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Mercedes to pilot ads in Tele Aid telematics system


The OnStar-like service will run ads via the in-car two-way voice system

The OnStar-like service will run ads via the in-car two-way voice system

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Microsoft and Ford took a lot of heat when the software giant simply pointed out the capability of the Sync platform to handle targeted in-car advertising - without announcing any plans to actually do so. Mercedes-Benz had better prepare for a storm, as it is soon to roll out a test of a system that uses the Tele Aid in-car telematics system to pitch products and services to drivers.

The way the ads are phrased is clever, however. The one participating dealership, Ewing Autohaus in Dallas, Texas, will offer a free car cleaning kit if they bring their car in for maintenance. The test is so far only being conducted at this one dealership, though if it is well-received, it could roll out to other dealers nationwide, reports Automotive News.

Mercedes is the first company to openly tap into this potential revenue stream, or as it is being used in this test case, a revenue stream for dealerships. Many dealerships make more money off their parts and service departments than they do off the actual sale of cars, so the idea makes sense: turn their money makers into real money makers.

The question to be evaluated in the test market, however, is whether the in-car ads are too distracting, annoying or simply off-putting for their own good. After all, the Tele Aid system is pitched as an added layer of safety and convenience - leveraging the system to annoy and harass drivers might have the opposite of the intended effect.

As a driver that enjoys the solitude and serenity of a well-made cabin and the peace it provides, here's hoping that this one final respite from the ad-crazy outside world is left untouched - or at least can be controlled with the press of a button or a turn of a knob.
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Comments (2)
  1. My visceral reaction is that this is a dreadful idea. However, billboards are in use in many states (Vermont is a notable exception) and there are ads on the radio that people listen to. In addition, it is not uncommon for dealers to send out junk mail. In short, unless you're someone from Vermont that does your own car maintenance and listens to NPR, you probably accept some form of advertising in your car already...
     
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  2. What kind of masochist would allow his car to play ads? I'm sure this is just a horrible idea that couldn't possibly be implemented. If it is...

    We're constantly bombarded by ads everywhere and with insane ideas like this we're heading into a Minority Report society where ads actually follow you everywhere you go.
     
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