SAN JUAN, PR — T-Mobile Advertising Solutions has built an ad offering that uses GPS and other data to deliver interactive ads to headrest screens in more than 40,000 Uber and Lyft vehicles.

But the “uncarrier’s” ambitions in the ad-tech business extend beyond ride-share.

In this interview at Beet Retreat San Juan, Cherian Thomas, Head of Marketing & GTM, T-Mobile Advertising Solutions, explains his ambition.

Revving-up retail?

“We built a network from scratch or from scratch with 40,000 screens all moving,” Thomas said.

“If we’ve been able to figure that out, we can leverage those core competencies into other segments and make the pie larger.”

He said enabling physical retail media was an area of interest.

More people  are going to Kroger than going to More people walk into a CVS than go to, more people going to a PetSmart than go to

“We feel that we can leverage T-Mobile connectivity and, and start helping power those retail media networks in the physical world, whereby the screen isn’t moving.”

Sharing interactivity

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

T-Mobile claims to be operational in 40,000 drivers’ vehicles, delivering more than 400 million 30-second video ads per month.

Uber and Lyft have their own advertising operations, which have begun largely in their apps.

Uber recently rolled out tablet screens in some of its cars in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Moving media

Thomas said T-Mobile’s value is its ability to deliver interactive ads to the screens, meaning it can give advertisers not just an impression but an engagement.

“Because we have the rider’s attention and we have the vehicle location, we deliver location-based interactive ads, branded games, reactive surveys to a captive audience and engaged audience,” he said.

“(It’s a) highly sought-after, 18 to 49 audience … who quite frankly is the SVOD audience who’s paying to avoid ads.

“We have them in a captive setting for 20 minutes.

“Our brands are leaning into branded games. It’s an ad it’s sold on a CPM basis, but the rider thinks they’re playing a game.

“It’s the largest screen in the room given the, the room is moving.”

Captive In The Car: T-Mobile’s Thomas Takes The Un-Carrier’s Ads On The Road

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.