Catch Up While Filling Up

Putting gas in the car is one of those things that’s kind of a pain, but you have to do it. Thanks to another out of home media option, however, going to the pump now may actually not be wasted time after all. NBC Everywhere, the OOH division of NBC Universal, has partnered with Gas Station TV to bring NBC content to gas stations across the land.
Gas Station TV had been at the pump prior to this partnership, offering sports from ESPN and local weather from Accuweather in all the major markets including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. But as of August 31, 2009, NBC Universal content was added to the network. Drivers and passengers alike can now see NBC clips on entertainment and news.
So while consumers are waiting for the tank to fill, which takes a reported 4 to 5 minutes, they can watch TV and catch up on the latest news, weather and sports. When I pump gas, I typically find myself either people watching or just watching the gas ticker as it clicks along totaling up how much I’ll have to owe on this trip. Wouldn’t watching TV be so much better? Heck yeah, and then maybe I wouldn’t be so conscious of how low I’d let the tank get before refueling!
As much as I love this idea as a consumer, I love it all the same from an advertising perspective. For those 4 1/2 minutes you have a captive audience with nothing to do but wait…and watch. As a bonus, the consumer is already in the car and on the go– a prime opportunity for fast food and quick service restaurants that have drive-thrus, like McDonalds and Starbucks.
Since Gas Station TV can program each station individually, advertisers can target their demographic audience at specified times throughout the day. Many people stop to fill up on the way to or from work, which gives a big boost to advertisers trying to reach consumers on their way home who may be stopping at the grocery store or looking for something to pick up for dinner.
The potential for all kinds of advertising on Gas Station TV is tremendous. This is yet another creative way to reach key audiences in transition, and a sign that out of home marketing and advertising is the inevitable future with new media as the enabler. And though I live in New Jersey (where all gas stations are full service by law), I’d love to see Gas Station TV at one of my stations. It would save me from wondering why in the world guys feel the need to get out of the car, even when the attendant is pumping the gas…

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