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Vugo helps advertisers reach affluent consumers via screens in rideshare cars

Monday, February 29, 2016

A DPAA-Sponsored Feature.
This is the latest installment of the ongoing series spotlighting new members of the Digital Place Based Advertising Association. DPAA’s Mark Braff interviewed James Bellefeuille, co-Founder of Vugo, a rideshare advertising service.

Vugo displays advertisements inside rideshare vehicles that use transportation network applications to discover and pick-up passengers; i.e. Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, and for hire transportation providers. The company partners with drivers and transportation companies to display advertisements in their vehicles.

Ads are displayed after a proprietary determination of the passenger’s trip intent and demographics are analyzed. Vugo then displays the most relevant advertisement to influence the passenger into taking valuable action. Advertisers are charged per impression, action, industry premium and location of the displayed advertisement.

Vugo Photo

MB: Tell us about Vugo’s business model.
JB: Vugo is a software-only mobile media entertainment network distributed via for-hire vehicles including cars dispatched via Uber and Lyft. We partner directly with drivers to incentivize them to earn additional income.

MB: So you are available to Uber and Lyft drivers? Who installs the screens?
JB: Drivers bring their own devices and are responsible for installing their own screens.

MB: What type of advertising is shown on your screens, and how does your TripIntent technology work to serve contextually relevant ads?
JB: We display video and display content including entertainment, media and advertising. We have a proprietary algorithm that calculates data on a passenger’s specific trip to determine the estimated intent of the passenger, which allows us to deliver not only relevant ads that passengers can interact with, but also contextual, entertaining content that prevents ad fatigue.

MB: What brands have advertised on your platform?
JB: Mostly fashion brands, retailers and mobile applications/mobile commerce startups. We are also focused on bridging the gap between small and local businesses and the digital out-of-home space through our marketplace.

MB: You recently launched a button on your screens enabling Uber drivers to receive electronic gratuities from passengers for the first time. How is that working out? Will this encourage drivers to utilize your service?
JB: It has motivated thousands of drivers to join Vugo. However, feedback we receive from drivers is that the tipping button’s greatest achievement is stimulating a conversation about tips between drivers and passengers. Many passengers have been mislead to believing that a tip is included in Uber rides, and by having a conversation about tips, our drivers are receiving many more cash tips.

MB: What’s ahead for the remainder of 2016? 
JB: Vugo is focusing in the Los Angeles market, which is the largest market for Uber/Lyft rides. With over 20,000 Uber drivers, it is the most competitive market for ridesharing services. Vugo intends to bridge the gap between small businesses, artists and digital out-of-home in 2016.

To learn more about Vugo, click here.

Digital Place Based Advertising Association