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The challenge

Over a year ago Alvaro proposed Ingenious a challenge: How to monetize free WiFi on Montevideo public buses. He wanted to set up a high-speed connection, so you can watch Netflix while you commute, and make it profitable. His answer? Advertising! A significant portion of the population uses the bus system in Montevideo, undoubtedly a lot of companies would love to get their message to them, especially at a time when they are bored. He asked us to design a system so when you connect it would show a video and charge for those views.

We told him it wouldn’t work. Why? Well, the same reason hotel WiFi is not profitable, even with the added advantage that most guests don’t have internet and must use whatever their hotel offers. You register, you get spam, and the internet is still lousy. How could a system like that work in an environment where the user can choose to switch to LTE anytime? Even if people connected, they wouldn’t look at the video.

So we set to create an advertisement system that made sense for this environment.

Our move

Buses move! And we can capitalize on that!

This is the idea behind Vamos. There is evidence of an obvious fact; you tend to buy your stuff around the places you pass by. Whats more, advertisements are more effective if done near the area you sell the products.

Each time you get on one of Montevideo buses, you get free WiFi, but you also get catered information on discounts in the form of push notifications as you drive by the places they are sold. There is even a chat function for you to ask anything about the product.

For those products that are time sensitive, e.g., food and drinks, we created another type of advertising that knows where you got off the bus, and so we can propose a restaurant with discounts near your working place.

By learning the commuting habits of the users, we can do pinpoint advertising. Showing the commuters the information that is relevant to them

The results?

Users open 25.9% of the messages. That’s huge if you compare with other types of advertising clickthrough, Web banners have a 2% average. Youtube view through rates are close to 15%; this means that 15% of users will go on to watch your video. Mailings come close to Vamo’s open rate, but you have to provide your database.

With the business model validated Vamos can begin to explore new opportunities on public transportation, allowing the users to pay the ticket with the app, know when the bus is arriving and interact in new ways with the business.

Are you looking for a passionate team that can help you envision, design, and build amazing products? Use the link 👇 to schedule a call.

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