Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Fun at the Pump?!

Since 2006, the number of televisions atop gas pumps has skyrocketed. Now, 3 private held companies have placed more than 20,000 screens at thousands of gas stations from the Massachusetts Pike to southern California. Roy Reeves, Vice President of sales and marketing for PumpTop TV, says, “We try to bring some fun to the pump.”
Not only are the televisions relieving some stress, but they are bringing in some added revenue for gas station retailers, which have seen a shrink in retail due to an increase in fuel load costs and credit card fees.
It has been reported by Gas Station TV, which tracked its retailers’ sales, saying that stores with the TVs sell 75% more car washes and 69% more snacks if they are advertised. The companies that advertise on the televisions at each gas station, pay “rent” in exchange for placing the flat screens above the pump.
Once a customer starts the pump, the TV comes on. You can’t change the channel or volume, so the customer usually tunes in. It also appears that customers are more willing to buy the products that are advertised and also remember what was advertised. According to a Gas station TV and Nielson Media Research Study, 70% of the people who watched the ads remembered the product advertised, and 89% of customers were willing to buy the product after seeing the ad atop the gas pump.
“One of the pit falls for convenience store owners is that people pay at the pump,” says Richard Divine, head of the marketing department of Central Michigan University. “People don’t want to go inside anymore. But at the gas pump you have a captive audience.”
The main purpose of these TVs atop gas pumps doesn’t seem to be advertisements, but to distract the customer from the $4.22 per gallon of gasoline we are paying for.


katiedickson said...

At first, I wasn't too fond of this idea. However, after reading this article, I can see that it is an effective advertising technique and even more importantly a PR tool. Whether it is getting people to go inside and buy products or not, the subliminal messages are still being absorbed. Most importantly, I relate this idea to the TVs that are placed throughout lines at amusement parks. They seem to grab peoples attention, even i they aren't too entertaining and calm the irritable customers. The same idea comes into play when gas companies are distracting customers from the high prices.

christa schott said...

The idea of TV at the pump is actually a genus idea! People are very susceptible to the power of suggestion, which is why commercials work so well. Therefore, what works better than something everyone is already using? Not to mention the distraction from the amount of gas you are putting in your car.