Many airplanes today offer in-flight WiFi. For a few dollars you can browse, Tweet or meme away at 30,000 ft. Occasionally a brand will foot the WiFi bill, giving passengers the ability to roam the web at no cost. They do this in exchange for an advertising opportunity.
On my way into work, I accidently clicked over to the satellite radio input. I don’t have a subscription, so all I could hear was the preview station. That got me thinking – could the same free Wi-Fi advertising tactic that works for in-flight WiFi also work for Sirius XM.
According to Sirius XM’s advertising page, they offer demographic, geographic and cultural (based on music genre) data to help to advertisers target their marketing efforts. I sent them an email to see if they also provide vehicle information, specifically model and year. If so, this could make for an entertaining automotive marketing exercise.
In conjunction with traditional targeted ads, why not offer something more akin to the Google Chrome campaign mentioned above. Instead of Wi-Fi automakers would pay for a free month of XM. The catch – they would target competitor’s vehicles.
Let’s assume the new Chevy Impala will target Camry, Sonata, Fusion and Accord owners. Chevy’s ad agency would work with with Sirius XM to identify the vehicle models listed that are equipped with satellite radio and are nearing the end of their ownership cycle (based on model year).
Those vehicles would receive a complimentary month of satellite radio. The service would run as normal expect that it would periodically run a promotion. Something like, “This complimentary trial of XM is brought to you by the new Chevy Impala.”
For those vehicles with an active satellite radio subscription, they would still be targeted based on make and model year, but would hear a more traditional advertising campaign. Although, if advertisers wanted to hyper-target these drivers they could run comparison ads based on the owners current vehicle. For example, the driver of a 2010 Honda Accord might hear an ad that directly compares the new Honda Accord to the new Chevy Impala.
Could this work? It depends. Mostly on the availability of the data from XM and also a willingness to allow advertisers to use this data to hyper-target without freaking out consumers or having people raise the privacy flag.
This type of promotion adds a real-world value to the consumer. A tangible value and that has staying power due to the frequency of the message. Drivers will associate the nice gesture of free XM with that of the new Chevrolet Impala. Or that’s the idea.
XM benefits as well. If the driver isn’t in the market for a new car, but did enjoy their month of XM radio, they may opt to sign up for a subscription. This is a great opportunity for XM to touch the consumer without sounding sales-y.
While sex, age, gender are all important marketing factors–a person’s vehicle provides a great deal of market intelligence. I believe that too little consideration is given to a person’s ‘automotive data.’
It is going to take some creativity to find ways to capture that data voluntarily, but it will be valuable once you have it. In this case it seems XM already has that data it’s just a matter of advertisers using it wisely.