Online car retailer Vroom goes from dark to Broadway musical light in new Super Bowl ad


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Online used-car retailer Vroom will advertise during the Super Bowl for a second consecutive year, with the help of pop singer and dance choreographer Mandy Moore.

The 30-second spot called “Flake” continues Vroom’s theme from last year about “flipping” car buying and selling on its head — but in an upbeat and livelier way.

The ad features a Broadway musical-style song and dance routine choreographed by Moore about the ease of selling a vehicle online to Vroom. That compares to Vroom’s first-ever Super Bowl ad last year that focused on the pressure of purchasing a vehicle through a traditional car dealer, almost to the point of torture.

Vroom Chief Marketing Officer Peter Scherr’s said last year’s ad was “well received” and provided a significant boost in awareness for the company, but executives opted for the lighthearted approach this year.

“This year is for sure upbeat and fun with the comedic devices we’re using,” he told CNBC. “It illustrates the roller coaster of emotions car sellers feel when they find a buyer on a peer-to-peer site who flakes on the transaction.”

In the new ad, a celebration breaks out in the streets after a woman believes she is about to sell her car, until the buyer backs out. That’s when the screen turns upside down – a common theme in Vroom’s advertising – to the seller’s car being picked up by Vroom. A voiceover then discusses never having to “deal with flaky buyers again.”

The mission of the ad also changed this year to advertise Vroom’s vehicle-buying service instead of its selling side.

The change speaks to the current state of the U.S. automotive industry. Used-vehicle retailers, including online ones such as Vroom and Carvana, have depleted inventories as a consequence of the ongoing shortage of semiconductor chips for new vehicles. More buyers — due to lower inventories and higher prices in today’s new-car market — are opting for used vehicles instead.

“Supply chain issues and economic factors started pointing to a seller’s market, especially for used cars,” Scherr said.

Shares of Vroom, which went public in June 2020, are down by about 27% so far this year.

Both of Vroom’s Super Bowl ads were produced by New York-based creative agency, The Vault.

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