Gas Station TV Holds Drivers’ Undivided Attention at the Pump

Digital out-of-home advertising isn’t just about internet-connected billboards. From bus shelter campaigns that update dynamically to interactive displays in shopping malls, the digital out-of-home market is maturing, enabling brands to deliver targeted content based on ad format and location. Gas Station TV CEO David Leider spoke to eMarketer’s Maria Minsker about how his platform’s ads influence consumers and how digital out-of-home advertising is growing overall.

eMarketer: What makes Gas Station TV unique in the digital out-of-home space?

David Leider: We’re at 3,000 gas stations across 45 states with 52 million monthly viewers. Every one of our stations is IP addressable, and that enables us to work with local and national advertisers to provide contextually relevant messaging at every location.

Gas Station TV is the only full sight, sound and motion broadcast television experience that targets an audience made up exclusively of drivers. We’re able to give an immersive experience to the audience, which we can slice and dice by location, interest and ethnicity.

“At a gas station, we’ve got someone tied to a screen with an 8-foot rubber hose for 5 minutes.”

eMarketer: In what ways is digital out-of-home advertising more effective than other channels?

Leider: At-home media is going through some significant changes. It has become a very distracting environment with iPads and smartphones. What you’re getting with digital out-of-home media, on the other hand, is an environment where there’s not much else going on. At a gas station, we’ve got someone tied to a screen with an 8-foot rubber hose for 5 minutes. They’ve got nothing to do, and we’re able to provide them with a great content experience.

eMarketer: How are brands leveraging the attention of this captive out-of-home audience?

Leider: If you think about the QSR [quick-service restaurant] business, 60% of people aren’t making any decisions on whether they’re going to Burger King, McDonald’s or Taco Bell until a few minutes before they actually do it.

“Networks like ours offer a very high-quality exposure, but still need better definitions for engagement.”

If a driver is in the car at 11:30pm trying to make a decision, and he sees an ad from one of those QSR folks on Gas Station TV, there’s an opportunity to influence that decision. Contrast that with sitting at home and seeing an ad from McDonald’s on TV. I doubt you’re going to get in the car and go to McDonald’s.

eMarketer: Are the screens in your network connected to the internet for dynamic updating and targeting?

Leider: It’s all dynamic, and it’s updated up to 10 times throughout the day. For McDonald’s, there could be a breakfast message in the morning, followed by a lunch message, a dinner message and a late-night message. Our advertisers are really taking advantage of the ability to schedule content. We also have people that are interested in targeting luxury automobile drivers, so we’ve created an elite network that enables us to do that. We’re constantly working with our advertisers on ways to meet their targeting options.

eMarketer: Can you describe your measurement capabilities and how they compare to other channels, such as broadcast television?

Leider: Our audience is fully Nielsen-measured, and we will continue to add tools to further improve the quality of our exposure. Networks like ours offer a very high-quality exposure, but still need better definitions for engagement. The quantitative part is there, and if we do better in terms of engagement analytics, it will become easier to compare exposures in our network to broadcasting and see the huge benefits.