice, Partner, AutoTrader

“You know you’re in the right job when you have your own travelling disco.” @DanyaBee, Auto Trader Java Developer

Benefits and Results

Our eye-catching experiment succeeded in raising the brand profile, generating significant social engagement and overall exposure from just five days of activity.

The likes, comments and shares we generated surpassed the passive exposure we might have achieved with static poster sites. We achieved 460 likes (active engagement) on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, and countless more views as proud employees shared the experience in their own networks. Best of all, Spinningfields retweeted us to their 81,000+ followers.

The Awesomobile was a hit with Auto Trader employees too: their Java Developers took to the streets to spread the message. We also made inroads in broadening our appeal – Auto Trader’s Glassdoor page saw a 24% increase in female visitors.