- Online used car retailer Vroom will advertise during Super Bowl LV in a bid to increase awareness of the company.
- The ad, called "Dealership Pain," features a car buyer being pressured by a used car salesman almost to the extent of torture with jumper cables.
- Vroom purchases and sells vehicles online without requiring customers to go to a dealership.
Online used car retailer Vroom is buying its first Super Bowl airtime Sunday to introduce the company to the roughly 100 million fans that watch the game every year — and to make fun of its competition.
Vroom purchases and sells vehicles online without requiring customers to go to a dealership. Its 30-second Super Bowl ad called "Dealership Pain" focuses on the pressure of purchasing a vehicle through a traditional car dealer.
"We felt like the Super Bowl was going to be that kind of opportunity for us to get that message across about our brand promise, which is you never have to go to a dealership again," Vroom Chief Marketing Officer Peter Scherr told CNBC. "We felt like that was a way to get a new normal for us in terms of consideration of Vroom for buying and selling cars. And we are going to continue with that momentum throughout '21."
Vroom's business is similar to Carvana, a larger e-commerce platform for buying and selling used cars. But instead of targeting such a competitor, Vroom decided to focus on physical dealers in general – a much larger market than Carvana's customers who are already aware of online car purchasing.
"The way we see it is our key competition are traditional dealerships," Scherr said. "There's plenty of room for us to be successful in the Super Bowl as well as Carvana continuing on their path of success."
Vroom CEO Paul Hennessy added: "It just didn't make sense to pick out one of the smallest players in the space and then compete with them. We're competing with where our customers go, which fundamentally is traditional dealerships."
Vroom's ad features a car buyer being pressured by a used car salesman almost to the extent of torture with jumper cables. As the customer pleads to leave, the salesman leans to attach the jumper cables to him. As that happens, the chair and scene rotate to the man sitting on his front yard with a woman taking delivery of a vehicle from Vroom. "Well that was painless," the actor says as the vehicle is being delivered.
The Super Bowl ad is part of an ad campaign for Vroom featuring similar spots, including one called "Dealership Deceit" that aired during Sunday's AFC Championship game for the NFL.
Both Hennessy and Scherr expect the Super Bowl ad to continue to grow awareness and business for Vroom, which went public in June.
"We're thinking long-term and in building a business for the long-term," Hennessy said. "We expect Vroom to be a household name."
Vroom's sales increased 86% through the first three quarters of last year to 10,860 vehicles, leading the company's revenue to jump 62% to $630.5 million during that timeframe compared to 2019. That compares to Carvana with sales of nearly 172,000 vehicles and revenue of $3.8 billion during the first nine months of last year. Both companies are unprofitable.
– CNBC's Megan Graham contributed to this report.