A third advertiser, Miller Lite, will start a campaign in
mid-March, executives close to the two companies said.
The exclusive deals will last for all of March. On April 1, the
app display inventory will become available to all buyers with
features such as geo-targeting and cross-device tracking via
activity on users' Yelp accounts.
Those features are not available to this initial group of
advertisers, however. IHG, Taco Bell and the alcohol company to be
named later see this month-long exclusive advertising partnership
as a way to get in front of Yelp's large mobile audience.
Just less than half (45%) of Yelp searches come from mobile
devices, the company said, with mobile searches peaking on
weekends. The service was accessed on 9.2 million unique mobile
devices last quarter. Yelp is the 24th largest mobile media
property, according to digital analytics firm comScore.
"All those users are trying to find all kinds of businesses.
Could be a mom and pop or a chain," Yelp's head of display sales
Preston Junger said. "The value of our overall audience is the
value that Taco Bell sees."
Developing the new ad impressions was precipitated by advertiser
interest. Advertisers that had bought banner ads on the web site
wanted to do the same on Yelp's mobile app, he said.