A New “Channel” for Murphy Oil

  • Convenience Store News

Murphy Oil USA Inc. signed the first real-estate deal of its kind with Gas Station TV in an exclusive agreement that will provide digital media programming for Murphy USA gas stations nationwide through 20-inch high-definition LCD screens embedded within gas station pumps.

GSTV, an IP-based digital television network, will feature ABC-TV programming and original content including local news, sports, weather and traffic. GSTV has launched in Dallas and will soon arrive in Atlanta and Houston.

“Our successful pilot in Dallas has proven GSTV to be a viable tool for enhancing the customer experience at, and revenue stream for participating gas retailers,” said David Leider, CEO, GSTV. “The sheer size and scope of Murphy USA has uniquely positioned GSTV with the real estate to quickly share this tool nationally.”

GSTV will be at 100 Murphy USA locations by September 2006, with 400 stations in the top 10 U.S. markets by Jan. 1, 2007. GSTV and Murphy USA will work together in developing marketing and promotional programs designed to drive incremental retail revenue per customer visit.

“GSTV provides a unique outlet to deliver entertainment and informationto our customers,” said Bill Deichler, manager, special services, Murphy USA. “Consumers that have experienced GSTV enjoy being entertained and provided with news, traffic and weather updates during an otherwise uneventful four minutes.”

Murphy USA operates retail gasoline stations across 21 states in the United States. These high-volume, low-cost retail gasoline stations are located in Wal-Mart parking lots. More than 900 of these stations are now in operation.

“GSTV’s compelling, visually striking consumer entertainment gives Murphy USA something no other retailer has,” said Hank Heithaus, senior vice president, Murphy USA. “The GSTV experience drives customer traffic to the pumps and increases merchandise sales, allowing retailers to generate an incremental bottom line profit.”

In addition to the deal with Murphy, GSTV has formed exclusive partnerships with several prominent players. For content and programming, they’ve signed with ABC, and ABC New Media Sales for sales and marketing. GSTV has also formed a partnership with Gilbarco, the world’s largest manufacturer of gas retailer equipment and technology, with 90 percent market share of all gas station pumps in the United States.

The value proposition of GSTV is rooted in the average length of time consumers spend fueling their vehicle. GSTV has developed a programming schedule to maximize information sharing during this four-minute time period. GSTV will feature select ABC News content, including the popular “News You Can Use” segments from “Good Morning America”; local news, weather forecasts and traffic updates from ABC-owned television stations; and entertaining promotional material from the ABC Television Network.

“GSTV’s full audio and video experience will offer a highly valuable television experience for consumers at the pump, as well as tremendous opportunities for advertisers seeking to reach this significant place-based audience,” said John Watkins, president of ABC National Television Sales.

The full-motion video and stereo sound of GSTV will be broadcast throughout the gas station creating a dynamic and immersive media experience for both the consumer and the advertiser.

GSTV has also entered into a strategic alliance with Gilbarco Veeder-Root to embed the monitors with stereo sound that carry GSTV into its gas pumps at participating stations. The GSTV system will not only be embedded into new fueling dispensers, it can also be retrofitted into any Gilbarco pump. Through an exclusive co-marketing agreement, the GSTV system will be marketed through the Gilbarco sales force and made available to Gilbarco’s high-volume gas retail customers. The partnerships with ABC for content and advertising sales, and the alliance with Gilbarco enable GSTV to provide the equipment and service at no charge to the retailer.

Programmable on a station-by-station basis, a portion of the programming on GSTV is dedicated to delivering messages that directly promote each retailer’s convenience store offerings. With up to four customized, promotional messages airing during each customer’s visit, GSTV enables retailers to drive the pay-at-the pump customer back into the store. Using templates from major brands like Pepsi, Frito-Lay, US Tobacco and others, GSTV custom produces a station’s ads to meet its unique needs.

Another key component of the agreement with Gilbarco is the development of marketing and promotional programs designed to increase incremental retail revenue at participating retailers.

“We believe that GSTV’s digital media solution featuring ABC programming will not only enhance the customer experience but generate profits for our gas retailers by driving more retail traffic into their stores,” said Martin Gafinowitz, president, Gilbarco Veeder-Root.

The dispenser-top units used in the GSTV system will be manufactured by Delphi Display Systems (Delphi), the leading provider of sunlight readable display technology for the quick- service restaurant drive-through industry.

“Delphi Display Systems is committed to pioneering creative solutions and adapting unique applications for our customers,” said Ken Neeld, president and CEO, Delphi Display Systems. “GSTV provides us with another great opportunity to apply our expertise.”

The content on GSTV will be updated several times per day so that it remains relevant each time a customer visits the station.

According to Ad Age, pump-side pitches aren’t new. In 2000, Dallas-based BillBoard Video ran spots along with wireless news content on 12-inch screens at gas stations, but it stopped in 2003.

“There’s a significant difference between the pioneers and the settlers,” said GSTV president Adam Bleibtreu, adding that predecessors have failed for reasons including expensive technology and resistance from advertisers and consumers.

“To us, GSTV is a network,” Bleibtreu said. “We’ve taken the television set from your living room and put it at the gas station.”