Taking a new way of working to a whole new audience


Like almost all of us, Auto Trader have been designing a new way to work that brings the very best out of their people. With a stunning new campus and a big focus on collaboration, they wanted to encourage people back ‘into the office’ – but with the flexibility for them to work how they work best.

They called it ‘Connected Working’.

Auto Trader were also growing, particularly in digital and sales. It called for an external campaign that would attract the candidates they needed.

It was a perfect opportunity.

From internal to external

Connected Working is an internal initiative, but it had so much potential for external attraction. We developed a campaign that would appeal to our target audiences by:

  • Celebrating how Connected Working means different things to everyone at Auto Trader
  • Using it as a way to retain a strong and positive culture
  • Showcasing Auto Trader’s beautiful new campus
  • Showing how Connected Working helps people be at their best.

After all, who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

Building the foundations

Their positive culture, great new campus and hybrid way of working would be a big draw for the right people. But we needed to show – not just tell.

So who better to bring the campaign to life than their own people? Sharing stories from real people on how Connected Working supports them to be at their best, it included:

  • Real people with different passions, personalities and responsibilities – from working parents to those returning to work after a break
  • Real experiences of how Auto Trader empowers them to be their best
  • Authentic photography and video that really means something
  • User-generated content that’s relevant and interesting.

Telling stories

There were powerful and insightful stories to be found all over the business. But pinpointing them and encouraging people to tell them is a little more complex. Especially when we needed to share them in a way that was:

  • Reflective of the diversity of Auto Trader
  • Consistent
  • On brand whilst allowing everyone’s unique personality to shine through
  • Authentic in feel with a professional polish.

In short, how could we enable people to show how they’re supported to be their best?

We started by finding the stories

  • We ran focus groups with Auto Trader’s digital and sales teams to find out all the ways they were empowered to be at their best
  • We then identified people with particularly compelling or relatable stories
  • Next came interviews to get the detail we needed for the campaign
  • After that were video and photoshoots in and out of their office to bring it all to life.

People got really involved and we got some great content. But once our cameras stopped rolling, we didn’t want momentum to stop.

We needed to make it easy for colleagues to continue sharing their stories.

The ‘At your best‘ playbook was born

Much of our attraction activity would be delivered through social channels. So, whenever anyone wanted to create a story, the playbook and a supporting guide would give them all they needed. Visually, it includes advice and direction on:

  • Snapping the best possible photos to support their story – taken both in and out of work to get a fully-rounded picture
  • On-brand colour palettes
  • The fonts that Auto Trader use
  • The most dynamic layouts.

Finding the right words

In terms of messaging, balancing authentic storytelling and candidate attraction was vital too. So, our playbook also included:

  • Headline styles
  • Examples to show how they work – inspired by, or directly taken from, what was said in the focus groups
  • Advice on writing your own headlines
  • Guidance on writing for social platforms
  • Lots of examples of different types of social posts for the campaign
  • Questions on how to get the best stories from people.

Keeping the wheels turning

Auto Trader’s ways of working will evolve. New people will join. And different stories will be lived. The playbook will support it all, to keep the campaign fresh, real and easily adaptable as things change.