In a multi-screen world, there are countless places advertisers can are able to target and reach prospective customers. They can promote a tweet while you're scrolling for news on your phone after you first wake up, or blast you with a pre-roll video ad when you've sat down to surf the web after work.
But one time marketers have trouble reaching consumers, even today, is when they're on the road. Billboards provide little in the way of consumer data to target ads, and the proliferation of mobile devices has caused people to spend less time listening to ad-heavy FM and AM radio. Meanwhile, a person already in transit is an ideal target for a marketer trying to lure customers to a given location.
But now, Harman's Aha Radio, an app that works on the smart dashboards of more than 40 car models, has an advertising product that breaks through these barriers. By teaming with the location marketer Placecast, Aha will offer an advertising service that determines where people are when they're driving and then sends relevant advertising offers to their dashboards. Drivers can then redeem the offers using their smartphones.
The Harman is testing the product with a campaign from Quiznos, whose chief marketing officer Susan Lintonsmith told the New York Times that she hopes the promotion will create a "radio on steroids" effect for her brand.
Geolocation ads have long been thought of as a holy grail for marketers, and Placecast is one of several companies hoping to figure it out, along with competitors Loopt, Shopcast, and Roximity, whose deal-finder app is installed in Ford vehicles that carry the automaker's Sync technology.
Here's a video showing how the ads will appear to people driving in their cars, starting at about the 50-second mark:
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