An automotive success story in the digital space.
Wheels is a highly respected Canadian editorial automotive publication of the Toronto Star that was looking to extend its success into the digital space. As with most publications, the move into web wasn’t an easy transition, especially in a highly competitive market. By leveraging brand equity, focussing on core strengths—and most importantly—listening to our audience, Wheels.ca was rebranded and redesigned to maximize the user experience.
The old Wheels.ca logo was re-invented into a modern, yet timeless wordmark that bears unique iconic properties. The "w" paired with the red 11's mark makes for great visual short-hand in special use cases.
The wordmark's unique "h" design was created to help the "w" stand on its own. When used together, the "h" lines are merely a mnemonic design device that triggers instant brand recognition.
While red is known for its stopping power, it is equally recognized as the most aspirational colour in automotive history. The suite of greys are also common in the automotive industry, but here they are used to add distinction and recognition to the brand. They help secondary colours assigned to the various lifestyle sections standout.
Typefaces were tested against several criteria until the final typeface was determined. The final type was selected for its high legibility over long text and uniqueness. An entire type hierarchy was developed and standardized for both print and online usage—facilitating the development process.
The vehicles we own is a reflection of us at every stage of our lives. Our mission was to capture that essence—create awe and inspire—and make Wheels.ca the authoritative voice in the Canadian automotive landscape.
To do so, we needed to develop new article structures and content. Create an advertising strategy that offered less ads, but better targeted user interests for an improved click-through rate. It meant creating layers of diverse content to engineered to submerse users in a media rich experience.
BOLD ARTICLE FEATURES. Unique article carousel presenting the latest articles, videos, and targeted user advertising.
IMPROVED EDITORIAL CONTROLS. A backend article management tools with article health analytics was created to manage and rank content. Tool was engineered to learn user preferences and adapt content.
ENRICHED MEDIA. Full integration of video content provided through the acquisition of Driving Television.
UNIQUE SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES. Integration of buying tools created brand awareness and conversions for advertisers based on where the auto intender is within the buying funnel.
SPECIALTY LIFESTYLE FEATURES. Wheels is more than cars, it's about their role vehicles play in our lives and the memories they become a part of.
IMPROVED BUYER EXPERIENCE. Improved research tools and resources are offered throughout the site, steering users through the sales funnel.
Article support content.
Every vehicle or lifestyle article is supported by additional details that allow users to explore further and interact in a deeper, more meaningful way.
Every make, model, and year is available at your fingertips. Every vehicle profile is chock full of details from pricing, engine, dimensions, safety, equipment and other specifications—including 360º vehicle views in every available colour. We even help drive users down a sales funnel for either a new or used vehicle.
A new culture, a fresh look, and a seamless experience across all devices. The new dynamic advertising system sparked user interest and drove it down the sales funnel. Here's a 6-month post-launch snap shot.
Tripled annual revenue within the first month of site launch through new sponsorship opportunities.
Time on site.
Within the first 6 months of site launch through new sponsorship opportunities.
Organic monthly unique visitors.
Monthly page views.
Within the first year.
"We signed up for UI/UX. What we got was much more. More users, more ad revenue, and a great ROI."
Jonmichael Moy, Managing Director