Gas Station TV airing customized ads at the pump

Birmingham-based Gas Station TV is making auto advertisers more comfortable in creating advertisements that are custom-designed around the company’s pump-side screen network and location-focused orientation.

Fiat has now gone further than any other car brand by creating an advertisement specifically for Gas Station TV, which has nearly 1,900 pump-top screens across the country. The ad for the 2013 Fiat 500 features a character who literally appears to be abiding in the gas pump just so he can get a peek at the 40-miles-per-gallon vehicle.

“We like to do fun, innovative, breakthrough creative, and this provided a unique venue,” said Casey Hubris, head of Fiat brand communications. The GSTV ad “certainly provides a captive audience” while they fill their cars. “I’m a little surprised that more advertisers haven’t used this space already to create contextually relevant marketing.”

“So let’s have the Fiat message in the right places. This was fun and easy to do.”

The Fiat ad ends by listing the three Fiat dealers closest to the location of the pump.

So far, the Fiat ad is running only on GSTV pumps in California, where gasoline ranges up to $5 a gallon and about 25 percent of Fiat dealerships are located.

“We’re looking to expand that (geographically) down the line,” Hubris said.

GSTV CEO David Leider differentiated between Fiat’s “environmentally relevant” ad and previous and ongoing “contextually relevant” ads that other automakers, and advertisers in other categories, have been running on GSTV.

For instance, Chrysler’s Jeep brand has a series of ads on the network that depict different weather conditions depending on what the weather is in the vicinity of specific gas stations.

Leider said he expects other automotive advertisers to notice Fiat’s foray into Gas TV advertising and do more “environmentally oriented” advertising.

“It’s a matter of baby steps,” he said. “Others will see (the Fiat ad) and probably try to top it.”