Self-driving cars were once thought to be a sci-fi dream, but they are now a reality. While everyone is still debating the benefits and drawbacks of driverless cars, companies around the world, including Google, Daimler AG, Tesla, Volvo, GM, and Baidu, Inc., have already begun developing them. According to predictions, by 2030, one out of every four cars on the road will be driverless.
Advertisers use billboards and radio to attract people inside cars, hoping that the driver and passenger can recall the commercial. However, there are so many advertisements and radio commercials that much of the time they are overlooked by the time the individual arrives at their destination. That’s why advertisers would benefit greatly from self-driving vehicles.
Radio advertisements can be shown on a screen in the car, and passengers can buy the item right away. The car will drive them there or whenever the product is ready to be picked up. The same is true for billboard advertisements—they can reach the vehicle as well as the car screen, and passengers can buy the item right away. The advertiser would have a better chance of increasing revenue.
It is anticipated that the technology would connect GPS directions in self-driving cars to social media advertising served on passengers' smartphones. If anyone sees an enticing commercial, shop during the ride will send a message from the smartphone to the car's GPS, directing it to the advertising company's nearest spot.
According to popular belief, the car would be one giant machine. When the passengers shop online, they can do so in the vehicle because they do not need to keep their eyes on the lane. And the best thing is that the car will take you to the location where you ordered the object, which may be a department store or a warehouse. Consumers would quickly follow this because it reduces delivery wait times and, in some cases, is much more convenient than one-day shipping.
Some argue that advertisement would not look significantly different than it does now; rather, today's location-based, personalized ads would reach new interactive extremes. Don Richards-Boeff, product head at advertising company PureCars, envisions a future in which cars will be tracking every move of their riders. Cars “will be capturing so much information about you, like where you go, what businesses you stop at, and how long you’re in your car. And, frankly, that data’s going to be for sale,” Richards-Boeff said.
Once a rider is inside a car, “your attention is focused on things that have nothing to do with going from Point A to Point B,” and instead will allow for an increase in time spent on streaming video. This increase in entertainment time will correspond with an advertising bombardment. “It’s going to be highly engaged, personalized video and it might even be a video that feels like someone spent a really long time on it,” he said, artificial intelligence may create a video ad based on music and streaming choices as well as travel over the last week.
A company that can incorporate your travel history, consumption history, entertainment history, and search history would be the most competitive in the local advertising market soon. Since consumer vehicles can evolve into entertainment vehicles, companies must be able to tell, “We can put your business in front of those captive consumers better than anyone else,” to win in the space, he said.
Cross-channel advertising opportunities in this fully immersive environment could combine the offline mediums, where commercial ads would sponsor your video content or streaming TV series; an outdoor/billboard type of environment where a product placement or still ad billboard could pop up before any article or organically flash across your screen as you geolocate near a particular store or brand, and radio spots could be micro-targeted for your demographic and sponsor podcasts and music channels. And of course, there would be digital banners and pay-per-click (PPC) targeting your computer and mobile devices.
Although it may seem to be another invasion of personal space, the in-vehicle experience would be more personalized, with customized experiences based on previous interests, online activities, and histories. Consider impromptu restaurant or activity suggestions. The vehicle could also be configured to carry passengers directly to recommended destinations if they were opted-in.
So, what should brands keep in mind as they continue to incorporate in-vehicle ads and marketing into their media mix? Modern self-driving cars will change the way people think about transportation and change how people act inside them. It will bring a whole new level of personalization to the brand experience in that if an advertisement appears in your car, you can click on it and the vehicle can physically transport you to where you will directly experience the brand or the offering.
On the other hand, overstimulation of ads may clearly be a problem, as the audience starts to become numb or tuning out the many stimuli. As a result, just as marketers work hard today to add value, they will need to continue producing content that is brief and engaging, and that the customer is truly interested in.
When you realize that the average person spends approximately 17,600 minutes a year driving, it's not a stretch to imagine how that consumer's time will increase once self-driving cars and other automated modes of transportation become the norm. And that growth speaks volumes about how critical an in-vehicle medium might be for marketers in the future.
Marketers will need to continue collaborating with data scientists and technologists on geo-targeting and using the vehicle as a massive beacon to improve consumer segmentation and location. Marketers who are adept at developing highly personalized, value-added content for their brand that genuinely resonates with their in-vehicle-engaged audiences will be successful.
dKilo pays people for being stuck in traffic by pushing digital ads to their cars and sells the digital ad space to companies and brands through an intelligent impressions' based online ads manager platform.
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