Google challenged the notion that search must be predetermined by creating a mobile search app meant for discovery, not just queries. Among many things, the Google app is an actionable way to learn about what’s happening in the world nearby—and location signals are a key part of the experience.
The Google Search team implemented a campaign on Waze to target mobile users on-the-go with the goal of increasing awareness and feature education, ultimately to drive more app downloads and usage. They used location targeting inherent to the Waze platform to deliver the message that Google brings the context of location and discovery to their app.
Google ran a Zero-Speed Takeover campaign in 7 major U.S. cities, targeting Wazers who were nearby famous urban landmarks. The creative served was a search query related to that particular landmark or area. For example, Wazers driving in San Francisco would get the query “How long is the Golden Gate Bridge?” or if in Los Angeles, “Why was the Hollywood sign built?” They were then prompted to “save for later” and received the answer in their Waze inbox - along with a link to download the app.
We often see that localized campaigns drive both brand and performance results for brands on the map. Google’s campaign performed very well against Waze’s core awareness benchmarks: engagement rate and ad recall. The average engagement rate was 2.42%, driving over 5,000 clicks to the Google App Store page. Ad recall lift relative to a non ad-exposed control was up to 161%.