vroom-super-bowl-ad-goes-melodramatic-to-get-you-to-buy-a-car-online

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In this pandemic year, the Super Bowl will have fewer in-person fans, and some ads will be coming from newcomers, like this one from online car shopping site Vroom.Vroom’s spot makes visiting a car dealership look like actual torture, with kidnapping thrown in for emphasis.Instead of going to your local dealer, you can instead pay Vroom $600 to deliver your new used car to you, or $1000 if you want it dropped off in a covered trailer. Pretty much everything on TV looks a bit different nowadays, what with talking heads participating in video commentaries from their attic offices and musicians playing “live” in little video boxes all stitched together. This weekend’s Super Bowl between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs will not be any different, with just 22,000 fans in the stadium and many of the traditional big-time advertisers sitting this one out.

According to Newsweek, the cost of getting your spot in front of the 100-million-plus pairs of eyes Sunday is around $5.5 million, but without big spending from the expected brands such as Hyundai, Audi and Budweiser, the door is open for smaller companies to join the Big Game party. For instance, online car marketplace Vroom, which is placing its first ever Super Bowl ad in 2021. Volvo is also participating in the festivities, not with an ad but with a $2 million giveaway offer if either team scores a safety.

Vroom’s business model is to eliminate a visit to a dealership when buying a used car, replacing a potentially unpleasant trip with an online shopping experience, home delivery, and then a seven-day/250-mile test drive period. You also can’t haggle on the site, which is either a draw or a turnoff, depending on how you like to buy your cars.

Vroom’s Super Bowl ad doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to showing what the company thinks about car dealers, turning the salesperson character in the spot into a torture-loving psychopath who kidnaps potential customers and threatens them with electrocution via jumper cables. Can’t say we’ve ever had that poor an experience, but maybe we’ve just been lucky.

While the Super Bowl is viewed in many countries, Vroom currently operates only in the U.S., excluding Alaska and Hawaii. If you’ve got a vehicle you’re looking to get rid of, Vroom will buy it from you at a price determined by the company. Vroom says it sources its cars from across the country and only sells vehicles with accident-free Carfax reports.

Vroom charges a $599 nonrefundable fee to deliver a vehicle on an open trailer, or $999 for your new car to show up in an enclosed trailer. Alternately, you can pick up your vehicle at the company’s sole retail location near Houston, Texas, which it calls “one of the largest independent auto dealerships in the country.” If you visit, keep an eye out for a pair of jumper cables behind the manager’s desk.

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