Friday, April 04, 2008

Dollar General adds in-store TV

According to the In-Store Marketing Institute, Dollar General is rolling out an in-store TV network as part of its, "increasingly brand-embracing growth strategy." The first 500 stores were outfitted with Dollar General TV, or
DGTV in March. The network is being installed and managed by SmartPic
Advertising in Sarasota, FL. Content will be five-minute loops of
vendor- and retailer-supplied clips running on 37-inch Panasonic plasma
screens placed throughout the stores. The article notes, entertainingly, that:
DGTV is different from other existing in-store networks because it
integrates promotional content with both in-store programs and online
activity, according to SmartPic ceo Jim Elliott. "Dollar General asked
us to help them rebrand the shopping experience," Elliott said. "We
wanted to do more than just throw up a monitor and some ads."
Yeah, I've never seen that anywhere before. I wish there was a way to indicate that I'm rolling my eyes in text. To be fair, the network is employing some clever stuff, including "a three-dimensional
treasure chest that kids are encouraged to search for within the store.
The dispenser holds tokens redeemable at checkout for vendor-supplied
prizes, such as candy, snacks or toys. Each store has one treasure
chest, which is attached to a display promoting DGTV's 'featured vendor
of the month.'" Granted I could see that promotion backfiring in a bad way (especially if the logistical considerations aren't properly handled), but still, they're showing some effort.

As for the economics of the network, each five-minute loop (rotated monthly) will contain:
  • 2 30-second ads
    for main sponsors,
  • 12 five-second static shots for the "featured vendor
    of the month"
  • Additional five-second spots for additional advertisers.
  • 12 five-second spots for Dollar General's internal promotions
For the 500 store pilot, rates are:
  • $187,500/month for main sponsors
    ($375 per store)
  • $147,000/month for the "featured vendor" ($294 per
  • $24,500 for five-second statics ($49 per store)
Main sponsors and featured vendors receive category exclusivity, but they're obligated to sign on for 3-month clips. Of course, whether or not this approach can work at all in a dollar store format (which are, admittedly high margin and high volume, though typically low average ticket size) still remains to be seen.

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