TV seems to be everywhere these days. At the supermarket, the mall and now, thanks to a Michigan-based startup company, the gas pump.
Gas Station TV, based in the Detroit suburb of Oak Park, has been testing its service for several months in Dallas with TV monitors installed above gas pumps that show short clips of news, weather and traffic and, of course, advertising.
This fall, the company plans to expand the program to 100 gas stations in Dallas, Houston and Atlanta, all owned by Murphy Oil USA, which operates filling stations at Wal-Mart stores.
Walt Disney Co.’s ABC will sell ads for the screens and also provide local news, weather and other programming for the screens, mainly from ABC’s locally owned or affiliated television stations.
David Leider, a former marketing executive at Yahoo Inc. who is the company’s chief executive, says they are focused on making the programming useful to users and tailored to the average length of time it takes to fill up with gas — about four minutes.
“We will not over-advertise,” Leider said in an interview. He said the company received overwhelmingly positive feedback from users and gas station owners in the handful of locations in Dallas where it was being tested.
The video will include news segments from local TV anchors, traffic updates as well as some consumer-oriented segments from ABC’s “Good Morning America” program. Since gas pumpers won’t be able to switch off the video, keeping it relevant and engaging is key, Leider said.
“Pumping gas is boring and mundane,” Leider said. “We live in a very can’t-sit-still, multi-stimulus environment. We are convinced that people will be very favorable to this experience at the gas station.”