Is GM Marketplace a New Advertising Medium?

Mobile shopping reaches a new level in the GM Marketplace. General Motors’ new Marketplace feature is the new way to purchase on the go. It will supposedly allow drivers to order food, gas, and reserve tables at restaurants right from the comfort of your car’s touchscreen.

New Advertising Medium?

If this feature is successful, I can see it becoming a new avenue for the advertising industry to sink its teeth into. We already see location-based ads pop up on apps like Waze when we drive near a certain store. What is it to say that these types of ads won’t start popping up on our car’s display screen. Ads could start showing up on our car’s touchscreen display map while the GPS is giving directions. An ad could show up in the Marketplace store selector telling us, “50 % off on clothes at Target” or “Purchase 2 candy bars for a free fountain drink at Shell’s.” We could potentially be able to see an ad, be influenced, and make a purchase decision based on that ad while driving up to the store location.

Isn’t it Distracting

GM is obviously trying to make purchasing on the go an easier experience. The future of car connectivity seems to be doing things your smartphone is already able to do in a much more portable way. To me, it seems to be just a distracting as looking over at your phone to do the same tasks except it is a larger screen above your car’s radio controls.

I’m a bit skeptical about how this GM Marketplace distraction will differ from smartphone distraction. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that only 5 seconds of taking your eyes off the road at 55 mph is “like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.” From the extensive times the man in the GM Marketplace video touches the screen to navigate the program and make a purchase, it seems like it could possibly cause the same level of distraction as texting on your phone while driving.

Not Sure But I Guess So

I am not sure how well this Marketplace platform will perform but I am definitely looking forward to seeing where it goes and how it will affect the way we advertise to drivers. You never know where the newest advertising medium will appear. At least we haven’t figured out how to advertise in our dreams; even the professionals need a break.


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