GPS Advertising


Overview :
The global positioning system, commonly known as GPS, has opened up brand new doors for advertisement. Before GPS, companies were limited to the advertisement based on locality and certain devices. GPS has opened the door for companies to incorporate advertisements to mobile devices, car GPS devices, WIFI spots and so forth. Mobile marketing is becoming a huge advertisement money maker for companies and is becoming widely adopted and used by organizations and companies.Today's mobile phones can provide remarkably specific location data to their users through a combination of embedded GPS chips and network-based cell-tower data. It's a feature that holds great promise for commercial applications by providing the ability to deliver mobile phone users information, entertainment advertisements tailored to their location (Bruno, 2009).

One of the main factors in mobile marketing’s success is its reach is so great. Targeting cell phones that span the world, companies are able to place ads that can target specific audiences based on locality, cell phone type, and research data being analyzed. Several if not all, cell phone companies take advantage of GPS enabled capabilities to attract consumers. GPS allows for this mobile market to survive. Take Google Maps for an example, any individual with this functionality enabled on their cell phone can quickly get turn by turn directions, traffic indications, and so forth all due to the technology of GPS. Companies place ads on Google and as individuals search for these companies, their ads appear, thus attracting audiences and leading towards a growth in revenue in most cases. With almost everyone owning a cell phone, this creates an immense advertising market for companies to dive into. GPS enables all of this, allowing for companies to place ads based on individuals location and researched data. Titan Digital Worldwide GPS-enabled digital billboards are popping up on public transit in major cities. The advertisement on the screen changes as the vehicle moves into new areas which allow location-based selling (, 2009).

This new found technology also has its limitations set by itself. GPS can only reach where satellite connection or WIFI connection is available. This can also be limited by the company providing the service. There are foreign and domestic laws that can potentially limit the targeted audience as well. Many US companies that want to try and embed GPS advertisements on cell phones that are not within the continental US will face barriers in this outlook. The limitations are few, but can drastically impact a company’s outlook and reach if not directly accounted for.

Using GPS advertising is not only time effective but cost effective for companies. Companies that are interested in utilizing GPS advertisements in GPS car units, cell phones, WIFI spots and so forth, can expect cost variability depending on; the size of the ad, length of ad, and ad time/placement. It is time effective in the sense that large scale audiences can be met from a single fee. This can be cost effective because it provides companies with a one-time fee that allows for advertisements to be places in large scale audiences that are culturally diverse. Precise figures on costs vary depending on companies and types of GPS advertisements. The billboard advertisements such as Titan Digital Worldwide offers king-size (30-by-144 inch) posters on one bus in New York cost $1,785 per week for campaigns running between four and 25 weeks (, 2008).

Rearch and Frequency:
The whole GPS advertisement market is a very wide market that can attract a very diverse audience that needs to be reduced into specific marketable audiences. GPS advertisement can specifically target upscale and captive audiences that have the interests, lifestyle and financial ability to entertain the purchase of the advertisement. Doing this on cell phones, navigation systems, airport WIFI spots and so forth can insure a method of message delivery efficiently and effectively. This can effectively present reliable ways for companies to reach a broader audience based on their exact location. “A great example of this could be fast food restaurants. If you were to be driving your car down the road with your GPS receiver on, companies could place advertisements based on an individual’s location relative to the fast food location. “In 2005, Nielson Outdoor began rolling out a service that uses a small, cell phone-size device that uses GPS and proprietary software to provide highly accurate reach and frequency data for outdoor advertisements, complete with demographics (Mathieson, 2005, 116). Allowing for such advertisements can grab an individual’s attention and attract them towards this advertisement all based on the GPS locality the individual is at.

Currently there is not a set type of scheduling that is used in terms of GPS advertisement. To provide GPS advertisements it is up to the company as to when they want to invest in this service.

GPS enabled advertisements can provide companies with an excellent means of reaching far reaching audiences with the ability to cater to exact locations. This technology can provide revenue and capital growth for companies looking to expand their current advertisement outlook. While the limitations, risks, and impacts can be an obstacle that companies will have to account for, the potential positive factors will outweigh this. GPS is a technology that is getting more widely used and opened up, and as it does, it opens up the doors for advertisement to attain a large stake in this technology. Companies are very eager to get introduced to this advertisement as the technology grows. Currently there are many limitations that bar companies from being very responsive towards this new form of advertisement.

Audience Qualities:
The reasons for companies to invest in GPS advertising are immense. The audience is broad and diverse, the location is freely-open, and your ads can target specific locations. All of these contributing factors lead towards a persuasive argument for while a company should entertain the thought of embedding GPS advertisement ads. It is not just cell phones and GPS receivers that this market is limited to. Walt Disney's GPS applications map the company's theme parks, show color-coded wait times for rides, and give directions to attractions or souvenir shops. Other applications can find the nearest public rest room (Have2P) or help you find your car in giant lots (iPark) (, 2009). Advertisements can be placed on buses; GPS enabled digital billboards, public transport and much more. Companies can target specific ads based on a GPS locality that will provide the best possible return in investing in this area. To invest in such advertisement can lead towards potential growth in both revenue and capital. Again, GPS is the main contributing factor as it provides the exact locations of where ads should be placed.

There is a risk and impact that can be assessed by companies placing GPS advertisement that should be carefully considered by companies. One limitation of GPS advertising is that ad placement may not be effective. With an advertisement not being effective, this is almost a dead weight loss to the company placing this advertisement. GPS can account for where to place the ad and provide statistical research for ads, but this research will not account for if the advertisement will create revenue or growth. This is a potential risk that a company must assess before implementing GPS enabled ads into a market. The impact of the advertisement must also be carefully assessed before presenting the advertisement. A potential impact could be the placement of an advertisement that is not culturally accepted. In this case, the ad can be ineffective and bring negative advertisement towards a company. GPS allows for the ability to place your ad based on locality, but does not account for the impact of where the ad is being delivered.

Advertisers who are successfully using GPS Advertising:
Currently there are numerous companies that offer hosting services to provide means of GPS enabled advertisements. Google, Garmin, Tom Tom, and various other companies are among a few that offer GPS advertisements. Being successful at using GPS advertisement is defined by yielding a positive return in revenue based on cost of GPS advertisement minus profit occurred from advertisement. This can come in the form of revenue growth, capital growth, ad revenue and so forth. Google currently is the most successful GPS advertisement company offering there advertisement at a reasonable price. Several leading companies have developed expertise in enabling GPS map and location based data to appear on cell phones, such as Smart2go and MapQuest (Plunkett, 2008, p.16).


Bruno, Anthony. (2009, January 24). Right here, right now. Billboard. 121(3), retrieved from

GPS: Location, location, location. (2009). Retrieved October 26,2009, from

Mathieson, Rick.2005. Branding unbound: The future of advertising, sales, and the brand experience in the wireless age. New York, NY: Amacom.

Media Life: Out of home. (2008). Retrieved October 26, 2009, from /Your_client_being_seen_riding_the_bus.asp

Plunkett, Jack. 2008. Plunkett’s advertising and branding industry almanac. Houston, TX: Plunkett Research, LTD.