Ugly Duckling Launches DGWB Ads

‘Life Sucks Without a Car,’ Says Auto Sales and Finance Company
LOS ANGELES–DGWB targets those without a set of wheels in its first campaign for Ugly Duckling Car Sales.
The estimated $10 million effort –the Irvine, Calif., shop’s first for the used car sales and finance business since winning its account late last year–focuses on a new tagline, “Life sucks without a car.” Five TV commercials and four radio spots broke in late January in spot markets in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, Georgia and Florida.
One 30-second spot, “Taxi Ride,” shows a young couple on what appears to be their first date. As they sit in the back of a car, the guy leans in to kiss the girl, but is interrupted by loud CB dispatch noises. The camera then pans back to show that they’re actually sitting in the back of a cab, with the driver up front reading a newspaper. The tag appears at the end of the spot.
A second spot, “Bus Stop,” features a woman impatiently waiting at a bus stop. Despite her attentiveness, she still misses the bus as it goes speeding by.
“We wanted to prove that Ugly Duckling understands exactly how people without a car feel and that their experience with us will be professional and straightforward,” said Karen Janssen, the client’s director of marketing.
The Phoenix-based company operates the nation’s largest chain of used car dealerships that focus solely on the subprime market–consumers with bad or no credit. Founded in 1992, it has 58 dealerships in seven states, and allows customers to apply for credit online.
DGWB won the business after a review of shops nationwide, including fellow finalists Santy in Phoenix and Intermark Group in Birmingham, Ala., according to Janssen. Previous ads were created by Arizona freelancers.
Separately, DGWB has lost its Toto USA account to Henderson Advertising in Greenville, S.C., which was named agency of record. There was no review. Billings are estimated to be in the $2-4 million range. –with Jim Osterman