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Rideshare Advertising: An Emerging Opportunity In DOOH

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By Mike Peralta, VP and GM of Marketing Solutions, a division of T-Mobile USA

 Over the last year, evolving trends and policies aimed at increasing consumer privacy have caused marketers of all sizes to explore alternative approaches for connecting with consumers. The implications of these changes have opened the door for emerging channels to become mainstream.

One channel that’s seeing massive growth is digital-out-of-home advertising (DOOH). As consumers cautiously emerge from their homes, we have seen a resurgence in demand for DOOH advertising. According to eMarketer, DOOH ad spending in the US is expected to reach $2.58 billion this year – up more than 63% since 2020.

And it’s easy to understand why: While traditional out-of-home advertising is arguably the oldest medium in existence, DOOH offers a new level of sophistication, scalability and reach. By coupling video with DOOH technology, buyers can create immersive and interactive experiences for consumers on the go. According to MediaMath, DOOH content is 2.5x more impactful than static displays.

Meeting modern consumers where they are today

But not all DOOH advertising is created equal.

While billboard, transit and street furniture DOOH screens are great for brand awareness, they generally can’t offer audio or immersive video experiences. They also can’t guarantee one-to-one consumer-to-brand engagement. And that’s why rideshare advertising is catching the eyes of major marketers.

This new channel enables marketers to reach a broad audience with greater exposure and high viewability rates: Based on the last 12 months of data from Google Ad Manager, rideshare video ad completion rates have averaged 99% compared to the 81% industry average. And according to a 2021 Nielsen study, the average number of riders in an Uber or Lyft vehicle is 2.2 excluding the driver, allowing rideshare advertising to create a one-to-few customer experience as opposed to the one-to-many model used in traditional DOOH.

Rideshare advertising combines video, CTV and DOOH technologies inside Uber and Lyft vehicles for audiovisual experiences. Brands like Wendy’s, Fox Entertainment and Philo have activated interactive video ads, reactive surveys and branded games through rideshare advertising, creating a “lean-in” experience for consumers to connect with brands.

Rideshare advertising also gives marketers access to a highly sought-after audience: The majority of rideshare users are young, affluent, adult cord-cutters who live in urban and suburban areas. After nearly two years of working from home, pausing social outings and putting business and personal trips on the back burner, these consumers are getting back to their pre-pandemic travel routines.

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In 2020, 65% of rideshare users said they had stopped using rideshare services due to concerns about COVID-19. But more than a year later, Uber bookings jumped in 2021 – 114% in Q2, 57% in Q3 and 51% in Q4 – a signal that rideshare apps are here to stay. Brands like Lexus, JPMorgan Chase, Disney and Coca-Cola are already using rideshare advertising to connect with audiences that are difficult to reach through linear TV.

DOOH advertising has evolved. At a time when consumers are adjusting to new norms and trends in advertising are changing rapidly, marketers have an opportunity to leverage new channels to create better, more diversified digital experiences. Rideshare advertising is one of the most promising developments in DOOH, presenting a great opportunity for brands and savvy marketers.

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