Waze Ads: How Do I Use Waze For My Retail Store?

By now, you’ve probably heard of the social navigation app Waze. Either you use it, or your coworker has mentioned it 30 times, or a friend has scolded you for not using it. Since Google bought it for $966 million in 2013, they’ve been working on monetization. Enter: Waze ads.

Waze has a number of tools available for marketers who have monthly budgets of $15,000 or more. It also presents a great opportunity to jump in front of your competition’s customers and disrupt their navigational intent.

There are a few offerings in particular that we recommend to marketers who are ready to jump in.

Waze Branded Pins

Branded pins are navigational pins that mimic a digital billboard on the user’s phone. As a user enters the area near your location, a pin pops up on the Waze map with your business’s logo.

When the user taps on your logo, a pop-up appears on the top one-third of their screen showing your ad.

These pins can use calls-to-action such as Drive There, Save Location, Save for Later, Save Offer, and Call Now.

Zero-Speed Takeovers

A zero-speed takeover is a large format ad (similar to when a user clicks your branded pin) that appears when a user’s car is fully stopped. These takeovers happen when… you guessed it, a user’s speed is at zero.

Your ad will pop up on his or her phone showing your image and a call to action (similar to the branded pins product).

These takeovers are the granddaddy of Waze marketing because you also have the ability to overlay audience data.

For example, if you are a company that serves breakfast and lunch, you could show an ad in the morning to promote your breakfast and an ad around noon to promote your lunch.

Likewise, you can actually target people who are navigating to your competitor’s location and attempt to divert them to your business.

Other targeting options including remarketing to users who have physically been in your store, as well as weather-based promotions.

Promoted Searches

Promoted searches operate much like search engine marketing. As a user inputs a query that is related to your business, an ad is displayed that contains both your logo (so that your ad is more likely to be interacted with) and the offer that you’re promoting.

Unlike the other options, Waze’s promoted searches do not have a secondary creative image associated with them. A user is simply capable of getting directions, saving the location, saving the offer, or calling your business.


Pricing varies, but for the most part Waze ads are sold on a CPM basis (cost per thousand impressions). For zero-speed takeovers, you’ll see CPMs in the $20 range. For branded pins, you might pay as little as $2.

Until Waze directly integrates with one of Google’s existing self-service ad platforms, they are likely to maintain a fairly high monthly minimum. Currently, advertisers have to spend $15,000 a month to use the platform. As always, we’ll be sure to update you as the platform evolves.

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