Vibrant Cashes In on ‘Clunkers’

Vibrant Media, which delivers contextually relevant ads tied specific words to content Web sites, has enjoyed a solid boost in business from the U.S. government’s “Cash for Clunkers” program.

The online ad seller—best know for ads which appear when users mouse over highlighted and underlined words—began running campaigns from Nissan and Toyota around July 24, when the program was launched, leading to unexpected heavy demand. Though Vibrant officials were unable to comment on specific clients or spending, sources said that the two four-week campaigns have each brought in incremental dollars in the six-figure range.

Both auto import brands’ campaigns are live on various news- and auto-related sites, including, as both companies have deliberately sought to leverage the flurry of news surrounding the popular program. “We were very quickly able to put together ad offerings,” said John Sedlak, Vibrant’s senior vp, sales/strategic alliances. Vibrant was able to offer brands ad packages featuring over 400 keywords. “We knew there would be a lot of press.”

Initially, Congress allocated $1 billion for the Clunkers program, which allows people who own older, less efficient cars to trade them in for up to $4,500 in credit for a new vehicle. After the funds nearly ran out in a week’s time Congress and President Obama moved to add an additional $2 billion to the program, which is anticipated to last until October.

Vibrant officials are now hoping the extension leads to more brands jumping on the in-text tactic. “We’ve got more clients interested in seeing what happens in September, said Gabe Greenberg, Vibrant’s senior vp, autos vertical. “People are really watching to see what is going to happen in the market. For us, we hope the government’s budget lasts as long as they expect it to.”

Nielsen Business Media