Vroom, an online direct auto retailer that hopes to change the way Americans buy used cars, has chosen Anomaly as its first ad agency of record after a competitive review.
The company launched about four years ago and since then has attracted an estimated $295 million in equity funding. In July, the company announced it had finalized a Series F round worth $76 million.
CEO Paul Hennessy described his business as “one of the auto world’s best-kept secrets” as a startup that has already achieved more than $1 billion in annual revenue and now looks to scale its nationwide service offering. “That story deserves to be told and in a big way,” he said, adding, “We bring a disruptive model to an industry that hasn’t been disrupted since its inception.”
Since Vroom owns all inventory, its service can centralize the process of buying a used car much like Amazon. Yet Hennessy told Adweek public awareness remains low despite the company’s many fundraising rounds. He said, “When we talk to our consumers, they say, ‘Is this something that exists? You ship this car to my house, and I never have to leave to buy it?'”
Hennessy added, “Companies like Amazon paved the way. … We’re at the center of this transformation in the auto industry, and we represent the voice of the customer looking for alternatives.”
Even Anomaly partner and CEO Franke Rodriguez admitted his team members had never heard of Vroom when they first received notice of the review, but they were intrigued by its model. “These are the types of briefs we get out of bed for—the chance to genuinely change a category or behavior,” he said. “[The relationship] never felt forced with Vroom.”
In the review, which was managed by New York’s Ark Advisors and launched in April, Anomaly went up against some of the industry’s best-known agencies including 72andSunny and BBDO. According to people familiar with the review, Droga5 declined to participate.
Hennessy and Rodriguez declined to elaborate on the timing or specifics of the company’s first integrated brand campaign. One person who discussed the review in April estimated that the budget would be roughly $20 million.