October 18th 2016

Moving Beyond Billboards and Radio.

Posted by Will Shadbolt

Historically, marketing to drivers has relied heavily on billboards and radio spots. After all, there are only so many ways you can advertise to someone who needs to have their attention on the road. As technology has improved, though, so have these methods: i.e., digital billboards. But now, electronics have reached the point where marketers can expand their advertising techniques.

OnStar Business Driver is an in-vehicle ad platform. While its main focus is advertisements, it goes beyond just that. Dubbed an “infotainment center,” it will also display vehicle information such as oil levels, tire pressures and directions on screen so that it expands farther than a marketing tool. General Motors will install it in over 2 million of their vehicles by the end of 2017. 

GM has conducted considerable testing to ensure that messages are not distracting. Information will be presented in short clips, allowing drivers to focus on the road while still receiving new updates from businesses. In addition, the device lets drivers to pick and choose what kinds of commercials appear.

And, thanks to GPS technology, the OnStar Business Driver can show drivers geo-targeted ads, like nearby restaurants. Also, because GM knows the identity of the driver, demographic information can also be a factor when deciding what to send to certain drivers. For example, the owner of a performance vehicle might receive ads different than what an SUV driver gets; a car owned by a millennial could display messages not applicable to older age groups. Some have speculated that it may be able to analyze your car and show ads for products you need, like an oil change. 

A writer at MediaPost tried it out in a 2016 Chevy Camaro at Dreamforce, a convention put together by Salesforce in San Francisco, CA. Promotions for both Starbucks and Gap came up. Clicking on the clothing store ad brought up directions and sent a coupon to the vehicle owner’s email inbox. 

Companies already partnered with GM include Groupon, Exxon Mobile and Priceline, and more are sure to follow as the OnStar Business Driver is tweaked and improved upon. A second version is already planned for release in the beginning of 2017 that will focus more on transactions. As technology continues to improve, this tool could lead to further innovations. Maybe the GPS will one day be able to record what stores you often visit and tailor ads based on that. Or, if self-driving cars take off, OnStar Business Driver will team up to enable the vehicles to take you to destinations.

OnStar isn’t the only one targeting consumers. We at Giovatto Advertising also utilize this technology. With our system, “geo-fencing,” we send messages to customers at your competitors’ stores—filtering out employees who go there every day—and continue for two weeks so they can see your deals and products. Watch a video explaining its features below. And, with our 28 years of experience, you can trust Giovatto to get you the consumer traffic you want. Contact us today!


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