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In a fresh development, Waze is experimenting with new ways to drive its millions of users into advertisers’ stores.
The social navigation app now lets users favorite certain brands, which then appear prominently on the map and within other features like Calendar Sync and even Speed Limits.
Brands can use this access to tailor personalized promotions to customers based on the stores they’ve visited and use location information to better target ads.
Dunkin’ Donuts is the first brand to sign on to buy the native-style ads. The program is in beta for the rest of the year.
It follows parent company Google’s rollout of pinned map ads earlier this year, which allow marketers to pay to place their logos over their locations in the company’s maps app.
The favorite brands feature seems better-suited to Waze’s more social ethos that’s meant to complement the search giant’s flagship navigation app. The social aspects of Waze include chat bubbles and statuses that can be posted to streets, as well as crowdsourced traffic incident alerts.
Mobile ads that take advantage of a smartphone’s location-tracking capabilities to send people into brick-and-mortar stores are a hot commodity in the online ads world right now as the industry grapples with how best to effectively advertise to people on their phones.