Vistar: Media Owner of the Month: GSTV

Vistar | Media Owner of the Month

In the latest installment of our interview series, Media Owner of the Month, we spoke with David Kovall, VP of Digital Partnerships at GSTV. Have you ever checked out the screens at the pump while filling your car’s gas tank? Then you’re already familiar with this ever-expanding network. Below is our Q&A with David where we got to know a little bit more about GSTV and what makes them such an engaging location-based publisher.


Please describe your business - types of screens, regions, and venues in which you operate etc. - and what your network offers brands.

GSTV is a cutting-edge, national video platform, reaching over 93 million unique adults each month across 200+ DMAs.

Using physical screens imbedded in fuel dispensers at 21,000+ retailers, our full sight, sound, motion video network entertains and informs consumers during a natural pause point in their day – while they are fueling up their vehicles. GSTV creates original content as well as partners with leading publishers such as Cheddar, So Yummy, Blossom, The Chive, NFL, NHL, CNet and more. While consumers fuel up, they can watch and listen to our programming  which offers a unique opportunity for brands to engage with a captive audience in a verified, viewable, 1:1 environment. In addition to premium video engagement, GSTV’s audience is highly correlated to much higher consumer spending in grocery, big box retail, QSR and other channels -- a fuel up is a surrogate for errands day, the weekly shopping trip, stocking up for the tailgate and so on.

Brands working with GSTV’s robust data capabilities can understand what happens before, during and after someone sees an ad on our network -- did they visit a store, make a purchase, or tune in after seeing a spot. The national digital video network provides access to viewers who are in a buying mindset, and is capable of validating the ROI on media spend. As a result, we see that our ad campaigns deliver meaningful business outcomes like increasing store foot traffic, viewership, sales lift, transaction, and more.

GSTV is redefining the creative and contextual capabilities of one of the fastest growing areas in media alongside leading brand, creative and publisher partners.


Where do you see the digital out-of-home industry moving in the next 12 months?

In addition to delivering on standard media KPIs and objectives, GSTV continues to focus on client outcomes and I think this will be a trend that we will see with DOOH more broadly as the industry evolves. It is one thing to check the box on media objectives like viewability, brand safety, ad completions, etc., but what is more important is driving those business outcomes like visitation lift, more sales and customer acquisitions. GSTV, like all DOOH at its best, combines contextually relevant messaging to consumer’s daily lives, digital-level targeting and attribution approaches through robust data, and collectively offers a massive creative and performance platform for brands to drive real results.


What has been Vistar’s most valuable contribution to your business?

Simply put, Vistar Media has enabled GSTV to be bought and sold programmatically -- just another solution for our clients to work with and buy us. Buyers can easily use Vistar’s DSP and bid on our supply in their open exchange or we can setup preferred PMP deals that give buyers full transparency, priority access to supply and fixed rates. Vistar also powers our programmatic direct/guaranteed solution where we schedule campaigns to run off their ad server. This gives buyers the benefits of a programmatic activation with guaranteed impressions and white-glove service.


What Vistar software capabilities do you find most useful?

Vistar’s planning tools are easy for self-serve buyers. They are also very helpful for GSTV to use when generating a plan around given parameters. If a client wants to see what is potentially available near their retailers and with a specific audience target, we can quickly generate a plan to show estimated impressions. On the reporting side, buyers can easily see impressions delivery down to the zip code and hour. Every day millions of live consumers are viewing GSTV in a 1-to-1 engagement and Vistar’s tools for buyers make it easy to understand campaign delivery.


What is the one thing that you wish more digital buyers knew about out-of-home?

I think many digital buyers may have a dated perception of out-of-home, as synonymous with static signage becoming digital screens and still largely thinking about the screen. The earliest innovations in DOOH were about multiple messages in the same location, weather triggered messages for a sunny day and so on. Those capabilities are correct,  but the real power of DOOH is captured by bringing digital strategy to OOH - where is my audience, what is their mindset, how can I reach them in the most relevant and engaging moment to provide some value and how can I measure campaign success? GSTV and other DOOH networks now have true broadcast-level scale, so even with any measure of targeting there is significant audience delivery to generate business impact.  For OOH, these once static environments are now digital, attractive, and engaging. Some publishers, like GSTV, are more akin to mobile video or OTT when leveraging audience and creative addressability. DOOH takes the centuries old power of OOH, massive creative canvases and physical context, and combines it with the best of contemporary digital strategy and creativity.