Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

Carmax Finds Super Bowl Ads At Half Price

Used car retailer Carmax wanted to advertise during this year’s Super Bowl, but realized that its 100 locations were only within reach of half of the population.

Carmax retail store in Naperville, Illinois.
Getty Images

So company officials worked with CBS to buy four spots in each of the 48 local markets in which they sell their cars.

The company was guaranteed that its four new spots would run during pregame, during the core of the game, at the end of the game and in the local news following the game, according to Joe Kunkel, senior vice president of marketing and strategy for the company.

Kunkel said they bought the ads at roughly half the price of what it would have cost nationally. Retail on four 30-second ads would have been about $10 million.

“We’ve always been about finding the best way to do everything and we’ve had the same approach with our advertising,” Kunkel said. “We see ourselves as the thinking man’s car retailer, but we’re also going to find the thinking man’s biggest bang for the buck.”

Kunkel said that because the spots were bought through the local affiliates, the commercials might not air at the exact same time in each of the markets. The company is not talking about the specifics of its ads until they air.

Shares of Carmax have risen 137 percent over the past year.

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