LAS VEGAS – Uber Technologies Inc. this month will expand its burgeoning advertising platform with the rollout of mobile tablets in ride-share vehicles that show videos to passengers. The company is introducing the service in Los Angeles and San Francisco, with plans to expand worldwide.

“We cannot only show you a short-form video clip, a few seconds … we can really show a long form video advertising targeted to the rider in our tablet,” Mark Grether, general manager of Uber Advertising, said in this interview with Beet.TV contributor Joanna O’Connell at the CES 2023 convention.

The rollout of video tablets in ride-share vehicles can help marketers reach consumers as they’re preparing to make purchase decisions – such as while taking a trip to a brick-and-mortar store. Advertisers can tell a more complete brand story with longer-form commercials similar to those on streaming platforms such as YouTube.

The addition of video tablets gives brands a way to “own the entire trip” with an Uber customer, who can be exposed to an advertisement at several stages: first, when they open the Uber mobile app to order a ride; second, when they wait for a pickup; and third, while riding in the car, Grether said.

In October Uber announced the launch of its dedicated advertising unit, which initially offered a variety of ad formats in the Uber ride app and the Uber Eats delivery app.

“That’s a business where we have right now about 125 million active users already,” Grether said. “We have about 2 billion trips and the business already live in about 30 markets.”

He sees additional opportunities to offer advertising formats throughout the entire purchase funnel – not only to help brands raise awareness among target audiences, but also to drive direct consumer orders as retail media networks do. Uber and Uber Eats can provide product delivery, having diversified in 2020 beyond takeout food to provide grocery delivery.

“It’s here, the opportunity where we have first-party data; we have the moment where people make a buying decision; and we can also provide close to attribution back to our advertisers because we know whether an order has happened on the platform,” Gerther said.

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