Should dealerships use Waze ads?

Since its launch, I’ve been using Waze a lot, way before Google acquired it. It’s a great app with inbred gamification (which I’m sure contributed immensely to their astronomical growth).

Waze Facts


Launch Year: 2007

Founder: Ehud Shabtai

Headquarters: Palo Alto, California

Parent Company: Google

Waze Statistics

How many people use Waze?
90 million monthly active users
Last updated 10/27/18

Number of countries Waze has users in:
185 countries
Last updated 6/25/18

Number of countries Waze has 20,000+ monthly active users in:
38 countries
Last updated 6/25/18

Average monthly distance driven by Waze users:
10.5 monthly KM
Last updated 10/27/18

Average time users spend per month in the Waze app:
438 minutes per month
Last updated 10/27/18

Number of volunteer editors that update Waze:
420,000 volunteers
Last updated 10/11/16

Waze has evolved

Waze has evolved a lot since but two things got my attention.

First, when the ads came out, then last year, it was fully integrated with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

These features as you know, are being built into more of the cars you’re selling.

I see this a game changer for the advertising industry, as the screens in our vehicles are bigger than those of our smartphones.

It IS a game changer because something else got bigger: the ads themselves. And when it comes to advertising, size does matter.

The little banners take more space on siex, nine and even eleven inch screens!

But wait, does it makes them effective? Does it mean every dealership should advertise on Waze?

Before we answer the question, let’s go back to advertising basics!

You have a product: new or pre-owned vehicles, services and parts.

We have a platform: Waze.

You have an audience: Waze users, which is pretty neat because with more than 20 million users in North America. Also because you can bet almost 100% of their user base are drivers.

So what’s missing?

The offer

Always the deal breaker in any advertising scheme.

An strong offer is vital to any business,and Waze makes it harder for you because of the context.

Users seeing your ads are falling into three buckets:

1) They are driving.
2) They are close to your business or your business is on their way to your destination.
3) They are going somewhere.

Seems familiar right?

Remember those things called billboards?

That’s beside the point though.

Context is going to make or break your campaign.

Well, this is one digital way to interact with people driving in your surroundings.

But should you do them? That’s a different story.

As long as you dont expect immediate impact, you should. Waze ads is not direct response marketing. It’s closer to branding than performance.

The best ROI on waze is generated by local businesses such as gas stations, coffee shops or restaurants.

Perhaps if you see a Subway ad at 11:48 AM you’ll be tempted to hit the “Drive” button that’s in front of you.

On the other hand, you might skip the one that says “15% off on our brand new Chevy Silverado”. $50,000 purchases are usually not THAT spontaneous!

This is why dealerships have turned to service offers. But it’s not a perfect fit like 2 for 1 BigMacs at McDonald’s.

You might have a great deal on brakes this month, and you want to push it on people driving in your area. Or a free carwash when you buy 3.

These seem to be the best applications, as you want to drive foot traffic to your store right? Spare the change on a little Waze campaign, if you need help with that, we can do it with you.