- Media and music identification app Shazam and Google's navigation app Waze are both crafting distinctive, highly creative mobile advertising experiences, according to an analysis in AdExchanger.
- Shazam has shifted from making money through affiliate links to iTunes to an advertising-centric revenue model as more music lovers subscribe to streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music. Shazam now sells full-screen takeovers for $100,000 apiece that give brands a larger canvas without limiting access to its marquee song-detection service. And, last year, the company added a camera feature and started experimenting with augmented reality (AR) to make real-world products "Shazamable."
- Waze sells branded pins for a $2 CPM that embed an advertiser's logo onto its map to indicate the nearest store location. When users tap the pin, Waze navigates them to the store and serves a coupon to download at the destination. The app also allows takeovers for brands when a car is stopped for more than three seconds.
Advertisers have always had to walk a fine line between engaging an audience and annoying potential customers by being too overbearing and intrusive. Shazam and Waze are demonstrating creative ways to get advertisers onto their apps without having to spend a fortune on producing rich media units that are also more effective than traditional banner ads.
While rich media units are engaging, they're expensive and harder to scale to a broad audience than programmatic banners; however, banner ads don't always look great on mobile devices, and they often get a bad rap for ruining the user experience. Both apps demonstrate mobile advertising's potential when companies think creatively and consider users' potential circumstances while engaging with the respective apps, as AdExchanger highlights.
Shazam extends linear TV campaigns to mobile by embedding Shazam's logo in a brand advertiser's spot as a call to action for users to search for the song, according to AdExchanger. After looking up the song, mobile users see the ad on their phone with a product coupon. With Shazam's relatively new camera feature, users can point their smartphone at some products and search for or engage with them online. The app's logo appeared on 150 Frito-Lay brands, urging users to try the AR app features and enter a sweepstakes. Chip bags were scanned 500,000 times in the first month of the campaign, Shazam's Chief Revenue Officer Greg Glenday told AdExchanger.
Waze, on the other hand, uses geolocation data to track when users are driving and can't look at an ad, or are stopped long enough to potentially peek at their phone. Full-screen takeovers allow brands to take over the map screen when a driver stops for more than three seconds, AdExchanger reported. Waze also uses third-party data to personalize ads, like promoting Michelin snow tires when it's snowing in Chicago or Dunkin' Donuts' iced coffee when it's above 80 degrees. Because Waze is owned by Google, the app has greater flexibility and resources to experiment with creative ad formats without being compelled to sell programmatic ads.