The Uproad mobile app seeks to build brand awareness by educating consumers about its offering through digital billboards and new digital video ads. The addition of out-of-home digital billboards is a first for the nearly 2-year-old company, whose app lets users pay tolls through a cashless system while they drive and whose competitors include EasyPass, EXpresstoll and NationalPass.
“It will help inform people that there is an alternative option for paying tolls,” said Kathryn Kiritsis, director of marketing and product optimization at Uproad, noting that the way people pay tolls has remained. relatively the same for years. “People still use hardware in their cars, and I don’t think people know that you can download an app and use that app to pay tolls.”
To get the app’s message across, Uproad enlisted the help of Boston-based creative agency HeyLetsGo. Uproad’s goal is to increase brand awareness in order to make its app more attractive to road toll payers and get those people to use its app to pay the toll. This campaign is the first time Uproad has turned to digital billboard advertising, and the company sees it as a good way to reach its target audience. A number of these digital billboards will be placed in Dallas, Texas, including on the Dallas North Tollway.
Due to the crowded digital space, brands are reconsidering the value of OOH and other traditional ad buys. There has also been an increase in OOH advertising due to people becoming more comfortable traveling, despite the ongoing pandemic.. Uproad isn’t the only one looking into OOH now. As previously reported by Digiday, startup brands such as Andie swimwear, JUDY emergency kits, dining app Seated, and virtual healthcare app K Health have all recently launched OOH campaigns.
It’s unclear how much Uproad is spending on advertising, as Kiristis wouldn’t share details. However, Kiristis reported that a fifth of the total advertising budget was allocated to digital billboards and a third of the budget was allocated to Google Ads, YouTube, Twitter and print billboards, with Google Ads often being favored. .
Data firm Kantar did not have ad spend data recorded for the company. At the time of Uproad’s launch in September 2020, there had been a marked drop in the number of travelers between those two years due to the pandemic. As a result, Uproad planned to spend more money between the two years. The launch was poorly timed, so the company didn’t have the budget to spend as much as planned. Over a three-year period, Uproad’s overall advertising budget was cut by one-third.
Since the billboards will be in circulation for two months, travelers will have a better chance of spotting one while driving on the toll roads. “Outdoor advertising, like digital billboards, is a strategic solution both for targeting potential audiences and as a brand-building channel,” said Mat Zucker, senior partner and co-head of marketing and sales at the strategy consulting agency Prophet.
Considering that the target audience for Uproad’s campaign is travelers, truckers, commuters, or salespeople who travel extensively on the highways, social media is likely to perform better than traditional advertising in driving demand. “Using digital billboards to promote their app in a contextual way is great considering the space Uproad plays in and the success we regularly see with this tactic,” said Norm Chait, Senior Director of Quotient digital media and promotions technology company. “OOH has been proven to boost search behavior after exposure, so it’s a great way to amplify other media and drive consumer engagement.”
Uproad is keen to educate consumers about what this means in their daily commute and how its app can help drivers alleviate any difficulties they may have paying tolls, as the process is often slow and complicated, a explained Kiristis. Toll agencies usually track people down for their bills by sending them a bill. Sometimes it can take months for a toll bill to arrive in the mail, as that’s how long it takes to find out who owes what. Uproad offers a more immediate solution.
“Our goal is to spread the word,” Kiristis said. “We have a solution that offers a lot more flexibility for the consumer and we hope it will drive traffic to our properties and generate interest in our offering and interest in how we might be able to help. the average consumer who may not even know there is another way to pay tolls.