Nine to relaunch Drive and retire Car Advice: ‘The ideal number of brands for our consumers and clients is one’

Nine is combining its automotive platforms under the Drive brand, announcing it will relaunch the platform as part of a major strategic product rollout that will see the Car Advice brand retired in 2021.

The relaunched Drive brand has been created by branding agency Principals, created to position Drive as the dominant consumer brand for its digital automotive offering.

Drive’s Rebranded Logo

Drive and Car Advice have shared content, product and commercial functions across their separate platforms since 2019, but the Drive rebrand will see Nine move to one brand and one platform.

Car Advice has been owned by Nine since 2016, having been founded by Alborz Fallah and Anthony Crawford in 2006. The pair, along with presenter and expert Paul Maric exited the business twelve months ago. Nine then inherited the Drive brand from Fairfax when the brands merged in 2018.

Drive and Car Advice CEO Alex Parsons said merging the platforms would bring together the best parts of both brands.

“Where Car Advice has its own energy, rich enthusiasm and passion and deep knowledge across the industry, Drive is grounded in its 25-year heritage as an authoritative, familiar and broad auto brand in the minds of Australians,” he said.

“The commonality is that both are seen as highly influential and trusted by car buyers. We want to materially develop those strengths and provide a world-class offering to consumers.”

Parsons also highlighted the three key areas that underpinned the clear vision to create the future of automotive in Australia, promising the new platform will combine commentary, comparison and commerce.

Drive and CarAdvice CEO Alex Parsons

“For Nine, over the past couple of years we’ve been fortunate to own two of the leading automotive brands in the country – Drive and CarAdvice. In a crowded market we are building out a significant and differentiated consumer-focused offering across commentary, comparison and commerce. We are not beholden to the past but driven to the future,” he said.

The Drive purpose [click to enlarge]

Changes to consumer and commercial experiences as a result of the revamp will roll out progressively during 2021. “Of course, the only constant in this world is change and our mantra is to be the best of what’s next, so expect plenty in the coming years as we drive towards the future of automotive in Australia,” Parsons added.

Wayde Bull from Principals said Drive will be the definitive, go-to brand for Australians and the automotive industry. “New car buyers today have access to an amazing array of online information and opinion, yet there’s no definitive go-to brand to help Australians find what’s best for them,” he said.

“Drive can be that brand, building upon its deep editorial authority, its mass-market familiarity and smart new tools, designed to help every car buyer find their perfect match. It’s a brand of scale that the industry is eager to get behind too. We talked to dozens of OEMs and dealer principals who share the challenge of reaching meaningful numbers of informed and ready-to-buy customers in today’s highly fragmented media market.

“Drive has the best opportunity to build a highly informed and ready-to-buy audience at the scale the automotive industry needs.”

Parsons championed the power of the Drive brand and the future of the platform, saying Drive had everything it took to become the number one player in the new car space.

The differences between Car Advice and Drive [click to enlarge]

“Strategically we recognised that the ideal number of brands for our consumers and clients is one and there was the opportunity to bring them together to consolidate the best content, functionality and user experience from the existing Drive and Car Advice platforms onto a single new consumer proposition under the iconic Drive brand,” he said.

The branding relaunch is the beginning of a longterm digital strategy for Drive, with a new digital product offering to follow in the coming months.


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