The automobile has always represented an appealing space for advertisers primarily because it is home to a captive audience.
With television, advertisers rightly worry that their targeted viewers will go to the bathroom, grab a snack, read their phones or simply fast forward with their DVR during a commercial.
Drivers, with their attention necessarily focused on the road ahead of them, have no such alternatives. They can always change the radio station or fast forward their podcast, but that forces them to be distracted from their primary task -- driving -- and they are generally more content to simply listen to the ad.
As technology has advanced and the emergence of the connected car has defined this decade in automotives, the car cockpit has grown substantially more appealing to marketers. The specificity, relevance and customization that marketers can offer on connected car platforms can make their ads all the more appealing.
That was the thinking behind Telenav recently launching a connected in-car advertising platform for automakers.
Telenav's offering consists of a connected software system that will actually serve the ads in vehicles as well as the rest of the in-car advertising value chain. This means that, for automotive OEM clients, Telenav will perform everything from ad targeting to ad sales to campaign management, in addition to the delivery of the ads themselves.
"Connected, intelligent cars provide OEMs with new opportunities to roll out innovative features and services," Telenav CEO HP Jin noted in a statement. "Telenav's In-Car Advertising Platform provides an exciting new opportunity for OEMs to monetize connectivity to cover service costs and even drive healthy profits while enriching the consumer experience with safely-delivered, engaging and relevant offers."
Relevant is a key term here, and perhaps the most significant value add that Telenav promises over existing in-vehicle advertising.
Leveraging information provided by the connected car ecosystem like geographic location, destinations, and frequently traveled routes, Telenav's system can improve the likelihood that ads will appeal to the drivers that are hearing them. A driver heading home in the evening, for example, could be prompted with a coupon offering a discount for a family-sized pizza deal. Gas stations could choose to target advertisements towards nearby vehicles that are running low on fuel.
Safety is another critical component of Telenav's platform.
A recent study by AAA showed that most existing infotainment systems can be dangerously distracting for drivers. That won't be so with ads served by Telenav. Ads will only appear when a vehicle is at a full stop, and will automatically disappear when a driver propels the car into motion or interacts with other elements of the infotainment system.
Ads can still be annoying, and undoubtedly the connected car advertising systems of the future will upset a few drivers.
However, if there's one thing that makes being sold something more tolerable, it's the fact that the item being sold is actually something you need. And that is exactly what Telenav is offering with its new in-car ad platform.