Go Auto launches first integrated campaign

The dealership network and online buying platform is addressing misconceptions as it looks to expand.

Auto dealership network and online car buying platfrom Go Auto is going where it’s never gone before: launching an integrated campaign to address brand misconceptions ahead of plans to expand.

The digital creative,”Let’s Go,” lays out multiple car-buying scenario in a series of vignettes, involving welders, an expecting family and nightclub-goers looking to find cars, as Go Auto attempts to be all things to all people.

Michael Hladun, SVP at Go Auto, tells strategy that the marketing challenge for the company is the breadth and scope of segmentation it has to attract and to build brand familiarity. All the different slices of life and demographics represented in the creative, is meant to drive home the brand message of “cars for life,” and that the company is meant to serve all. This includes people buying $250,000 Porsche models, and also someone in the market for say an $18,000 Kia.

Hladun says the Edmonton-based company has done a “significant amount of advertising, but in the past it’s all been highly tactical and driven to generate leads for sales.” While the company’s insights show it has high aided and unaided awareness – particularly in northern Alberta, where half of its dealerships are located – comprehension and familiarity with the brand was quite low. Hladun says at the highest brand level, many consumers don’t know what Go Auto does, and there’s a perception that it’s “just a used car dealership,” something the creative addresses with simple messaging pointing to the 11,000 vehicles that can be browsed through its online portal.

Regarding the competition, Hladun says Go Auto lists all its new and used inventory on Auto Trader, but that Auto Trader is also a market platform that provides listing from private sellers and other dealerships as well. He says the call to action is for millennials, in particular, to visit GoAuto.ca, where they can do other automotive buying-related things like apply for credit, which is a differentiator from other online platforms.

Hladun admits that the mindset of millennials is affecting the automotive buying market, given their fondness for ride-sharing. However, he says, “they shop like everyone else” in terms of doing online research. For that segment, it’s all about offering a “quick and easy experience” that is trustworthy and has fair prices. Millennials are also less concerned about loyalty and family ties to a particularly dealership compared, he says, making an online portal that shows stock from multiple dealerships a particularly good fit for the demo.

The brand is also in the fourth year of a sponsorship with Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid, who is appearing in an accompanying OOH element. In previous efforts, the brand has done some TV spots that aired on Sportsnet, and has held contests for meet-and-greets with both McDavid and Wayne Gretzky.

“We have a strong association with hockey, and Ford is a high-level Oilers sponsor and with the NHL,” Hladun says, adding that sports are a highly viewed segment of media for prospective car buyers.

The “Let’s Go” campaign launched on television and online across Canada on Jan. 13. Toronto-based agency Round handled the creative elements, its first campaign with Go Auto since being picked as its AOR last year.