The smarter way to advertise to passengers

  • Targeted ads by age, gender and mood; brands can obtain measurable information
  • Company turns profitable since brands have doubled spending after experiencing value


The AdMov team (from left) CMO Bobby Cristuta; chief revenue officer Franco Tuazon; chief sales officer Victor Michael Lucena; founder & CEO Ellard Capiral; and co-founder & lead software engineer Redan Esconde


EVEN before Grab’s foray into advertising with GrabAds, a Filipino startup spotted the potential of ride-sharing vehicles as an advertising platform. AdMov is a transport marketing solution which “helps businesses deliver personalised ads to the right people at the right place, context and time.”

The founder and chief executive officer of AdMov, Ellard Capiral says the idea was sparked when he was inside a Grab vehicle two years ago. “I was frustrated at not being able to view billboards properly or even understand the messages shown. They are either too far away or covered by obstacles on the road and passengers only have a limited time to absorb them.”

To address this pain point, the system was developed and AdMov was officially launched in October 2017. But beyond bringing advertisements closer to passengers, the company also capitalises on artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics to advertise in a smarter way.

Although the company’s growth was initially slow due to clients being cautious with their budget spend, Capiral says, “they have since doubled their spending after experiencing AdMov’s value.”

In fact, he claims AdMov turned profitable with positive cashflow in June 2018, just eight months after launching. “We’ve managed to get Fortune 500 clients that are continuously increasing their advertising budget on our platform.”

Some of AdMov’s 57 clients include Unilever, Red Ribbon from Jollibee Food Corporation, FWD Insurance, Lalamove and Eatigo. “We also work with advertising agencies like MindShare, GroupM, Dentsu Aegis and McCann World Group.”

AdMov’s value proposition

In order to maximise benefits for brands, AdMov uses an artificial intelligence (AI) facial recognition feature to target audience by age, gender and mood. When a passenger enters the vehicle, the AI tool in the ad-displaying tablet, scans the passengers face and presents advertisements that are demographically suited.

Addressing concerns of data privacy, Capiral said that "the privacy laws in the Philippines require no consent if personal identifiable information is not stored." But for passengers who are wary, they can opt out of the facial recognition feature. In this case, the advertisements they view will be less personalised.

On top of customising ads for viewers, AdMov's solution also includes an eyeball-tracking feature. "Through this, we know if a passenger is really watching an advertisement. For instance, an advertisement may be 30 seconds long but it is only watched for 10 seconds."

There is also a location-based targeting feature which includes analytics to provide measurable information to a brand. “If a brand would like to carry out a product survey, our platform can provide analytics that correlates to the location, demographics and how the customers views a certain product based on the answers.”

Upward growth for AdMov

With its track record so far, a potential partnership with Grab is on the horizon for the company. Capiral explains, “The strategy for Grab is to find local players they can partner with, like they have done with Display Science in Singapore.”

As for the Philippine market, AdMov and United Transit Ads System Inc are two companies Grab has engaged. “After a three-month trial period from October to December 2019, Grab will select their partner and announce it early next year,” shares Capiral.

Backed by AdMov’s tech capabilities, Capiral is confident of securing the partnership with Grab. “The brands we talk to often compare our offerings [with United Transit] and they love our platform so far. We offer more in terms of features, analytics and measurements.”

Currently, AdMov’s solution is deployed in 420 Grab vehicles with the aim of increasing this number to 1,500 by year end.

Beyond the Philippines, the company has also set its sights on the Singaporean and Taiwanese market especially since their “clients are pushing for service in these countries to be made available by year end”.

Although Grab has already secured a local partner in Singapore, AdMov believes it can do better. “In Singapore, the ads in the Grab vehicles are just looped content and not personalised. We could do more by marrying together both Grab’s data and our analytics.”

With exciting times ahead for AdMov, there exists the challenge of educating the market on the use of new technology versus the more traditionally-accepted ways of advertising. The AdMov team often participates in industry discussions, panel sessions and provides demos to potential clients.

“We are in the middle of an industry transition - from using pictures in newspapers as evidence to a data-driven and measurable approach,” Capiral shares.


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