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By Jenni Baker | Senior Editor

October 19, 2022 | 8 min read

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Burger King, Bicycle and Optimizion take the driving seat in a bespoke quiz show format from The Drum and Waze to explore the driver behaviors of today and how advertisers can make their OOH ads travel further.

Burger King, Bicycle & Optimizon take a spin in ‘Catch me if you can’ quiz show with Waze

Burger King, Bicycle & Optimizon take a spin in ‘Catch me if you can’ quiz show with Waze

Out-of-home (OOH) media has long been a playground for advertisers. Tracing as far back as the ancient Egyptians, it’s come a long way since then, and a long way since the static billboards, subway posters and street furniture that were a common staple in the OOH advertising playbook.

With everything shifting to digital, OOH media evolved significantly too – placing it as a cost-effective and measurable solution for advertisers to capture consumers on the move. Now, thanks to apps like Waze, there are even more clever contextual opportunities for brands to reach consumers in the right place at the right time and influence their purchasing decisions on the go.

After a tricky period of lockdowns around the world, the Covid-19 pandemic has created long-lasting lifestyle changes for many – not least drivers, whose relationship with their car is changing. Old assumptions about drivers, the way they behave, and their motivations to travel, can no longer be relied upon. But how well do advertisers really know the drivers of today?

That’s the very question we posed to Soco Nunez de Cela, brand and communications director, Burger King UK, Graeme Douglas, chief strategy officer and co-founder, Bicycle and Mel Henson, head of creative at Optimizon, when we invited them to take part in ‘Catch me if you can: I’m OOH’ – a new quiz show format from The Drum and Waze to promote the findings from Waze’s research.

Contestants were put in the driving seat as we set out to find out just how much they know about today’s drivers, what’s fueling their purchasing decisions and how they are being influenced by ads on the road. The quiz was hosted by Gordon Young, co-founder and editor-in-chief, The Drum and Ruairidh Roberts, country manager, UK, Waze, who shared key insights from the Waze research throughout the show, offering essential advice for marketers on how to rev up their OOH campaigns.

Among the key research findings and insights discussed were:

Price and proximity are key on the road

76% of UK drivers say they would drive past a petrol station to buy fuel if they knew they could get it cheaper a little further away – signalling that price and proximity are key decision drivers, especially in the fuel category. Waze drivers tend to be bargain hunters and are making purchase destination choices based on choice and value. They are on the lookout for price-driven offers on the road, which they respond well to.

The valuable role of OOH in the marketing mix

Despite the UK having the highest percentage of e-commerce buyers in Western Europe, drivers still prefer to drive to buy their goods rather than buy online and have them delivered. It’s true for almost all categories (except for white goods) – but especially groceries (68% vs 17%).

Clever tactics capture drivers in the moment

25% of UK drivers said they would change their choice of retailer while driving if they saw or heard an advert from another retailer that interested them. And the fact that one in seven have stopped and bought something while driving because of an advert they heard or saw while in the car highlights the power that OOH advertising holds in influencing consumers on the move and capturing them in the moment.

Spontaneous decisions drive route diversions

‘Staycationers’ (46%) are the most likely driver persona to make spontaneous purchase decisions on-on-the-go. This was one of the takeaways from the report, which also looks at the different mindsets of drivers today by demographic to show the potential for advertisers to understand the intent behind why drivers are making different journeys.

The conversation also touched on how London is “a different world” compared to other parts of the UK and consumers operate differently, highlighting the importance of understanding the demographics to really understand the behaviors of drivers and consumers based on their location and how advertisers should be reacting to these opportunities.

“One of the single biggest issues the marketing and advertising industry faces is this perennial focus on London and this inward assessment of the world and a belief that everyone else behaves the same in terms of shopper behavior and travel habits,” said Douglas. “London is a bubble and it’s really important that we look outside of that as an industry and represent the real world.”

Drivers today are behaving differently than you might expect but there’s a real opportunity for marketers to dig deeper to understand who they are and how they like to be influenced. Advertising decisions can no longer rely on old assumptions about drivers; consumers’ relationship with their car is changing and it has big implications for how advertisers engage drivers on-the-go.

Tune into the highlights reel above and to learn more about what ‘Waze Knows’ about today’s drivers, download the full report here.

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