Today’s vehicles have never been more connected and that's allowing leading marketers, agencies and automakers to transform cars into the next media and marketing platform.
At the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show, several major auto brands—including BMW, Ford, Nissan and Volkswagen—announced partnerships with Amazon and Microsoft to put voice AI systems into vehicles, promising to assist drivers with tasks like turning on lights, accessing security systems and opening garage doors.
Last fall, Ford went a step further, allowing drivers to order Starbucks using Alexa. “We don’t want to distract drivers,” said James Buczkowski, who heads up advanced engineering at Ford. “We don’t want to annoy drivers, but we do want to create value for consumers—what they need and when they need it.”
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.
Waze, the Google-owned app that helps drivers navigate traffic, 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.