Doner Steers Car Site to TV Sports

ATLANTA AutoTrader.com launched a new television commercial this week as part of its continuing advertising on National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball games on CBS, the company said.

The 30-second spot illustrates the ease of using the AutoTrader.com by depicting a shopper searching the Web site. The ad introduces the new tagline, “The smarter place to buy and sell a car,” and the voice of actor Christian Slater as narrator.

The spot will air throughout the regular college basketball season, during the NCAA tournament and during the national championship game. This is the sixth year that the Atlanta-based company has been a regular advertiser on NCAA basketball games on CBS.

After the basketball season, AutoTrader plans to introduce national print, radio and online advertising, in addition to new TV spots, the company said. Slater’s narration also will be used in the new TV and radio spots.

AutoTrader’s last new TV ad was introduced Sept. 8 on ABC’s season opener of Monday Night Football. That 30-second commercial showed a man putting a “For Sale” sign on his car and immediately being surrounded by potential buyers.

Doner in Southfield, Mich., created the new ad. Doner has been AutoTrader’s agency for the past six years.

Campaign spending was not disclosed. AutoTrader spent $24 million on advertising in 2004 and $27 million through October of last year.