In the Driver's Chair
Posted: 1/6/2014  |  By: Nu Yang
Canada’s Postmedia Network wants readers to “kick the tires” around its newly restyled automotive product. Driving. The website (driving.ca) went live in October and now offers readers more than double the content.    

Vice president of digital businesses Cole Reiken called the relaunch more of a “pivot.”  

“We’re realigning ourselves to our core audiences (new car buyers and heavy online auto users) and providing them with what they want with content, tools and products,” he said.  

The website covers breaking car news, car reviews and auto events. Driving’s team of journalists are located across the country and provide a local feel to each newspaper. Postmedia Network is parent company to 10 Canadian publications, including the National Post and the Vancouver Sun.   

Reiken said much of the development time was spent making Driving available on four platforms: print, desktop, mobile and tablet. “We wanted to be available anywhere,” he said. “We studied the habits of our consumers and found them engaging with the screen. We saw an increase of usage with tablets and smartphones and realized we were behind on our old platform.”  

Hoping to create a one-stop destination with its content, Reiken said the website’s redesign did not come from a “traditional approach.” Instead, it relied heavily on large photo galleries, videos and road tests.   

“We wanted to show cars as really beautiful things,” Reiken said. “(Consumers) are looking at interior and exterior photos. It has a rich, glossy feel to them. We want them to experience the road test.”  

According to Reiken, Driving reaches nearly 2 million Canadians weekly across all platforms.  

“More people are coming to the site than before,” Reiken said. “They’re in the market to buy a car. It gives national and local car dealerships unique advertisement positions because they can reach wider audiences on more screens.”  

Reiken said his team works closely with advertisers to “tailor their needs” whether it’s with their print or digital products. Custom digital ad options include animations, videos and still images.  

Looking ahead, Reiken said this new version of Driving fits into the company’s overall strategy because it’s building audience engagement and building a differentiate experience.  

“(Driving) is helping our audience of new car shoppers grow and helping advertisers reach in-market consumers,” he said.