Connected Cars are Shaping the Media Landscape

The development of “Connected Cars” (cars equipped with an internet connection) will not only change mobility, but they will also inevitably change the future of the media landscape through the automotive infotainment systems already being integrated into vehicles.

The possibilities and capabilities for connected cars are seemingly endless, however, there are logistical roadblocks. Greenough (2015) states, “By 2020, BI Intelligence estimates that 75% of cars shipped globally will be built with the necessary hardware to connect to the internet.” However, Forbes (2015) argues that real action will not transpire until concrete relationships between Carmakers and Telecommunication Companies are made. Logistically, it’s easy to understand difficulties in determining whether the car is included on the telecom bill as another ‘device’, or if it will be an ongoing monthly connectivity fee paid to the carmaker. Forbes (2015) also highlights the issues in terms of customer security, reliability and safety in terms of what and how much is available through the connected car. This leads to another issue mutually discussed within the literature; content, particularly advertising, within a connected car must be useful and non-invasive. Wong (2015) indicates that instead of loud and intrusive advertising, the goal is “to capitalize on those opportunities when consumers actually invite brands to participate in the everyday moments in their lives that matter most.” What better way to effectively target consumers than by creating a new mix of media (digital and online, OOH, and radio) and integrating it into connected cars in a way that will make consumer lives easier by, as Wong (2015) and Walford (2014) both suggest, predicting schedules, desires and needs.

As Wong (2015) and Walford (2014) mention, personalisation and targeted ads is one way for brands to capitalise from the connected cars innovation. By targeting consumers in their cars, the recency effect is at it’s highest, and thereby the convenience of a timely ad will steer customers towards purchase opportunities. Wong (2015) and Uminski (2015) indicate that advertisers will be able to discover opportunities created by the real-time data. For example, the integration of a GPS system and a weather forecast system could supply opportunities for cafes to alert drivers nearby of the conditions, and suggest a hot beverage at a discounted price. Similarly, music-streaming apps like Pandora with thumbs up and down functions (which is already a feature in many cars (Kirchner, 2014)) have opportunities to personalise the drivers music experience, as well as the digital radio ads that are played through the service (for example, while listening to relaxing music, ads for a day spa would be played). Each function of the connected car infotainment system has the potential to build a consumer ‘profile’ through user history (much like cookies are used with online advertising) which will better aid advertisers through targeting their ads to the right people at the right time, either through direct infotainment system alerts (Data Driven Marketing, 2014), or through third party media suppliers such as Pandora. Additionally, this extent of media opportunities will allow advertisers to track, measure and optimise advertising processes in real-time (Wong, 2015). This new media platform will give brands a much deeper insight into consumer behaviour, particularly in the way they react to products and services that are more tailored and timely than ever before.

With the large amount of people driving cars every day, and an even larger amount of people using the internet every day, it is only inevitable that the Connected Car will be the next major media platform for advertisers with so many opportunities for brands to build stronger, more personalised relationships with their consumers.


Data Driven Marketing. (2014, August 26). Highway to Future: Connected Cars. Retrieved May 6, 2015, from Internet Innovators:

Forbes. (2015). 10 Obstacles For Connected Cars. Retrieved May 6, 2015, from Forbes:

Greenough, J. (2015, February 13). The ‘connected car’ is creating a massive new business opportunity for auto, tech, and telecom companies. Retrieved May 6, 2015, from Business Insider:

Kirchner, C. (2014, August 6). Pandora Founder Talks iTunes Radio, Beats and Future. Retrieved May 6, 2015, from GottaBeMobile:

Uminski, C. (2015, January 9). CES 2015: Connected car data will transform advertising and media strategies. Retrieved May 6, 2015, from Marketing Magazine:

Walford, L. (2014, May 19). In connected cars, advertising will come along for the ride. Retrieved May 6, 2015, from TechHive:

Wong, B. (2015, April 26). The Future of Advertising: Farewell, Mass Marketing. Retrieved May 6, 2015, from The Wall Street Journal:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s