Since launching its ads platform in 2012, the Google-owned navigation app Waze has run ad campaigns for several local and big-name advertisers. Now, it’s trying to become a bigger advertising platform.
“It’s really about coming of age and being clear on our value proposition,” Suzie Reider, the managing director of Waze Ads, said at a company briefing with reporters last week. “We do one thing incredibly well, which is getting people to locations.”
To start, Waze made its Zero-Speed Takeover ad unit available through Google’s programmatic suite. Media buyers can now buy the unit within Display & Video 360 — formerly known as DoubleClick Bid Manager — and target its 115 million users with first, second-, or third-party data.
Waze also integrated with Google’s buy-side ad server Campaign Manager, which lets buyers measure their Waze campaigns against other buys for reach and frequency, and partnered with IRI to measure in-store sales lift for packaged goods.
Waze has been pitching itself as a digital complement to out-of-home ads
Finally, Waze is increasing its play for out-of-home budgets. Waze has been making the rounds with agencies in recent months and offering them incentives to spend more with Waze through its Display and Video Incentives Program, a media buyer told Business Insider.
Last year, Waze named Todd Palatnek as its out-of-home business lead to get ad agencies to increase their out-of-home buys. It recently partnered with the ad holding giant WPP to grow its ad business and make traditional mediums like radio and billboards more contextual and better targeted.
Palatnek acknowledged he was “in a major education phase” with agencies, saying that while a lot of buyers used Waze personally, its product and advertising were new to them.
“One of the first things I say is, ‘We’re not in here to tell you not to buy OOH. We are here to tell you to keep buying it, but utilize Waze as a complement,'” he said. “Traditionally, when you’re trying to reach somebody in a car where you have a captive audience… you have radio, and then there’s OOH. We view Waze as the third leg of that trifecta.”
Business Insider obtained slides from pitch decks that Waze recently used to sell the platform as “digital OOH” to US ad agencies. The decks tout Waze’s audience — 30 million monthly active users in the US and 115 million around the world — and detail how it views the role it plays in OOH advertising, along with examples from brands such as Ikea and Disney.
Here’s how Waze is pitching itself to OOH advertisers: