Uber Thinks You Might Want To Look At A Bunch Of Ads During Your Ride

Image courtesy of Uber

There are definitely some things people would like more of during an Uber ride — more control over music, more free cookies, etc. — but more advertising and content from brands trying to promote themselves? That might not appeal to everyone.

Uber announced a new partnership with a start-up called Yext that will deliver advertising and branded content to online shoppers phones’ while they’re on their way to their retail destination.

“Uber and Yext share the same mission — to help people go places,” said Marc Ferrentino, Yext EVP Strategy & Product. “That’s why we integrated with Uber to create a new, immersive experience where stores, restaurants, and other businesses can bring consumers directly to their doors and increase customer engagement through Trip Branding. We’re closing the loop so that businesses can provide a great experience all the way from search results to checkout — which includes actually getting to the location.”

Here’s how it works: let’s say you’re reading a marketing email or other material from a brand like Guitar Center. Yext will provide a “Call me an Uber” button at the bottom of the page or message that will let shoppers book a car to take them to the physical store to buy the guitar they were just looking at. Yext says its location data will make sure users are dropped off where they should be and not at a mailing address or parking lot.

While they’re en route to their destination, Yext will serve up ads and other branded materials to the user’s phone, the aforementioned “trip branding” experience. That might be annoying to some, but as The Verge notes, perhaps not if you’re the type of person who hails an Uber through a retailer’s website in the first place.

“If they open the Uber app in the car, [they will] see a banner across the bottom linking to content relevant to the place they’re going — food menu, hotel concierge service, etc.,” a Yext spokesperson told The Verge. “As this evolves, we’re imagining options like a bar giving people the ability to buy a round while on their way. So it’s added functionality within the Uber app for customers who are interested in it for their destination.”