Retailers testing Google Maps mobile Promoted Places ads include MAC Cosmetics, Starbucks, Walgreens

The promoted pins in Google Maps are being tested on Android devices.


Ginny Marvin on December 15, 2016 at 3:00 pm


Google is continuing to test its new promoted pin ads — now formally dubbed Promoted Places — in Google Maps with a small group of retailers. The pilot is running in the Google Maps app on Android devices.

First announced publicly in March, Promoted Places ads can appear in the Google Maps app when users are looking at maps of the surrounding area; users don’t need to have searched for the retailer. Promoted pins appear with the retailer’s logo on the map instead of a general category icon.

Clicks on a branded pin pull up a banner at the bottom of the screen showing an “Ad” icon next to promotional text and an image. Users can click again to view the business’s place page.


In addition to Walgreens, which was a launch partner, MAC Cosmetics and Starbucks are among the retailers participating in the pilot.

MAC is testing the ads to promote new products, according to Laura Elkins, SVP of global marketing. Walgreens is using Promoted Places promote the drug store as a destination for small gifts during the holiday season, said Andrea Kaduk, Walgreens director of SEM and social.

Jamie McQuary, senior marketing manager at Starbucks told Google, “Having our logo on the map helps our locations jump out and promoting our favourite menu items gives people a reason to choose us.“

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