Saumya Tewari
Advertising Home for used cars

The online auto classifieds platform sharpens its focus on the used car segment.

CarTrade, an auto classifieds website that connects consumers and dealers, has positioned itself as the ultimate destination for buying a car. The platform has rolled out a television campaign with the message: "Car Hai Lena, CarTrade Hai Na! (If you have to buy a car, look no further than CarTrade). Home for used cars
Created by Madison, the thirty-seconder features a dog named Rocky who shares his woes with the viewers, explaining how he has been chasing cars for years but hasn't yet managed to find one that pleases him. Then, one day, he sees his friend Bosco, zipping by stylishly in a car of his choice. Bosco introduces Rocky to the CarTrade app helping him find the car of his dreams. Home for used cars Home for used cars
Speaking about the campaign, Bharath Sastry, business head - consumer, says that television advertising has helped them create awareness about the platform and its offering. Registering around four million unique visitors on a monthly basis, CarTrade currently has over 1.3 lakh listings of used cars.

"At present, the number of used, and new, cars that are created every year are the same. We estimate the used car segment to grow significantly year-on-year. Though our communication talks about finding the car of your choice, we have highlighted the used car features of the product," says Sastry.

CarTrade, which has more dealer listings for used cars than consumers, targets males and females in the 25-50-age-range, across SECs. "With cars becoming affordable and used cars prices going down, an increasing number of consumers are considering buying a car," notes Sastry.

According to him, the platform's traction comes from a mix of first-time car buyers and people looking for an upgrade. CarTrade also offers a certification service - its in-house engineers inspect the car thoroughly before it is listed on the platform. There is no additional cost levied on the owner for the service. The platform generates revenue both from manufacturers (display banners) as well as dealers.

Sastry believes although the used car segment has immense potential in the Indian market, the biggest challenge is to keep the consumer continuously engaged by communicating the various features that CarTrade has to offer. A typical media mix, he feels, is a judicious use of television and digital. The company plans to make its product more technologically advanced and provide consumers with a wide array of choice when it comes to buying a car.

Speaking on the campaign, Raj Nair, chief creative officer, Madison BMB says, "CarTrade already has great traction in the used cars space by being the preferred choice. We needed to increase consumer pull by increasing awareness. And we have done this with a clutter-breaking creative rendition that focuses on finding the car of your choice and making it truly easy. We are beginning with TV and there will be online and other media renditions to follow."

The campaign has been released in multiple languages including Malayalam, Kannada, Marathi and Tamil. Launched in April 2009, is promoted by Vinay Sanghi, the former CEO of Mahindra First Choice. Rajan Mehra, managing director at Nirvana Venture Advisors and former country head of eBay India is a founder-director in the company. Shareholders include Canaan Partners, Epiphany Overseas Ventures and Warburg Pincus.

In October this year, the portal raised Rs 185 crore from investors, led by an affiliate of Warburg Pincus, with participation from existing investors Canaan Partners and Tiger Global. CarTrade competes with and, which also bring car information to consumers.

Differing opinions Home for used cars Home for used cars
Rajiv Agarwal, the former executive creative director of Percept/H, who has launched his own creative agency Madness India Communications, believes that the campaign does not strike a chord with the intended audience. "I mean, if your promise is 'if you need a car, you'll find it at', would you really resort to this?" he asks. In his opinion, it is a waste of effort. He further adds that it is difficult to articulate the creative idea. "And I'd be delighted to be proved wrong with this one," he concludes.

Jagdish Acharya, founder, Cut The Crap, has a totally different take. He dubs it as a piece of 'a clever mind at work' to have brought alive a rather plain sales pitch with an arresting idea - dogs running after cars make for a literal analogy. The execution is neat and nice," he says. He, however, suggests a far more interesting brand revelation like the hassled hero (Rocky) sniffing and snooping to discover CarTrade!

Have news to share? Write to us