A Viking Is Shamed for Buying an Overpriced Sled in Autotrader’s Latest Campaign

It’s 72andSunny’s first work for the brand

autotrader 72andsunny first ad viking sled
Humor is a departure from Autotrader's previous messaging. YouTube: Autotrader
Headshot of Minda Smiley

Online car marketplace Autotrader is banking on humor to spruce up its messaging in a campaign out of 72andSunny New York, which took the reins of the account earlier this year.

The campaign was directed by Derek Waters, the creator of Comedy Central’s Drunk History. In the 30-second spot, viewers are taken back to 750 BC where a Viking admits to his friend that he had no idea what he was doing when he made a recent sled purchase. Turns out, he got ripped off.

Their conversation is abruptly interrupted when another Viking makes herself known via a loud, drawn-out beep from her pickup truck so she can sing the praises of Autotrader’s tie-up with Kelley Blue Book, an auto valuation tool that lets users compare prices.

“Buying a car is an emotional process,” Greta Crowley, vice president of marketing at Autotrader, said in a statement. “In a new direction for Autotrader, the campaign diffuses the stress of car buying with humor and brings the fun and personality back into the shopping experience.”

The spot will run nationally throughout the fall during the MLB playoffs, Monday Night Football and other major programming.

Autotrader tapped 72andSunny to handle creative work following its split with Los Angeles agency Zambezi at the end of last year.

The brand’s latest spot marks a departure from the work it did in partnership with Zambezi, which mainly focused on the large selection of cars available on Autotrader.

“There’s a deep commitment from Autotrader to take the pain and uncertainty out of car buying. Which is pretty awesome because, since the dawn of humankind, car buying has been incredibly painful and filled with skepticism,” said Bryan Rowles, executive creative director and partner at 72andSunny New York, in a statement. “This campaign has some fun with the historical drama around car buying that we can all relate to, while offering up Autotrader as the (finally) easy, fast and reassuring option.”

Last year, Autotrader collaborated with Conan O’Brien on a 10-minute piece of branded content about the talk show host helping his assistant buy a new car.

@Minda_Smiley minda.smiley@adweek.com Minda Smiley is an agencies reporter at Adweek.