Zambezi Hypes Autotrader with Cars 3 Tie-in

By Erik Oster 

Zambezi collaborated with Autotrader and Disney-Pixar for a spot promoting both the online car shopping site and the June 16 release of Pixar’s Cars 3.

The 30-second cross-promotional effort centers around the concept that, like the characters in the movie, each car has a different personality and Autotrader lets you tailor your search for the right fit. If you’re looking for speed, there’s a search option for an 8-cylinder engine, for “tire-loving” cars there’s performance tires and a “tow package” for “the reliable one.”

While the cross-promotional strategy works on paper, some of the search terms and related vehicles come across as a little forced. We’re not sure what makes a vehicle with cruise control “the motivational one,” for example, and “alternative” seems a pretty broad category for the “green-thinking” VW van. That’s not an unusual criticism for a cross-promotional spot and the concluding, “Every car has a personality, find the one that fits yours,” line does at least tie things back to the brand fairly well.

“Every Car Has a Personality” will make its broadcast debut during TNT’s coverage of the NBA Playoffs. and will also run on channels including Bravo, HGTV and Univison Deportes. The campaign will also include digital and radio initiatives on channels including Hulu and ESPN Deportes Radio, a social media component adn Cars 3 imagery on Autotrader’s homepage and mobile app in the leadup to the movie’s June 16 release.


The effort comes on the heels of another ad personifying cars, Zambezi’s “Save The Cars” mock PSA in February.

“Collaborating with Disney-Pixar’s ‘Cars 3’ was a natural fit for Autotrader for more than the obvious reason of the spotlight our iconic brands share within the automotive space,” Autotrader vice president, marketing Jessica Stafford said in a statement. “Much like the Cars franchise, Autotrader shares a personal connection with people of all ages and at all life stages, and we feel this is reflected in the playful content we developed with the Disney and Pixar teams to further drive excitement for our brand and the upcoming premiere of ‘Cars 3.'”