With Celebrity Directions Waze Becomes Vehicle For “Ride Along” Film Promotion

Waze logoLast week, Universal Pictures announced that comedian Kevin Hart would be “the very first celebrity voice featured in U.S. versions of [Waze].” Universal is hoping to use the tie-in to promote an upcoming film in which Hart is starring, called “Ride Along.”

Ride Along also stars rapper-actor Ice Cube and appears aimed primarily at African-American US audiences, but with potentially broader appeal. Google acquired Waze for approximately $1.3 billion in June after a failed acquisition attempt by Facebook.

Google bought Waze in part to tap its community of engaged users and help improve the real-time and “ground truth” accuracy of Google Maps. Another motivation was pretty clearly to keep Waze out of the hands of rivals Facebook or Apple.

The social mapping app currently allows “Wazers” to select from among several voices for turn-by-turn directions and instructions. In addition to the newly added Kevin Hart voice, users can choose from “Samantha,” “Tom,” “Boy Band,” “Nathan,” “Elvis” or simply “default.”

Getting to these voices takes several clicks and is not entirely intuitive. You need to go to Settings –> Sound –> English and then select “Ride Along.”

Waze voices

It’s not immediately clear whether Waze is planning to approach other celebrities or whether Universal will try and promote other stars, shows and films using Waze. This may be a relatively unique situation where the theme of the promoted film and Waze are logically connected.

I imagine this is an experiment for both Waze and Universal, accordingly. However the broader idea of increasing the number of novelty voice choices for Waze users is probably appealing to the community.

Even if very few Wazers actually switch to Hart media coverage, the option has probably already raised the profile of the 2014 movie. That’s undoubtedly the primary objective for Universal.

Related Topics: Channel: Mobile Marketing | Google: Maps | Google: Mobile | Top News

Sponsored


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



Marketing Day:

Get the top marketing stories daily!  

Share

Other ways to share:
 

Read before commenting! We welcome constructive comments and allow any that meet our common sense criteria. This means being respectful and polite to others. It means providing helpful information that contributes to a story or discussion. It means leaving links only that substantially add further to a discussion. Comments using foul language, being disrespectful to others or otherwise violating what we believe are common sense standards of discussion will be deleted. You can read more about our comments policy here.

Comments are closed.

Get Our News, Everywhere!

Daily Email:

Follow Marketing Land on Twitter @marketingland Like Marketing Land on Facebook Follow Marketing Land on Google+ Subscribe to Our Feed! Join our LinkedIn Group Check out our Tumblr! See us on Pinterest

 
 

Click to watch SMX conference video

Join us at one of our SMX or MarTech events:

United States

Europe

Australia & China

Learn more about: SMX | MarTech


Free Daily Marketing News!

Marketing Day is a once-per-day newsletter update - sign up below and get the news delivered to you!