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Cars As a Media Channel


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Between developments in mobile technology and consumers' insatiable demand for mobile access, cars are the next device ready for innovation. Mobile will create a new ecosystem in which phones, cars, homes, and even city infrastructure will communicate, giving brands and marketers an unprecedented opportunity to connect with customers in specific locations. This report shows examples of existing products and offers ideas for how brands can implement their own campaigns.

Published in: Marketing
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Cars As a Media Channel

  1. 1. Cars As a Media Channel April 9, 2014
  2. 2. The car of the future is coming. Image courtesy of Collider/NBC
  3. 3. © 2013 IPG Media Lab. Proprietary & Confidential Okay, maybe that’s wishful thinking… The real evolution is the “connected car”—mobile- enabled cars— which will offer marketers new ways to reach consumers on the go. 3
  4. 4. © 2013 IPG Media Lab. Proprietary & Confidential Three keys to the connected car 1. Cars mirroring mobile phones 2. Apps created specifically for the car 3. Streaming data to and from the car 4
  5. 5. © 2013 IPG Media Lab. Proprietary & Confidential Mirroring Mobiles: MirrorLink instantly connects phones What it is MirrorLink is a technology developed by RealVNC to provide a simple solution to car connectivity. Via a common USB cable, MirrorLink mirrors your mobile phone’s screen to a touchscreen in the car’s head unit. ! Why it matters MirrorLink is an immediate answer to the consumer’s desire to use their phone while in the car. 5 Image courtesy of Valeo
  6. 6. © 2013 IPG Media Lab. Proprietary & Confidential Mirroring Mobiles: CarPlay integrates iOS What it is Apple’s CarPlay puts iOS in the dashboard. The system is fully hands-free, and Apple claims it is predictive as well. By requiring less interaction from the driver, it adds up to safer driving. ! Why it matters Apple products draw a core user base to new technologies by making them mainstream and easy to use. With Apple involved with over a dozen car companies, it’s safe to say that the era of the connected car is officially here. 6 Image courtesy of Apple
  7. 7. © 2013 IPG Media Lab. Proprietary & Confidential Car Apps: Ford SYNC adds utility What it is Ford’s SYNC platform has been available in new Fords for a few years now, and it represents the beginnings of car-specific app development. Early leaders include Domino’s, with their release of a SYNC app that orders pizza; and, with an app that can book lodging. ! Why it matters Car-specific apps represent the next step in integrating cars into the mobile ecosystem. App developers will be able to create travel-oriented apps, redefining utility and giving marketers more opportunities to create brand experiences. 7 Image courtesy of Crutchfield
  8. 8. © 2013 IPG Media Lab. Proprietary & Confidential Car Apps: Citibrain coordinates parking What it is Citibrain creates forward-thinking solutions to problems with urban life. They have developed a real-time “smart parking” management system that uses networked sensors to manage parking facilities. ! Why it matters The smart car experience shouldn’t stop when the car does. By providing drivers with the information they need to park in crowded areas more easily, everyone can benefit. Retail shops can incentivize shopping in-store by subsidizing parking or offering premium spaces for loyal customers. 8 Image courtesy of Delaware Business Daily
  9. 9. © 2013 IPG Media Lab. Proprietary & Confidential Streaming: Radio pushes offers to cars What it is Apps like Pioneer AppRadio, iHeartRadio, Pandora, and TuneIn offer customizable, radio-style stations via dash apps. The included advertising can be tailored to data from the car including location and the driver’s personal tastes. ! Why it matters Radio has been a mainstay in cars for generations, but connected cars open a world of new possibilities for advertisers to reach drivers. It’s very possible that rather than directing listeners to call, advertisers will be able to send information and offers directly to the car if the listener pushes a button or says “okay.” 9 Image courtesy Pioneer/iHeartRadio
  10. 10. © 2013 IPG Media Lab. Proprietary & Confidential Streaming: Devices report data back 10 What it is Mojio and similar products use wireless transmitters connected to the diagnostics port in cars to collect data and turn it into useful insights. ! Why it matters In addition to giving consumers more access to their car’s information, they lay the groundwork for more sophisticated exchanges of information between drivers, manufacturers, and marketers. They’re also open source, so developers can extend their capabilities constantly. Image courtesy of Mojio
  11. 11. © 2013 IPG Media Lab. Proprietary & Confidential So how does this affect brands? 1. Consider what aspects of your service or product are useful to someone on-the-go 2. Update measurement 3. Be action-oriented 11
  12. 12. © 2013 IPG Media Lab. Proprietary & Confidential 1. Consider what aspects of your service or product are useful to someone on-the-go It doesn’t make much sense to put Vine in the dashboard, but certain services lend themselves to in-car experiences. By being sensitive to a user’s existing interests and behaviors while driving, brands can provide a positive user experience, updating information access and entertainment while on-the-go. The app, for instance, is ideal for road trippers or business people who making last-minute client visits. ! For your consideration: • How does this value differ from your existing mobile (phone app) offerings? • What would you need to do to convert it into a car-friendly experience? • Are you open to consumer tinkering/adaptation? 12
  13. 13. © 2013 IPG Media Lab. Proprietary & Confidential 2. Update measurement When it comes down to it, cars are about places: points A, B and everywhere in between. Brands stand to win big with connected cars by gleaning previously impossible insight on where their consumers are at any given time. Brands that react in a timely manner to those insights can create new opportunities to interact with their consumers in a more seamless way. ! For your consideration: • What kinds of locations can benefit from accessing nearby audiences in their cars while in transit? • How does location-targeting change if the user listens to a home station while traveling across the country through a service like TuneIn? • What information can you return to your customers as a value-add? 13
  14. 14. © 2013 IPG Media Lab. Proprietary & Confidential 3. Be action-oriented Triggering consumer action has always been the goal, and with consumer cars, marketers have a direct path to a captive audience. By meeting their needs and providing direct paths (roads) to satisfying desires, brands can use the connected car to maximize engagement and boost their bottom lines. Remember that it doesn’t have to be limited to an event that occurs within the car—as with Citibrain, it could involve interaction with city infrastructure or brick-and-mortar retail. ! For your consideration: • The days of the “call now” push are over:—how can you make your ads immediately actionable? • How does the brand experience extend from the car to the retail location? • What other partners or services are needed to succeed? 14
  15. 15. © 2013 IPG Media Lab. Proprietary & Confidential Thanks! We hope you’ve found this POV interesting and provocative. If you have questions or want to talk more about the future of media, please contact us: ! 212.883.4751 @ipglab 15