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Online marketplace carwow launches new campaign ‘Only Wow’

Ali Mcclintock
Ali Mcclintock
SVP of Growth & Head of UKI
4 min read
4 September 2023

carwow, the online car marketplace, has unveiled a new disruptive advertising campaign ‘Only Wow’, led by global digital agency, DEPT®, and its in-house creative teams.

The campaign, which launches 4 September, will be rolled out across social media channels including Meta, YouTube and TikTok. It plays on common negative tensions that drivers typically experience when changing their cars, before juxtaposing it with the ‘Only WOW’ experience of changing a car with carwow and its dealer partners, giving the driver total car-changing confidence. 

The ads open with Mat Watson – carwow’s Chief Content Officer, car expert and presenter of carwow’s YouTube channel which has an impressive 8.3million subscribers – playing the role of the burnt-out car buyer and seller and reliving the less-than-wow experiences of using the traditional, alternative buying and selling methods. 

Over four 30” spots, carwow tackles various frustrations which motorists will be all too familiar with, in a humorous and ridiculous way – from low-ball offers “would you part-exchange with my kid’s bike?”, to not getting what you paid for – with the advert protagonist seen driving a tiny toy car, to waiting for no shows – with a ball of tumbleweed rolling across the shot. Until that is, carwow’s instantly recognisable giant inflatable blue WOW expands dramatically behind Mat, as he explains that carwow offers both car buyers and sellers an ‘Only-WOW’ experience. The ‘wow’ voice over from carwow’s successful TV ads – first run in 2021 – acts as an audio memory cue for audiences. 

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. 

Nearly two in five (38%) people in carwow’s research, said they feel concerned about being ripped off and one in three (36%) worried about facing hidden costs. More than two in five (43%) also admit they were concerned about making the wrong decision.

When thinking back to their last car buying experience, nearly two in three (63%) disliked something about the process – from not feeling certain they were getting a good price (16%) to the length of the process and having to negotiate (15%). 

Ben Carter, CMO at carwow, said: “Changing your car is a big deal in anyone’s life with the sums of money involved in many purchases being second only to buying or selling your home. But, our research showed that 40% of drivers are worried they wouldn’t get a fair price when selling their current car. 

“We think there’s a lot getting in the way of feeling ‘wow’ about the typical experience motorists have, and that’s what our campaign brings to life – whether that’s timewasters, no show’ers, tyre-kickers, jargon-users, the up-sellers, “Sorry it’s already sold” or  the “how about I give you £3k less” negotiators. 

“At carwow we make the car changing experience ‘Only Wow’ – we offer consumers great value, market-wide choice, total convenience and of course, a service they can trust.”

Jeff Bowerman, Executive Creative Director at DEPT® said: “They say don’t lead with negativity in advertising, but anyone who has bought or sold a car before knows it’s not always the smoothest experience. Rather than pretending these experiences don’t exist, being able to highlight the ‘wow’ of carwow’s service – through the relatable ‘less than wow’ experiences we show in the creative – was a really fun campaign for us to create which we hope will see great cut-through.”

To see the full creative, click here:
Choice –
Convenience –
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SVP of Growth & Head of UKI

Ali Mcclintock