Used Car Startup Vroom Kicks Off Its Rebrand With Quirky New Work Directed by Tim and Eric

First spot aired in major automobile markets Orlando and Dallas

Vroom, which aspires to become the Amazon of used car sales, tapped comedy duo Tim and Eric—Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim of Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! fame—to direct its first campaign from Anomaly as it kicks off a rebranding initiative aimed at establishing the online used car retailer as a national household name.

The first 30-second TV spot, from Anomaly, was released regionally during the Dallas Cowboys NFL game on Sunday in Dallas and Orlando—two of the largest car markets in the U.S., according to Vroom. The ad is in true Tim and Eric fashion—it’s engaging, short and sweet, goofy and simple.

Plus, it features the likable actor Michael McMillian (who has appeared in various television series, predominantly HBO’s True Blood and What I Like About You). Watch McMillian as he hops from car to car, showcasing the ease of browsing for a used car online and having it delivered to your home, confusing a number of drivers in the process.

“The used car category is saturated with over-the-top spokespeople and cheesy promotions,” said Vroom CMO Peter Scherr. “This campaign tells it like it is and demonstrates how easy it is to get your next car with Vroom.”

Scherr said that pairing the relatable, down-to-earth McMillian with the popular comedic director duo in the ad represents “the antithesis of what the used car category is known for” and plays nicely into Vroom’s rebrand, which is being done in partnership with design studio Pentagram.

The strategy of the campaign (and ultimately also the rebrand) was to be “as real and authentic as possible, reflecting the transparent and straight-forward nature of our brand,” he added.

The rebrand comes with a new, sharper yet still simplistic red logo compared to the prior softer blue version (which Vroom said is too typical of tech companies; e.g. Twitter, Salesforce). Vroom and Pentagram also decided to use italic letterform to convey the feeling of driving a car.

“We focused on accentuating our brand name,” Scherr said. “The word ‘vroom’ evokes so much emotion and we wanted our brand identity to reflect that warmth, speed and energy.”

Two additional TV ads from Anomaly will be released in the coming few weeks. Vroom is already advertising nationally through digital marketing and plans to introduce other media like TV, out-of-home, radio and print in appropriate markets over time. Ocean Media handled the buying of the campaign.

Vroom, founded in 2012 and headquartered in New York, is essentially angling to be the Amazon of auto retailers—allowing consumers to conveniently shop online for used cars and then have them delivered to their homes rather than spending hours visiting car dealerships to be met with swindling salespeople. The startup’s competitors include Carvana and Shift. Earlier this month, Vroom filed to raise $70 million in new equity funding, after laying off about 30 percent of its staff in March and selling one of its locations in Dallas while shuttering another in Whitestown, Ind.

The company picked Anomaly as its first AOR last summer after a review that saw some of the industry’s hottest creative shops, including 72andSunny and BBDO, compete in a pitch managed by Ark Advisors.

@kitten_mouse Lindsay Rittenhouse is a staff writer at Adweek, where she specializes in covering the world of agencies and their clients.
@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.