NBC offers entertainment at gas stations

MUMBAI: The media landscape is changing and how! The NBC Universal Television Stations group and VST Media Network are partnering to grab eyeballs at the gas pumps. It will deliver customized local news, weather, sports and entertainment video and headlines to on-pump screens at gas stations on daylight-viewable 17-inch screens with stereo speakers.

The deal will deliver programming to 17 Shell gas stations in Los Angeles, but by year's end, VST plans to have 500 stations in L.A., San Francisco and San Diego. VST will also add screens at other gas stations across the country in markets with NBC O&O's.The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Programming is in three-minute bursts, which are activated when pumping begins. That duration was determined to be the average amount of time people spend filling up their gas. "Not to sound too corny, but as you're filling your tank, we're filling your mind," said NBC Universal Television Stations digital media and strategic marketing evp Ric Harris.

The programming, which will be updated twice daily, will come from local newscasts at the NBC stations in each market, and will be coordinated through NBC's KNTV in San Francisco.

The programming is also a vehicle for 15-second ads, which will run between breaks. State Farm Insurance and Tropicana are on board as initial advertisers. The ads try to entice gas pumpers to enter mini-marts. State Farm, which is advertising its car insurance with an ad that compares the high price of gas with the premiums the company's competitors charge. "It's utilizing a car moment to bring up car insurance," said State Farm assistant vp for advertising Mark Gibson.

According to NBC Universal, each participating gas station averages at least 20,000 pump visits per month

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