carwow’s disruptive new marketing campaign ‘Only WOW’ humorously highlights age-old car buying and selling pain-points

September 04, 2023 by

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  • New campaign fronted by Mat Watson, contrasts frustrations with ‘Only Wow’ experience consumers can expect when changing cars with carwow and its dealer partners
  • Creative is rooted in research which found that:
    • that nearly half (47%) of all motorists find selling a car stressful, while two in five (41%) feel the same about buying a car*.
    • For retailers – 31% say dealing with ‘tyre kickers’ is their biggest bugbear when dealing with potential buyers, followed by people not showing up to view a vehicle (29%)

4 September 2023, London: carwow, the UK’s leading online car buying and selling marketplace, has unveiled a disruptive new marketing campaign to coincide with September’s busy plate change month and carwow’s September savings campaign.

The creative comically highlights some well-known frustrations that drivers may have experienced when changing their cars in the past. This is contrasted with the ‘Only Wow’ experience they can expect when changing cars with carwow and its dealer partners, leaving behind all the hassle and headaches.

The campaign, fronted by Mat Watson playing the role of a burnt-out car buyer and seller, will be launched from Monday 4 September across YouTube, Meta and TikTok. Mat’s seen waiting for no shows with a ball of tumbleweed rolling across the shot, to reacting to mystery private buyers showing up on his doorstep for a test drive, complete with The Stig helmet, to driving a tiny toy car symbolising drivers’ concerns around not getting what they paid for from an online ad.

While the creative is tongue-in-cheek and designed to resonate with an audience on social media, the insight behind the campaign is deeply rooted in carwow consumer research.

carwow’s latest study indicated that nearly half (47%) of people find selling a car stressful, while two in five (41%) find buying a car a stressful process.

In a study conducted by carwow earlier this year**, the majority (58%) said getting a fair price is the most important thing to them when changing cars. Perhaps surprisingly, this was ranked even more highly than getting a car that works for everyday family life (43%). It also ranked more important than upgrading to a better model (37%).

* Censuswide study commissioned by carwow survey of 3,035 car owners between the age of 17-75 between 20.07.2023 – 21.08.2023
** Censuswide study commissioned by carwow of 1,308 UK drivers who own a car aged 17+ between 13.02.23 to 15.02.23

When thinking back to their last car buying experience, nearly two in three (63%) disliked something about the process – from it being time-consuming and inconvenient for nearly 1 in 4 (23%), to not liking having to negotiate (15%) on price.

In contrast, when asked what they valued most in the process, 1 in 4 (27%) said overall ease of doing business with a car dealer and knowledgeable sales staff made all the difference. 1 in 4 (19%) said they liked finding an easy way to get a valuation for their existing car, while 16% said fair finance offers.

It’s not just consumers who face challenges during the car buying and selling journey, however.

In a dealer-focused survey, nearly 1 in 3 (31%)*** of retailers polled by carwow said that when selling cars to the public, dealing with time wasters – ‘tyre kickers’ and those wanting only to test drive – was a leading pain point. This was followed by consumers not turning up to view a car (29%) and those who endlessly want to haggle on price (11%). Similarly, when buying a car from the public, nearly half (47%) of retailers said that inaccurate listing information is their biggest frustration, followed by seller’s having unrealistic expectations on price (45%).

When asked which are the most important factors when buying from, or selling to, the public, carwow’s retail partners said ‘being trustworthy’ (45%), followed by ‘providing a great customer experience’ (28%) and ‘offering a fair price’ (19%).

Sally Foote, UK Managing Director at carwow, said: “While we wanted to lean into humour for this campaign, it’s easy to forget that seemingly age-old frustrations can be felt across both sides of the car buying and selling journey.

“But it doesn’t need to be like this. At carwow – we’re here to give both consumers and our partners an ‘Only WOW’ experience and as a marketplace, we want to provide both sides with total car confidence. This creative is all about showcasing the ‘Only Wow’ car-changing experience carwow is able to offer motorists, which we can do only via our network of +3,000 trusted dealer partners.

“Our goal is really to smooth out some of those core pain-points that dealers often experience, when dealing directly with private car sellers. WIth our stock-sourcing service, we’ve taken huge steps in the last 12 months, to ensure that there are high quality vehicles available to our retailer partners to bid on. Our operations team of 60 people based in the UK and Portugal ensure that each listing comes with accurate information and lots of images, so that the vehicles are as close to as described on collection as possible. Our auction bidding system also means that there’s much less back-and-forth for dealers (and consumers), around price.

“When it comes to getting a new car, we know our customers are highly engaged and motivated and typically have done lots of research on our site, making multiple configurations of a make or model. All of this helps our dealer partners feel confident in the quality of the enquiries and leads coming from carwow for car buyers. ”

*** carwow dealer survey based on 60 respondents between 13.08.23 to 22.08.23

“We have record levels of participation going into our September Savings promotion from our dealer partners and we’re very excited to be launching this consumer campaign in such a pivotal plate change month to drive motorists to enquire with carwow. ”