Nine will relaunch the Drive brand as part of the network’s strategy to dominate the new automotive market, with the CarAdvice brand to retire next year.
Drive, which Nine inherited from its takeover of Fairfax Media in 2018, will relaunch with a new site and branding over the coming months. As part of the move, the CarAdvice brand, which Nine has owned since 2016, will be retired in the first half of 2021.
Both automotive brands have shared their content, product and commercial function since last year, however CarAdvice and Drive CEO Alex Parsons says Nine decided to axe the CarAdvice brand due to a cluttered market.
“For Nine, over the past couple of years we’ve been fortunate to own two of the leading automotive brands in the country – Drive and CarAdvice,” Parson says.
“In a crowded market we are building out a significant and differentiated consumer-focused offering across commentary, comparison and commerce. We are not beholden to the past but driven to the future.
“Strategically we recognised that the ideal number of brands for our consumers and clients is one and there was the opportunity to bring them together to consolidate the best content, functionality and user experience from the existing Drive and CarAdvice platforms onto a single new consumer proposition under the iconic Drive brand.”
While a recent Zenith report found that international auto ad spend is forecasted to shrink by 21% this year due to the pandemic, the sector is expected to make a strong recovery. According to the report, automotive ad spend is poised to outperform the market in both 2021 and 2022, with 10.5% and 11.4% growth, respectively.
Parsons says Drive will focus on the three key areas of commentary, comparison and commerce to grow the platform; with the aim of catering to the entire new car buyer journey, from research to purchase.
The new Drive branding was developed by Principals, which said it wanted to help Drive become a “go-to” brand in Australia.
“New car buyers today have access to an amazing array of online information and opinion, yet there’s no definitive go-to brand to help Australians find what’s best for them,” Bull says.
“Drive can be that brand, building upon its deep editorial authority, its mass-market familiarity and smart new tools, designed to help every car buyer find their perfect match,” says Principals’ Wayde Bull.
“We talked to dozens of OEMs and dealer principals who share the challenge of reaching meaningful numbers of informed and ready-to-buy customers in today’s highly fragmented media market. Drive has the best opportunity to build a highly informed and ready-to-buy audience at the scale the automotive industry needs.”
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