With 154 locations in 12 states, America’s Car-Mart has its own “building good” mission. They help customers who may not have the best credit score get into a dependable vehicle they can afford and keep them on the road successfully until the last payment is made. Stone Ward’s challenge was to help them build on this mission by increasing awareness of the Car-Mart brand in high opportunity markets and by driving more online credit applications and ultimately sales.
In developing the creative strategy for the campaign, we leveraged research that showed our potential customers’ worry over a low credit score and nervousness about coming to a dealership as top obstacles. We needed a way to show our targets that Car-Mart could deliver on their brand promise to get them on the road in an affordable, reliable vehicle that enables them to get their kids to school, them to work, or wherever they want to be. In short, they needed a Dream Car.
After listening to Car-Mart customers tell their stories, it was clear that to our niche subprime target, a dream car isn’t necessarily the classic definition of a dream car. Their dream car is the one that lets them live their best life. So we used customers on set with their cars to tell their stories and break down the apprehension that we knew our target felt.
A carefully crafted, data-driven media strategy leveraged a relatively small budget compared to category giants and included a myriad of tiered traditional and digital channels across all America’s Car-Mart markets.
America's Car-Mart Paid Social
As a result of the campaign, Car-Mart has seen double digit increases in online credit applications and overall credit applications, including some of the biggest monthly increases in their 40-year history. Sales have continued to grow and the brand is moving into new markets. Shared values often create shared success.