Waze maintains its own menagerie of voices in various languages aimed at offering an additional level of customization and entertainment to users’ drives. This strategy has evolved over time to include advertisers with recognizable, often celebrity, voices tied to their campaign. The overwhelmingly positive sentiment from Wazers on social media related to voice campaigns alludes to not only a general acceptance of the branded content within the community, but an appreciation for the value it adds to their trip—drivers have gone so far as to threaten deleting the app post-campaign. This startling enthusiasm has inspired Waze to further develop these unique yet native branded journeys; with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s accent being a hallmark of the Terminator franchise, a voice campaign with Waze was a natural fit.
Schwarzenegger voice changes were promoted via branded takeovers, a mobile, banner-like ad unit that dropped down from the top of phone screens once a driver had been at a complete stop for at least three seconds. If no action was taken, the takeovers disappeared once the driver began moving again or automatically after twelve seconds at the stop. As a secondary campaign initiative, theater locations were marked on the map via branded pin units using the Terminator’s recognizable face to increase location awareness. Once clicked, branded pins expanded into the same banner-like ads, only this time in promotion of ticket sales.
The Waze campaign targeted a global audience of drivers which spans a broad range of generations and demographics, reaching both devoted and new fans of Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Terminator series. The voice campaign targeted major markets for the franchise including the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, France, and Canada.
Articles sprouted up by the hundreds on sites like USA Today, Yahoo!, CNBC, AdWeek, E Online, Mashable, and more. The Terminator himself further fueled the fire with a Tweet reading, “You always ask me to say my lines. Now, with @waze, you can bring me into your car, as the @Terminator. Do it now!” to which the public responded, “LOVE HAVING ARNOLD THE TERMINATOR as my Waze voice. More of this please!