Monday, April 23, 2007

Westinghouse and AdTek to supposedly deploy PumpTop TV to 75,000 gas station pumps

Just got this in the ol' press release folder:

Westinghouse Digital Electronics, the fourth largest manufacturer of LCD TVs in the U.S.*, today announced an exclusive arrangement with AdtekMedia, Inc. to significantly accelerate the national expansion of “PumpTop TV,” AdtekMedia’s premier digital media network. Westinghouse Digital will build and install turnkey display systems for fuel pumps serviced by AdtekMedia’s narrowcast network, which will deliver news content and advertising to gas station consumers as they fuel their vehicles. The Westinghouse commitment involves supplying complete systems to be installed onto thousands of gas station pumps in each of sixty of the largest U.S. markets, thus creating one of the largest Out-of-Home Digital Media networks in the U.S., reaching more than 100 million drivers each month.

Westinghouse Digital’s technology expertise in displays allows development of next generation, fully integrated systems for gas station narrowcasting. The system includes dual 19” widescreen high-resolution displays (on both sides of the pump), computer, and networking components with wireless delivery along with a server backbone. Westinghouse Digital will incorporate advanced technologies for increased brightness and daylight viewing along with environmental protection and climate control for sensitive system components. Westinghouse Digital’s goal is to improve the consumer experience with the display and provide unique features that directly meet the needs of this growing vertical market consistent with its commitment to build its presence in the commercial market for flat panel displays.
Is it true? Beats me. Sure there are certainly that many gas pumps to be converted, but despite plenty of RFPs and pilot projects, none of the major C-store or gas station chains have stepped up with a major deployment that I'm aware of. I can say this: if one were really planning on deploying 75,000 screens, it would make sense to partner with a big manufacturer like Westinghouse to design and construct the digital signs themselves.

So just how many of these things have been deployed so far? According to the release:
PumpTop TV is currently evaluating national and regional content providers for its network. The near term roll out plan for PumpTop TV calls for expedited completion of the current build-out of the Los Angeles market, quickly followed by full entry into other key U.S. demographic markets including San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto, San Diego, Phoenix, Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston.
If I had to guess, I'd say that Adtek has permission to sell to some number of chains for a particular oil company or companies, but will need to sell on a franchise-by-franchise basis as opposed to winning some huge deal to go out and deploy thousands of stations at once.

Has anybody seen/heard otherwise?

Tags: PumpTop TV, Westinghouse, Adtek

13 comments:

Dave Haynes said...

Esso stations up in Canada have had screens for a few years now at 100 or so ESSO (Exxon Mobil) stations. The same firm, has a handful of Canadian Tire gas stations.

The take-up from advertisers, from what I have seen, has been minimal.

Dave H

Anonymous said...

This is nothing new I've been to stations in the L. A. area that have this.
Interesting it's also been at supemarket checkout stands as well but I think shoppers haven't liked very much and it's kinda annoying just like those voice checkout registers-ya pretty much don't see those anymore either

Jesse L said...

I live in southern CA and they seem to be poppin up everywhere. They are in Valero gas stations usualy in high end communities. I know they have partnered with KTLA a television network in LA, they show news, and entertainment clips. I am also seeing screens in Shell gas stations but I'm not sure if its pumptop tv.

Mike Halloran said...

Here in SoFla, I'd expect them to be stolen or vandalized within hours of installation.

King Gong said...

I avoid using Esso stations whenever possible due to the incredibly insipid and annoying top-of-the-pump television advertising. I'd rather pump my gas in peace. There should at least be an 'opt out' button provided, so that a customer has the option of disabling the feed.

Bill Gerba said...

By this point I've heard more arguments against pump-top signage than retail, airport, hotel and even restaurant signage.

Considering how little time people actually spend at the pump (granted my car only has a 12 gallon tank, so maybe my experience is skewed), what's the reason for all of the bad feelings around pump-top digital signage in general?

Anonymous said...

There is a company in Kansas City- InAd TV that has screens in restaurants and bars that do the same thing. I can't see gas pump TV's being watched in freezing winter tempertures in the Midwest. At least here they are indoors out of the elements and glare from the sun.

Ron Garner said...

Last Friday I discovered they have just added Pumptop TV at a station near North Park in San Diego. It is an independant station situated near the freeway onramp.

I must admit I paid little attention to the ads (until Jessica Simpson's ad ran) but I was curious enough to look at the manufacturer of the apparatus: Westinghouse.

Now, if they were only smart enough to insert digital signage tickers across the bottom of th screen forecasting next weeks gas prices they would have a hit!

Anyone in Southern California knows what I mean!

Bill Gerba said...

Hi Ron,

Thanks from that news from the field. I agree with you, predicting gas prices would be one of the few good uses of a ticker that I can think of :)

Anonymous said...

I started my own little network down here in miami. I ran an ad across my network for one of my adult sites at http://1blunt.com and got a few store owners in trouble.. Damn..

Anonymous said...

I find those things so annoying I will not go to stations that have them. So, as a result, I have not been to a Shell station in months. (I live in the Chicago area and they are the only stations with them so far.) I can only hope other people are doing the same thing. If not, this sort of irritating constant sales bombardment will start going on everywhere

Bill Gerba said...

Here's the question: will the screens turn off enough users (who will then cease visiting the stations) that the increased sales of driving other customers into the store for a purchase don't cover (or more accurately, exceed) that loss?

Anonymous said...

QUOTE: Bill Gerba said...

By this point I've heard more arguments against pump-top signage than retail, airport, hotel and even restaurant signage.

Considering how little time people actually spend at the pump (granted my car only has a 12 gallon tank, so maybe my experience is skewed), what's the reason for all of the bad feelings around pump-top digital signage in general? END QUOTE
_______________________________
To Bill Gerba: The reason is that people don't need nor want to be assaulted by noise and advertisements every moment of the day. Basically, to get gas at a Shell, I am forced to listen to this. I don't want to, so I go elsewhere. Personally, I don't find them annoying only at gas stations, but I find them annoying everywhere and will not go to places that have them.

I hope people do have enough balls to stop going to these places.