Advertisers Target Captive Audiences

If screens seem to be popping up everywhere, that’s because they are. In a DVR world, advertisers are reaching outside the home for today’s most desirable audience: a captive one. Anywhere people might be waiting equals an opportunity to air short-form content and advertising. Tune in to the forefront of “advertainment.”

Big-box Stores

Key player: PRN
Screens: 200,000
Locations: More than 6,000 stores, including costco, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Circuit City
Potential audience: 250 million viewers monthly
Programming: Content from the Food Network, Discovery Health, and Reuters
Updated: Weekly
Major advertisers: Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, Unilever, Canon, Gillette, and Johnson & Johnson
Nielsen says: Among Best Buy viewers, 55% of those surveyed could recall the ads they viewed.
Viewing experience: Remember when you could watch a ball game on the bank of TVs in the electronics department? Those were the days.


Gas Stations

Key player: Gas Station TV
Screens: 5,000-plus
Locations: 400 U.S. cities
Potential audience: 30 million monthly
Programming: CBS creates 4.5-minute blocks of custom content, including two segments for news and one for entertainment.
Updated: Daily
Major advertisers: Car- and snack-related brands such as Chevrolet, Ford, Progressive, Kellogg’s, and Nestlé. Ad rates range from $17 to $20 cost-per-thousand (CPM).
Nielsen says: In January 2008, 84% of those surveyed said they’d view or listen to GSTV at their next fill-up.
Viewing experience: The 20-inch screen on top of the pump diverts your attention from gas prices.

Grocery Stores

Key player: CBS Outernet
Locations: 1,500 stores, including Albertsons, Jewel, and Price Chopper
Potential audience: 80 million monthly
Programming: CBS’s clips from Dr. Phil, Inside Edition, and Entertainment Tonight, plus magazine content from More, American Baby, and Family Circle
Updated: Weekly
Major advertisers: Grocery giants Colgate, General Mills, Johnson & Johnson, and Dannon, at $6 CPM
Nielsen says: Approximately 38% of its potential audience actively watches or listens to CBS Outernet screens.
Viewing experience: Screens are in the produce and meat departments rather than at checkout, to promote specials and offer recipes — and catch you while there’s still time to fill your cart.

Doctors’ Offices

Key player: AccentHealth
Locations: 11,200 doctors’ offices
Potential audience: More than 140 million viewers annually
Programming: CNN designs a special health show that covers topics such as parenting, nutrition, stress reduction, and smoking cessation.
Updated: Monthly
Major Advertisers: CVS, Quaker, and 9 of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies
Nielsen says: According to a 2006 study, 93% of surveyed viewers rated AccentHealth programming either “good” or “excellent.”
Viewing experience: According to Nielsen, the average wait time for patients is 30.2 minutes. In other words, they’re the ultimate captive audience.


The Proverbial
“third place”

Key Player: Ripple
Locations: More than 1,500 stores, including Borders, Jack in the Box, and the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
Potential audience: More than 20 million consumers monthly
Programming: Reuters, E! Entertainment, The New York Times, Yahoo, Clear Channel, and of course, CBS
Updated: Live feeds
Major advertisers: Wachovia, Live Nation, and Ford. Ripple even lets people buy “ShoutOuts,” for $1 a pop, to embarrass loved ones while waiting for their mochas.
Nielsen says: An October 2007 study shows that 61% of consumers viewed Ripple where it aired, and 74% said they’d watch again.
Viewing experience: Segments run from 15 seconds to 2.5 minutes, because heaven forbid we ever get bored.