The New Backseat: How Mobility Evolution Will Open Doors for Marketers

Automakers, designers, and engineers are at the precipice of one of the most significant moments in their industry. The design of the automobile has remained largely unchanged since its inception in the late 1800s.

However, within the decade, we will realize a new automobile design. And with it, we’ll usher in a new understanding of something that was once only meant to get us from Point A to Point B.

Here are three ways that this new backseat and the evolution of mobility-as-a-service will open doors for marketers:

A more captive audience
The new automobile interior will look different. Not only will cars be electric (hooray!), they’ll be autonomous, which means steering wheels will become a reactive line of code. Vehicles won’t be laid out with the traditional seating that we’ve known. They could adopt a u-shape seating arrangement, or even just two seats that fully recline.

Everyone will become passengers with this new layout of interior design where there’s no driver. This will rewrite the paradigm of what’s a possible in-car activity when someone’s attention isn’t taken up by navigating themselves from Point A to Point B. Can that ride become more relaxing? Rewarding? Fun? Any of those things are certainly possible, and all will manifest as rides become experiences.



Host more in-depth & impactful experiences
Eight-four percent of millennials don’t trust traditional advertising, according to one study. But they do want authentic content and experiences.

This is great news, considering that with this mobility revolution, marketers will be able to achieve more experiential marketing at scale. What does this mean?

Here are examples of what these new immersive experiences could look like:
-- A full Continental breakfast bar available to you in the mornings on your way to work.
-- A gaming suite or arcade on wheels.
-- A karaoke studio with microphones, strobe lights, and alcohol on tap.
-- A spa so you can “zen-out” while you’re stuck in traffic.

Companies like Intel and Warner Brothers are imagining what this looks like with their Batman experience that premiered at CES earlier this year. Toyota has also been quite forward in reimagining not just how to maximize the productivity of that ride but, with its e-Palette concept, reimagines the vehicle’s form and function.

A new canvas to market on, focused on the five senses
The days of only buying impression-based ads are long gone. And even social media tactics are becoming old. A Harris Poll survey found that, “74 percent of 16- to 39-year-olds object to being singled out by brands in their social media feeds. Of those, 56 percent have cut back on or quit using social media sites due to advertisements in their news feeds.”  

Thoughtful brands will see mobility as a new medium to address this ad fatigue. A ride can engage all five senses and incorporate other contextual factors like starting point, destination, and direction of travel.

This type of canvas is a marketer’s dream. Brands will be able to extend their hospitality and, as Frog Design identified in its 2019 Tech Trends, use mobility as an amenity. This will allow brands to create meaningful, lasting relationships that add value to consumers and build brand affinity.  

When the vehicle form changes, a ride will be reimagined once again. Like a mobile piece of real estate, that first-class lounge, spa, or movie theater will all be on wheels. Brands will turn the new backseat into an experience that is contextual, interactive, and personalized.

The best ride experiences will provide true value to the passenger first -- and then to the marketer.

2 comments about "The New Backseat: How Mobility Evolution Will Open Doors for Marketers".
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  1. Kirk Augustin from Mr., April 26, 2019 at 9 p.m.

    This is silly because no state is ever going to issue a driver's license that would allow an autonomous vehicle on public roads.  There is not a single one that can work on snow or can recognize buses yet.  They also can not detect turn signals or read street name signs.  And in 2020 with the solar maxima, they won't work at all.  Not only do people really like driving, but the maker would be the one sued over every little fender bender, so would rapidly go broke.  So autonomous cars are just never going to happen.

  2. Alex Giannikoulis from Ivee, April 30, 2019 at 4:32 p.m.

    Kirk, thanks for your comment.  The excitement about self-driving cars has grown because the technology is already working - with over 10M miles of real-world travel to date.  And, because state and federal governments have created legal frameworks for AVs to exist. People that like driving will still be able to do so.  But when driving is a burden (i.e. congested commuting), people will gladly rely on self-driving cars.

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