‘Distraction–free’ advertising: WPP and Waze’s new idea

Now they can reach consumers any time and any place, advertisers often get carried away. They can’t always contain the urge to push things to the limit.

WPP has announced a new partnership with Waze, the Uber driver’s favourite navigation app, to make it easier for retailers to target people when they are behind the wheel.

There seems to be some concession to the idea that this might be dangerous, as WPP and Waze are keen to point out that the collaboration will deliver “distraction-free advertising,” but that seems to miss the point – what’s advertising without distraction?

Waze, which is owned by Google and has 100 million monthly active users, is described as an “in-car platform,” which also sets alarm bells ringing.

It will be safer once we are all in self-drive cars, but then we won’t be looking at navigation apps anyway.

Stephan Pretorius, chief technology officer at WPP, said: “WPP already brings the most creative, technology-led ideas to our clients to generate growth. Through our innovative partnership with Google, we’re now able to give clients exclusive access to Waze software that puts them in the driving seat to influence the shopping habits of the future.”

Samuel Keret, global director of Waze Ads, said: “We are excited about the opportunity to collaborate closely with WPP and its global client base, sharing best practice and creating optimal solutions to drive in-store foot traffic for WPP’s many consumer product clients. This is the first collaborative relationship Waze has undertaken with agency partners to explore and identify shopper marketing-specific creative solution needs.”

The initiative was developed after a Google and WPP “Swarm” session, which is a series of regular hackathons.

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About Emma Hall

Emma Hall
Emma Hall is the former London Editor of Ad Age, where she covered European marketing advertising, digital and media stories. She has written for newspapers including the Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and the Telegraph, and was previously a section editor at Campaign. Emma started her career in New York as a researcher for a biography of Keith Richards.

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