That’s a picture of the latest brilliant marketing idea – showing television commercials to people pumping gas. Gas Station TV has been testing this marketing idea in Dallas and is expanding the test to more markets with an eye towards having 1,000 gas stations in 21 states by next year. Airing on GSTV will be 15-second commercials as well as news/entertainment content from the ABC television network.
This marketing venture is doomed to fail because GSTV is working under the decaying marketing premise that awareness is the end game for marketers. I don’t think David Leider, GSTV CEO gets IT as evidence by this quote, “This is a truly captive audience that we have–those stuck at the pump–and this is a great opportunity to engage them.” [SOURCE]
The message for marketers is simple: Design marketing activities to be captivating to audiences and not to design marketing activities to hold audiences captive. Captivated – YES!!! Captive – NO!
But this decaying marketing mindset seems prevalent at GSTV. Adam Bleibtreu, GSTV President, is quoted in the June 5th issue of Ad Age saying, “We’ve taken the television set from your living room and put it in the gas station.”
Yo Adam … why would I, as a consumer, want you to take the television from my living room and put it in a gas station? Seriously, why? What I do want at every gas station is a hand sanitizer dispenser on every pump. Not a TV screen. Dig?