A year after it acquired a rideshare advertising network, T-Mobile has hopes it could be used to power ads in autonomous vehicles.

In January 2022, T-Mobile acquired Octopus Interactive, the national network of interactive video screens inside Uber and Lyft vehicles.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Cherian Thomas, Head of Marketing & GTM, T-Mobile Advertising Solutions explains his vision.

Auto-mobile attention

“We want to see what we’re doing for today for ride share vehicles can be translated to robo-taxis and then to autonomous vehicles of the future,” Thomas says.

Thomas explained how the tech works today.

He said: “We contract with the best drivers. We put a screen inside the headrest, riders get to enjoy themselves by playing games to win prizes.

“Because we have the rider’s attention and we have the vehicle location, we’re able to deliver interactive, non-invasive, 30-second video ads or interactive games.”

In-car engagement

The idea of delivering ads and video programming to taxis – what Thomas calls a “captive audience” – is nothing new, of course, as New York cab riders will testify.

What has changed in the connected era is the targeting and tracking capability.

We have interactivity, which allows you to really measure the full funnel. One, was someone exposed to this video? Two, did they actually

Thomas says the Octopus tech shows:

  • ad exposure.
  • ad engagement via interaction like touch.
  • any value exchanges – eg. through scanning an on-screen QR code.
  • lower-funnel conversions.

Content opportunities

Thomas is touting the tech to TV companies as a way to “let your content come to life”.

“Why not stream Tubi live or watch Peacock live, all while you’re in the backseat of your Uber or Lyft?,” he asks.

Thomas is set to talk more about the opportunities at Beet Retreat San Juan 2023.

The Beet Retreat, a gathering of high-level media executives, will take place at the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel, San Juan, Puerto Rico, February 8-10, 2023.

The event will involve three days of high-level panels, group conversations, one-on-one video interviews, networking events and interactions.

You’re watching coverage of Beet Retreat San Juan 2023, presented by LiveRamp, Madhive, Magnite, Paramount, T-Mobile Advertising Solutions and VideoAmp. For more videos from the Beet Retreat, please visit this page