A Strategic Approach to Sustainable Gig Driver Acquisition

Case Study: A Strategic Approach to Sustainable Gig Driver Acquisition


“Gridwise was part of our support system through the pandemic and they helped us strategize from a product and driver acquisition perspective.”

– Nicki Martinez, Sr. Director of Driver Operations


Octopus Interactive is the industry leader in rideshare entertainment and advertising. They improve the rideshare experience for both riders and drivers by providing tablets that feature original games, prizes, informative content, and interactive video advertisements.

This is an incredibly valuable tool that helps drivers earn more income through cash rewards, extra tips, and higher ratings while giving advertisers an opportunity to engage a captive audience inside the vehicle.


“Driver acquisition cost and overall geographic reach were two areas we needed help with.” – Nicki Martinez, Sr. Director of Driver Operations

Octopus Interactive provides a great way for drivers to earn extra income by simply placing a free tablet in their vehicle, so it’s incredibly valuable for any driver. But the most engaged, active drivers are also the most valuable to Octopus, so they specifically need to target drivers who complete the most rideshare trips. 

The team at Octopus Interactive had been leveraging traditional advertising channels such as facebook and word-of-mouth among drivers, but needed better economics at a nationwide scale.

Gridwise has been a key contributor to the driver acquisition funnel for Octopus over the past 2 years, but the well has never run dry. “Gridwise is adding new drivers at such a high rate – and we have grown into a lot of the same markets,” Martinez said. “Gridwise is one of the best partners we’ve worked with,” she continued, “and their drivers are some of the most frequent converters because of the high-quality nature of their audience.”


By mid-2021, Octopus was ready to scale its service nationwide, and expanding the existing relationship was a no-brainer. Working closely with the Gridwise Ads team, Octopus ramped its efforts by moving from an à la carte style advertising model to a more strategic, multi-channel Sponsorship campaign.

This new approach leverages in-app placements, dedicated emails, and social retargeting to engage active rideshare drivers at different points of their work day – without being capped by a performance budget.

Visibility was key in introducing Octopus in new markets, so leveraging a static sponsorship placement in the Gridwise mobile app was crucial for branding. The placement also showcases Octopus as a contributor to the Gridwise Giveback Program, which provides gas subsidies to drivers to fight the ever-increasing costs associated with driving.

Monthly emails to drivers in target markets became a key educational component to explain how the tablet works, and the additional earning potential for drivers. These emails tend to average 27% open rate and 3-4% CTR.


The leap of faith paid off immediately, as impressions increased over 2,000% in the first month of the new campaign. Applications increased 300% while their acquisition cost fell to $10 per driver, lower than any other channel, including Facebook.

“We weren’t overly surprised [by the increase in performance],” says Clay Moore, Sr. Director of Brand Partnerships with Gridwise. “We have partnered on driver acquisition for several years and it’s the type of product that drivers absolutely love,” Moore continued, “So by combining in-app, email, and social channels, we were able to create a really compelling campaign to convert really active drivers.”

Martinez added “Gridwise and Octopus make such great partners because both exist to improve the gig driving experience.” In fact, the two recently inked an exclusive partnership, solidifying Octopus as the sole tablet provider that Gridwise recommends to its drivers.

“Gridwise was part of our support system through the pandemic and they helped us strategize from a product and driver acquisition perspective,” said Martinez.

“Working with Gridwise isn’t like working with another ad platform. They don’t just set a campaign live and leave you to your own devices… They help you continuously drive better and better results,” she added, “…you can sign an agreement for 6 months and feel confident about getting results the entire time.”


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