Waze Local is a navigation app that allows you to target drivers near your business to drive more footfall through your door. In this article, we look at your options for advertising on Waze Local and the costs to advertise.

In 2013, Google bought navigational app Waze for $1.3 billion to bring its best features to Google Maps. Initially, the move brought accident reports, speed camera warnings and a bunch of features to Google Maps that we were more used to seeing from sat navs.

However, this all changed last year with the launch of Waze Local, which allows local business to target people with ads while they’re on the road. Larger brands have been able to advertise on Waze for years but the launch of Waze Local is aimed squarely at local businesses looking to literally drive more traffic to their stores.

Here’s everything you need to know about advertising on Waze Local.

What is Waze Local?

Waze is a maps and navigation app that allows drivers to share real-time traffic and road information to others in their local area. Aside from the standard sat-nav experience, Waze has created a genuine community of road users consisting of more than 100 million active monthly users.

Waze Local

Waze Local is the company’s advertising platform designed for small and local businesses, making it possible to target nearby drivers with ads. So you’re delivering ads to people using Waze’s navigation app and they’re only going to see them when they’re driving in the vicinity of your business locations.

For example, coffee shops can target drivers traveling the motorway and provide them with an alternative to the usual Starbucks stop. If users click the ad, Waze can add the cafe to their journey and direct them right to the business. Users can also call businesses hands-free and Waze says its ads increase brand awareness for drivers who repeat the same journey. So even if you don’t get the ad click today, impressions can still bring customers to your door at a later date.

What ad formats are available on Waze Local?

There are four ad formats currently available on Waze Local, three of which engage users while they’re driving in your local area. So let’s take a quick look at each format to give you an idea of what’s at your disposal.

  • Branded Pins: Similar to pins in Google Maps, branded pins inform and remind drivers that your business is on or near their route.
  • Zero-Speed Takeover: Large canvas ads that show on-screen as users drive through your area, acting as a digital billboard to attract attention.
  • Arrows: Digital signs that show users your business is nearby, even though it’s not yet visible on-screen (covering a larger distance than branded pins).
  • Promoted Search: Deliver ads at the top of search results on Waze.

And here’s what each ad format looks like in Waze.

Branded Pins

Branded Pins appear on the map as users are driving. This means they’re limited to the section of map showing on-screen at any one time but the plus side of this means people who see your ads will only ever be a turn or two away from your business. In many cases, users will be able to drive right to your business without even engaging with the ad to get directions.

Waze Local branded pins

However, users can click on Branded Pins to “Drive There,” save your location for later or get more information about your business.

Waze Local drive there ad

Zero-Speed Takeover

Zero-Speed Takeover ads appear as large canvases across mobile displays to grab user attention. Essentially, this takes the first click out of the equation, showing your best offers and allowing drivers to get directed to your business with a single click.

Waze zero-speed takeover

Nearby Arrows

Nearby Arrows behave in the same way as Branded Pins except they show as directional signs on the screen allowing your ad to show, even if your business is “off-screen”. With Branded Pins, you’ve got limited horizontal space for impressions, whereas Nearby Arrows removes this restriction.

Waze Nearby Arrows

Promoted Search ads show at the top of results pages when Waze users search for businesses in the nearby area – eg: food, cafes, garages, etc.

How much does advertising on Waze Local cost?

Waze Local offers two basic packages with variable pricing, depending on what you’re looking for. You can get started from as little as $2 per day (you will be charged in USD) and prices for the Waze Local Plus start from $100 per day.

Waze Local prices


  • $2 Per Day
  • Suitable For 1-10 Locations
  • Branded Pins
  • Promoted Search
  • Geographical Targeting
  • Self-Service Platform Email Support


  • $100 Per Day
  • Suitable For 1-50 Locations
  • Zero Speed Takeover
  • Geo Targeting & Time Scheduling
  • Dedicated Account Manager
  • Branded Pins Promotional Search

In practical terms, this makes Waze Local a relatively low-cost option. Perhaps, more importantly, the ROI potential is impressively high, due to the laser-focused targeting you get right out of the box by targeting drivers who are in your immediate vicinity.

Prices will naturally increase as Waze becomes adopted by more businesses but this platform is geared towards smaller businesses so we’re hoping future CPCs will reflect this. In most cases, the local aspect of advertising on Waze levels the playing field with the possible exception of Promoted Search ads where food establishments could be outbid by the likes of McDonald’s.

Even if that’s the case, Waze Local presents one of the best opportunities for small and local businesses to cut through the digital dominance of major brands.

Time to start advertising on Waze Local?

There’s no denying that digital technology has been a major disruptor for small and local businesses. Online shopping has hurt the high street but 74% of Millennials say they prefer shopping in stores, which means more needs to be done to bridge the online and offline demand.

Waze Local provides a channel that has real potential to close this gap and provide smaller businesses with a bigger online presence. It’s going to work for certain business types more than others and it’s not going to solve all of the digital challenges local businesses face.

However, it provides something no other advertising platform does right now and allows local businesses to target a very specific type of audience. Combine this with a solid local SEO strategy and Waze offers up a crucial paid advertising channel that makes exciting things possible for local businesses.