In-vehicle ad competition on the way


Radio has long fended off all comers when it comes to dominating the advertising space that exists within the confines of the private automobile. But a new competitor is getting ready to enter the market, bringing with it unique targeting ability – the GPS system.

The push is coming for GPS data-provider NAVTEQ, which feeds the information to GPS systems that allows them to do what they do. If the GPS is ad-enabled, NAVTEQ can target ads to the occupants on the vehicle based on location, context and user demographic information.

It conducted a survey of those owning an ad-enable GPS system, and found that 19% of those who noticed an ad clicked onto it for further information, and 6% actually visited a business establishment as a result of the ad.

The system, LocationPoint™ alerts a driver to the fact that they are in the proximity of, say, a fast food restaurant. It can also get coupons and other promotional material to the occupants.

Of the 757 people surveyed, 72% said the ads were an acceptable part of the GPS experience.

“This type of advertising reaches out and finds a consumer when they’re most open to making purchase decisions,” says NAVTEQ sales exec David Klein, “It’s a vehicle that grabs the attention of a consumer near point of purchase and as the technology matures, it will offer increasing opportunities to interact with the consumer in ways that will deliver substantial benefits to advertisers.”

RBR-TVBR observation: Radio can’t tailor an ad to the specific community grid in which a driver happens to be, but otherwise it already offers the same point-of-purchase opportunities, used creatively by the right kind of client.

And we have to say, we don’t personally own a GPS device, but if we do get one and it asks us to opt in for commercials, our initial response will be a resounding NO, just as it is with telemarketers (unless we feel compelled to check it out for professional reasons).

It should take some time for this to become a competitor for anything more than a few morsels of the advertising pie – but it could very well develop enough strength to start siphoning cash away from radio stations, and bears watching.