*Ok, so it’s not a real headline, I made it up. But before you level accusations of click-bait tactics, looking at the way the conversations around connected cars are building, all that data they’ll generate is being hungrily eyed-up.

It’s only a matter of time before someone sees beyond the hack-threat stories abounding and to smarter (and even driver-less cars) as a new world of in-car-marketing opportunities (an experience many train travelers enjoy already).

Which is either good or bad, depending on which side of the dashboard you take your view. And makes the made-up headline* seem a rather less fanciful possibility.

Imagine you’re passively enjoying the ride in your hands-free (insert brand of choice) drive.

Now imagine that where the speedo and odometer once vied for your attention, you’re now subject to a relentless tirade of marketing messages and no means to turn them off.

After all, which manufacturer is going to resist the temptation to keep up the brand conversion in the car – or turn down the offers that others would bid for this new channel? Suddenly the dashboard can become another glowing rectangle pushing us tips on how to be tough on (oil?) stains.

And after a hundred years of needing to pay attention to the space just behind the wheel, it might well prove a difficult habit to break (even if there is no steering wheel). Don’t look away now, here’s an important message. Only it’s from a sponsor.

If we’re no longer going to be the drivers, then we need to guard against simply being seen as passive passengers in our relationships with our cars – and our car’s manufacturers.

I’m hoping it’s not going to take the automotive business’ eye off the ball when it comes to thinking about what delivering a better experience should be about (answer – the people who buy and own / use cars, first and foremost), so that we don’t become hostages to random in-car marketeering.

Mind you, whatever the future possibilities might hold, it would be quite useful to literally do the shopping in the car on the way home.

Oh, and can I coin the phrase ‘ICM’ for ‘In Car Marketing’ (or am I late for the party as usual) as the next-big-thing?

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About Richard Hill

Creative director, writer, designer, illustrator based in the UK with global project experience and consulting skills across sectors.

Latest Posts By Richard Hill


automotive, Client-type finds, Experiences, Re-thinking, strategy


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