WAZE - A Social Commuting App
How do you go from a small start-up to a global company worth more than $1B? Make them fall in Love with your product.
Successfully Engaging an Active Global Userbase
It’s a bit of a challenge to conceive of a promotion that will engage users across a diversity of regions, but riffing off of the worldwide popularity of the World Cup, Waze hosted its very own worldwide FIFA-like competition, challenging users to ‘munch’ (drive over) soccerball ‘road goodies’ (icons on the map, worth points) on behalf of their respective countries for the win. We created a week of tournament-style global competition, then narroved it down to the top four countries who were pit against one another in a final showdown. The country with the most points had three winners receiving iPads – a hot new item, at the time. With dozens and dozens of countries participating, user engagement was off the charts, resulting in an extremely successful campaign that was replicated a number of times to come in the years that followed.
Leveraging Partnerships For Social Good Promos
It became a tradition for us to do something each Thanksgiving that ‘gave back’, and one year we partnered with Feeding America and Foursquare to do just that. Users could use Waze to navigate to local foodbanks that were temporarily visible on the map, and after making their contribution, could check-in via Foursquare to take thier contribution to the next level. For each check-in, we donated $1 to Feeding America. A win/win for all parties involved.
Giving Users A Chance to Express Their Love
In honor of Valentine’s Day one year, we challenged our loyal global fanbase to outdo one another by creating a video loveletter for Waze. Arrogant? Perhaps. But users loved the opportunity. Giving them plenty of lead time to create masterpieces, we were delighted to see how much time and care people put into their video loveletters. Peer voting determined the winner, who received a MacBook Air. Take a look here, here, here and here to see some of our favorite submissions, they’re great!
Flexing Our Creative Skills in Fun Campaign Videos
When Waze first started out, we had ‘road goodies’ (icons on the map) for people to ‘munch’ (drive over, for points) to help us develop navigation capabilities in areas for which there was no base map. During the holiday season one year, we developed a US-based challenge to see who could rack up the most points eating new versions of the road goodies people already knew, and loved. The top three winners were given Amazon gift cards to help out with their holiday shopping. We developed the below campaign promo to support the competition and with over 4,000 views back when Waze was just starting out, we considered it a big hit.
Even If They Lose, Giving Users A Chance To Dream A Little
As our userbase and campaign budgets grew, we were able to conceive and execute far fancier campaigns to engage the worldwide community of Wazers. One such campaign was the ‘With Waze, You’re Going Places’ contest, which used a custom built widget for people to invite three of their friends - ostensibly ones that they’d like to travel with - to download Waze. The idea was that we’d pick one lucky winner who would then be able to decide where in the world they, and their three friends, wanted to go, and we’d pick up the tab for plane tickets of up to $2000 each. We figured that folks were already ‘going places’ with us by car, and we wanted to allow them to take the notion of ‘going places’ one step further. While there was only one winner + three of her friends, we gave hundreds of people the chance to dream a little about where they might go if they were to win, and we believed that, too, created a positive brand experience.
Crowd-Sourcing Product Demos & Taglines To Give Users a Stake in Building The Brand
What better way to involve our users than by inviting them to crowd-source both a new product demo as well as a new company tagline? For the video demo, we gave them basic guidelines of which features to hit and an overall view of what kind of vibe we were going for, and then it was up to them to execute as creatively as they wanted.Obviously, the tagline competition was a much lower bar to entry and generated hundreds of submissions. While we didn’t actually end up officially adopting the winner, seen to the right here, we loved seeing the thinking that went into our users’ submissions, and felt that it was a successful campaign, simply by asking them to bring our product and their creativity into relationship with one another for the few minutes they they took to brainstorm their submissions