The Drum Awards Costa Coffee Technology

Costa Express: targeting drivers through location based sat nav ads


By Awards Analyst, writer

May 15, 2017 | 4 min read

Waze and Zenith Optimedia won the award for 'Best Use of Location Based Services' at the MOMA Awards 2017. Here they explain the background, objectives, strategy and results of this campaign that helped make it a success.

Image of in use app - Costa

Executive Summary

During the cold, winter months Costa Express wanted to help fuel Britain's workforce, those out on the road who would be in need of a pick me up.

In 2016 Waze officially opened its UK ad sales operations and immediately started talking to Costa and Zenith Optimedia about a partnership. The challenge for Costa Express was primarily location awareness – drivers needed to be made aware of where Costa Express locations were. Therefore Waze ads made perfect sense, as the sat nav app targets drivers on the move, and is the only screen in the car you can reach drivers on. When trying to drive location awareness, there isn't many more suitable mobile environments to advertise on than a map.

Running from October 2016, an extended three month run from December until end of February followed due to fantastic results.


There were two main objectives to this campaign:

  • Drive footfall into Costa Express sites.
  • Increase offer & location awareness.


  • Zenith booked the media plan with strict radius targeting (5km) around Costa Express locations.
  • We wanted to target workers, so professional office workers, tradesmen and those doing long commutes.
  • The average commute on Waze is 45 minutes, so this was perfect audience fit and it gave us enough time to reach them.
  • The client provided several different creative to test. We specifically wanted to learn if creative influenced the number of visits, and at what different times of day.
  • We agreed to run a brand recall study during the campaign, with a control vs exposed being asked if they had seen ads for Costa/Starbucks/Caffé Nero on Waze to determine uplift.

Costa Express used all of the native ad units on Waze including:

  • Branded Costa Express pins: thousands of Costa Express locations were represented on the map with a logo.
  • Start screen arrow: branded logo appearing in an arrow pointing users to the nearest Costa Express prior to set off when drivers are most engaged with the app.
  • Zero speed takeovers: high impact banner displayed when driver is completely stopped at red lights.
  • Search ads: users searching for destinations would see nearby Costa locations near the street or place.


Costa’s campaign results (four months):

  • 65k ad engagements; users interacting with Costa advertising on Waze.
  • Excess of 15k re-routes into a Costa, measured by drivers interacting with the ad then driving immediately into a forecourt.
  • 23% of users who interacted with a Costa ad on Waze, visited a Costa Express location (benchmark 5%).
  • Clear winner on creative; with a morning “Get a jump on your day” message driving the most real time reroutes.
  • Brand recall uplift +190% (global average +95%). Users remembered seeing Costa ads on Waze.

Incremental footfall study:

Drivers exposed on Waze were 99% more likely to search and navigate to a Costa location on Waze within a seven day period after seeing an ad, showing us the ads played a role in driving new people into experience a Costa Coffee.

The Drum Awards Costa Coffee Technology

Content created with:

Zenith Media

Zenith, part of the Publicis Groupe, is one of the world's leading global media services agencies.

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Costa Coffee

Costa Coffee is a multinational coffeehouse company headquartered in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Whitbread. It is the largest coffeehouse...

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