Mobile

Waze Ads: Social driving app kicks off location-guided mobile ads

Always on the lookout to be a bit different, the social driving app Waze is today launching its monetization strategy, Waze Ads. Yes, it’s a mobile advertising platform — but thanks to Waze’s dedicated user base of 30 million and unique functionality, it’s mobile advertising with a fresh new coat of paint.

Waze describes its platform as a “location-guided advertising platform.” The company is relying on the fact that its users are typically driving to a specific location. Since Waze knows where you’re going, it can serve you useful ads from businesses along your route. Waze says its typical users spend more than 440 minutes per month within the app, which gives it plenty of opportunity to serve relevant ads.

The news follows the launch of version 3.5 of Waze’s iPhone app, which added some useful social driving capabilities.

Initial launch partners for the ad platform include Dunkin’ Donuts, Wyndham Hotels, and Jamba Juice. Waze says it also surpassed projections from brands like Best Buy, Shell, and B.P, based on analysis from their existing campaigns. We already have plenty of mobile ad platforms trying to promote relevant deals while we’re on foot, so it makes sense that Waze would have good luck with targeted ads when we’re behind the wheel.

Waze says 20 percent of its customers search and navigate to restaurants, while 15 percent do the same for fast food, and 10 percent for coffee shops. The company says 50 percent of its customers report making pit stops during errand drives, and 30 percent do the same while shopping.

Waze is based in Palo Alto, Calif. and has raised over $55 million thus far.


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