At CES They Are Coming After The DASH


Marketers see the future and it is on the automobile dashboard promoting a movie, telling drivers where the closest fast-food location is, or how to navigate to the nearest Starbucks. AKQA Media Managing Director Scott Symonds tells AdWeek, “Radio once held drivers hostage as the only form of in-car entertainment. It was ideal for the frequency and localization of messaging. It was a great advertising opportunity that’s sort of fallen out as terrestrial radio has shrunk a little bit.”

Symonds tells the magazine marketers will make cars and the brands inside them more useful. That could mean increasingly localized ad buys on maps, ad-sponsored charge-ups for electric vehicles, or brand-subsidized LTE or Wi-Fi.

In the article entitled “How Marketers are Turning Your Car Into a Branded Experience,” AdWeek‘s Marty Swant writes that in December, GM debuted Marketplace, an in-dash platform that lets drivers reserve tables at restaurants like Applebee’s, order from coffee shops like Dunkin’ Donuts, and find gas stations such as Shell. A few months earlier, Adobe’s new platform let marketers analyze users’ driving habits while targeting in-car audio ads powered by Sensei, its AI platform. Mindshare, for instance, is working with Pandora to create audience segments based on who’s behind the wheel.

Swant says that Google’s traffic app Waze already has brand-sponsored tools. “Along with sponsored location pins to the nearest McDonald’s or parking lot, Waze uses data-powered audio ads, and famous characters tell drivers where to go while subtly promoting their upcoming movies. Suzie Reider, head of Waze ads in North America, said its next step is helping drivers in other ways after partnering with Allstate this fall to provide roadside assistance.”


  1. No matter how hard radio uses other methodologies to gain entrance to the minds of consumers, it will not be successful until the advertising it produces is more listenable and, of course, more effective.
    Only when radio accepts that premise and makes the necessary adjustments will it even have a chance at growing its business.
    Take a number and wait for your turn in the confessional.
    Absolution is still available.

  2. Not sure how well this will work out. I’m already bothered by pop-ups on Waze – sometimes getting in the way of trying to find my destination. Notifications and other popups also obscure some of the navigation….
    In a world where people are pushing back (reportedly) against commercial content – or content they’re not interested in -does it make sense that marketers want to be more intrusive? Was a time when some forward thinking radio people were trying to develop a system of entertaining commercial content. Apparently it wasn’t the path of least resistance because we’re still bombarding people with intrusive marketing. I just heard a national commercial that starts with a conversation about “number two”…and that’s not part of a winning lottery number.


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