Role: Research Design, Strategy, Ideation, Pitch

Kelley Bode, CW
Brit Kern, XD
Jackie Koon, XD
Charlotte Savage, AD
Kyle Stolcis, ST



The Overview.

Since day one, Carvana had positioned themselves as “The New Way to Buy a Car.” Five years later, they were no longer new and their competitors had copied their model. They came to us asking what’s next; more specifically, what should our new brand positioning be & and how do we share that idea with the world.

They had been exploring the strategic territory, “Carvana is designed to delight.” We took that idea apart & put it back together in a way that won us the pitch.




It’s a tale as old as time; someone is so excited they finally found their dream used car & as soon as they drive it off the lot the check engine light turns on. When it comes to buying used, a majority of people think it’s “sketchy,” filled with folks who won’t disclose information to seal the deal. But, in this case, perception is reality. These stories are dime-a-dozen and, as a result, there’s no seller buyers feel they can trust. The impact? There’s no brand with over 2% market share - Carvana included.

Buying a used car feels like betting against the house and then ending up on the 48 month payment plan for your debt.


We hosted a sentiment sprint where 50+ people went through a set of activities focused on the used car buying & selling experience. Our key exercise asked folks to outline a comic - who’s the hero & the villain, what’s the conflict, and what’s the outcome. The arc was almost always the same - evil seller tries to dupe poor buyer who somehow walks away without paying a ton for something that’s secretly broken. Their expectations of Carvana were no different than the rest of the lot; this sad heroic tale.

While Carvana’s model was different, consumers didn’t trust it would deliver a different outcome.


Delivered to your driveway, dropped down a vending machine, or devoid of dealer fees, Carvana’s move away from brick & mortar hadn’t solved for the real consumer need. They had just made it easier, faster, and slightly cheaper to play the game. All people wanted was to know what they were getting and to pay what it was worth. That was a problem larger than Carvana, but something Carvana was uniquely suited to solve.. So, we set out to correct the category through the brand.

Delight in the f*cked up used car industry is a good car at a fair price with no games & no surprises.



The Strategy:

Rise above the used car games by delivering confidence through transparency.



You’ve read a lot already, watch for laughs.

With rising above the category games in mind, we asked:

Where is there a need for transparency in the current process, Carvana & beyond?


Why can carvana solve for those spaces?

Designed to Be Fully Vertically Integrated
They buy, inspect, sell & deliver all their cars, so they have the supreme power to change the holistic process, unlike competitors.

Desire to Humanize Car Buying & Selling
They exist to make car buying & selling more enjoyable.

Disclose *Most* Dings & Scratches On Site
They inspect at centralized center & annotate photos to show wear.

Deliver on Customer Service
While not every car arrives on time, they have great folks ready to help.

where’s the opportunity?

Unexplained Pricing
“Why does this 2016 Civic cost $2,000 more than this one if it’s only got 1000 more miles.”

Unclear Language
“What the f*ck is a power liftgate?”

Undisclosed Damage
“Why is my car two shades of blue if it has never been hit.”

Uncertain Delivery
“Why can’t I track my car like I track my pizza?”



We created a new standard of used car transparency 100% online.

Don't Pull THse

Transparent Pricing:
We helped people understand what goes into a car’s sticker price without disclosing our margins by adding a drop down that shows some of the factors.

Spec Translation:
We turned car talk into human talk so buyers could better understand what they’re getting.

We added an “about” section that introduces the car your way your verbose neighbor might describe his new whip in the driveway.

Carvana Site.002.jpeg

For the folks who don’t know what terms like Traction Control System mean (me, probably you), we created explanation videos & definitions that appear as you hover.

Carvana Site.003.jpeg

Carvana Facts Inspection:
To fully lean in, we designed our own branded inspection.

Carvana Facts looks at the same 150 criteria your big name CarFax plus the six they exclude (but your local mechanic never does). We then added in dates of repair to make buyers certain they know all that’s happened to their car.


Cardian Angels:
We extended that transparency post-delivery with our customer service. We branded our agents & assigned each buyer a singular point-of-contact from “7 days until your car arrives” until the end of their “7 day test own” so they always know who they’re getting.



We then showed how we could share that message with the world.


Transparently translating the things that matter on twitter:


A Taste of Transparent Traditional:



Carvana’s Feedback:

“That was amazing. How do we do this?”

-Carvana’s Chief Creative Officer

- Me

- Me