Dec 11 AT 6:10 PM Clark Wimberly 10 Comments

Mobile advertising thinks outside the bun

Ever been searching around on Google Maps for a place to dine and been unsatisfied with the current selection of ground beefs and cheeses? Cue Taco Bell to the rescue.

While using Google Maps today to locate a place to eat, Taylor noticed some new in-map advertisements from Taco Bell. We’ve never seen this type of ad before so we can only assume the changes came with the most recent update to Google Maps.

Check out the gallery below to see the ads in action. What do you guys think? Are these suggested destination ads likely to send you running for the border?

PS: That last screen is the destination URL (aka the Taco Bell mobile site), not some in-map pop-up. And while we like to tease Taco Bell we’ve enjoyed many a late-night burrito feasts at the fine establishment.

Clark is a developer living in Austin, Texas. He runs ClarkLab, a small web firm with his wife, Angie. He's a big fan of usability, standards, and clean design.

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  • http://Website Austin

    I think this is fine as long as its not there all the time as with other apps.

  • http://Website chewtoy

    Hmmm… Actually, yes — I’m suddenly feeling the urge to stop on the way home tonight. :-)

  • http://twitter.com/jewjawsh jawsh

    I can see this being annoying, but, for now, it’s not horrible

  • http://Website newspeak

    as long as it pops up when i am looking for something relevant like fast food or mexican food (alltho that might be questionable)

    if its just a layer you can turn off even better

  • jon

    I noticed this with the new google maps last week when I did a search for Taco Bell.. so far haven’t seen any other ads/companies taking advantage of this.. anyone else see this with any other companies?

  • http://Website Tom

    You didn’t think Google was rolling out slick little apps for our benefit did you? Everything they do is to deliver ads – their bread and butter. Google Navigation was only released to provide proximity marketing. Get ready, it’s coming. And if the Google phone ever becomes a reality, I’m betting it will be laced with advertising on every pane.

  • http://Website Socrates

    Works for Dunkin Doughnuts, also. Popped up when I was looking for places to eat, like bagel shops.

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  • http://Website DrC

    I don’t have a problem with ads as long as it is not too intrusive. Look at it this way, if you had a choice of paying $500 a month for basic cable with no advertisements or $40-60 with advertisements which would you choose?

    The way these companies are currently making money are by selling devices at a cost much greater than the cost to develop, build, and support them to service providers who recoup the cost by requiring that you sign a 2 year contract (for me and my wife the equivalent of $3672).

    If the Nexus One, Google phone, HTC Passion, whatever can be sold at a cost cheaper than other smart phones and can truly be a voip cellular phone with no need for a $76 per month plan with some advertisements I say Hell Yes.

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