autoTRADER.ca: The Most Cars in One Place

DDB Canada

Section I — Basic information

Business Results Period (Consecutive Months): February 1 2012 - July 31 2012

Start of Advertising/Communication Effort: February 1 2012

Base Period as a Benchmark: February 1 2011 - July 31 2011

Section II — Situation analysis

a) Overall Assessment

For over 25 years, in nearly every convenience store, one magazine was THE go-to-source for Canadians looking to buy and sell their used vehicles. A part of Canadian culture, autoTRADER's print publication business profited from car dealers who listed their used inventory in the magazines to expose their vehicles to a much wider audience. For many years, the formula worked. That is, until a little thing called the Internet came along.

With the shift from print to digital, the autoTRADER magazine format started to become outdated. Suddenly, Canadians had thousands of vehicle listings at their fingertips. autoTRADER made the decision to augment their magazine offering with online, entering the daunting, unfamiliar world of e-business. But balancing print with digital was a delicate act, which together with lowered barriers to entry in the market, resulted in consumer market share being eroded to the benefit of pure plays: Craigslist and Kijiji. A turning point for autoTRADER came they decided to go 100% digital to secure a larger slice of the dealer market, boost consumer traffic and build towards being the number one resource for consumers looking for cars once again.