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Gas Station TV Brings Ads, ABC Shows To The Pump

The service has been available as a pilot in Dallas and is scheduled to be at 500 Murphy stations in the United States by the end of the year.

Antone Gonsalves

June 5, 2006

3 Min Read

Gas Station TV launched on Monday a service that brings advertising and ABC programming to motorists filling up their tanks.

In delivering the service, GSTV has partnered with ABC National Television Sales, a division of the Walt Disney Co.; Murphy Oil USA Inc., which operates 900 stations in Wal-Mart parking lots; Gilbarco Veeder-Root, a manufacturer of gas station equipment; and Delphi Display Systems, a maker of outdoor digital video display systems.

GSTV delivers its content through a 20-inch high-definition LCD monitor on the top of the pumps. The service has been available as a pilot in Dallas, and is scheduled to be at 500 Murphy stations in the United States by the end of the year. Four hundred of the stations are expected to be in the top 10 U.S. markets.

Along with advertising, GSTV programming will feature ABC News content, including "News You Can Use" segments from "Good Morning America;" and local news, weather forecasts and traffic updates from ABC-owned TV stations. ABC's New Media Sales group will sell the GSTV service to advertisers.

GSTV is hoping to attract advertisers by offering a way to reach a captive mobile audience. Most people on average spend four minutes filling up their tanks and visit the same station six times a month, according to GSTV chief executive David Leider. This presents a unique opportunity to push products or services that a person can act on immediately.

"We believe Gas Station TV will provide a great mix of brand and promotional-type advertising," Leider said.

For example, a fast-food restaurant could offer meals at a discount to people who visit a nearby location during a certain time of the day. In Dallas, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. sponsored information on tire maintenance and promoted local dealers.

By taking advantage of the fact that people were in their cars, advertisers have a chance to convince people to take immediate action, such as heading to a store or restaurant to take advantage of a discount, or entering a sweepstakes through their cellular phone.

"You have a much better chance to get people to do something (when they are in their cars)," Leider said.

ABC News Media Sales will work with advertisers in creating ads for the GSTV audience. The network plans to air up to four ads during each customer's visit, including promotions for snacks, tobacco and other products sold in the station's stores. The ABC content will be updated several times a day in order to remain timely.

The GSTV system will also be marketed by the Gilbarco sales force, which will promote it among its high-volume gas retail customers. The equipment and service is available to gas stations at no charge.

GSTV currently features advertising from Allstate Insurance Co., the Chevrolet division of General Motors Corp., Ditech.com, an online home loan service; PepsiCo Inc. and the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co.

GSTV's venture and private equity funding came from iZi Media LLC and DHW Capital LLC.

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