The Future of Advertising: Self-driving Cars


Ok, nerds. We get it. Its 2015 and by now, everyone thought there would be flying cars. While we're not zipping around the city in cool Jetsons-like flying saucers. We do have a bunch of cars driving around San Francisco metro that can basically drive themselves. Which is still pretty cool in our book.

Over the last decade, there have been millions of tests and dollars spent trying to create a car crafty enough to get us from point A to point B, while keeping us safe and entertained.

While the driverless car makes stressful commutes a thing of the past, allowing passengers to free up their eyes and mind. What really matters to us (besides the super cool technology behind the driverless car) is, how driverless cars could drive new and exciting opportunities for marketers. Our hope is, the driverless car will open a number of opportunities for in-car advertising and out-of-car advertising.

In-car advertising

One idea that has been bouncing around the marketing and adverting industry is; driverless cars can have the equivalent personalization of smartphones. Sounds a little out there at first, right?

If you think about it, your smartphone is very different from every other smartphone out there because of the personalization you have created. Now think of how you can add a similar personalization to your driverless car.
This opens up opportunities for location based advertisers to hit consumers with ad's on the go - can you image your car recommending to stop by a pizza place because it was voted "The World's Best Slice" and you were only 2.5 miles from its location?

Or if you we're interested in which grocery store was offering the best deals, then you could have that information shared in your car. You could receive advertisements and notifications about the 2-for-1 cheese deal at Whole Foods.

Driverless cars also create a platform for entertainment corporations like Netflix and Hulu. These companies could decrease the cost of the cars if they're able to be a built-in part of the environment. Not far from that idea - in today's world, "Google's already been looking at how it can monetise free taxi rides in driverless cars - serving ads in automated taxis to passengers during their ride rather than charging a fare."

Out-of-car advertising

With drivers unrestricted from actually driving, there is further potential for advertisers and marketers to reach their audience outside of the car. Driverless cars could open a whole new world to the roadside OOH industry - which would no longer be held to the rules of preventing interactive ads and movements in outdoor ads.
Today's outdoor campaigns have to balance safety and personalization. In a world of passengers being driven to and from each location by a driverless car, allows for advertisers to further target their consumers and perhaps hold their attention for a longer period of time.

Privacy Concerns and your thoughts.

One the biggest distresses around this new adverting space is privacy. Consumers may fear they are being attacked and that marketers already have too much data about who they are.

What are your thoughts? Should consumers be concerned with this new potential lack of privacy? Will advertising be continuous in cars? Will you have to pay extra to remove ads? Will cars come pre-equipped with certain advertisements? Or are you still waiting for the Jetsons' flying car?


Brittany Clifford

Brittany is an account manager with over four years of marketing experience. Her background includes project management and brand strategy.

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