The Viewable Daylights

VST adding screens to Shell pumps in LA

LOS ANGELES -- VST Media Inc. is launching a video network on gasoline dispensers at select Shell stations in the Los Angeles area. The VST Media Network features 17-in. daylight-viewable screens and stero sound mounted on pumps to deliver news, sports and entertainment to drivers filling their gas tanks.

For the U.S. launch, VST has partnered with two independent Los Angeles-based Shell dealers, Pacific Fuels and C.A.R. Enterprises Inc.

The VST Media Network has already been rolled out in Canada, where more than 1,100 screens [image-nocss] are currently in use at 119 gas stations in the greater Toronto area. Expansion plans call for 5,000 or more screens in 500 more Canadian stations this year, the San Diego-based company said. VSTs system of public screens and contentpart of a new marketing medium called active audience networksis also being used in parts of China.

The VST system runs a combination of paid advertising in addition to reporting news, sports and entertainment, plus movie trailers, public service announcements and emergency alerts. It runs over a high-speed, centrally managed network that provides regular updates to the programming. When the pumps are not in use, screens cycle through a series of onsite promotional offerings. Lifting the fuel nozzle triggers the start of a two-to-three-minute programming loop, matched to the average customer fueling time. The loop features a maximum of six 15-second ads that deliver clear messaging for advertisers along with information to consumers.

Leighton Hull, president and CEO of Pacific Fuels, has implemented VST monitors at 10 of his sites. We believe the VST Media Network will help lift sales and provide an entertaining value-ad for our customers, said Hull. The monitors can be used to promote specific campaigns that drive motorists into the c-store. The great thing is that we can measure any campaign such as how many customers saw the promotions and the associated sales lift of specific product promoted on the network. This allows us to understand the effectiveness of response campaigns and accurately track our return on investment.

Sam Anabi, president of C.A.R. enterprises, an open dealer with more than 50 locations in Southern California, has also installed the VST Media Network at multiple locations. Customers welcome the entertainment and informational value of the network and are motivated by the on-screen advertising. As an open dealer, the VST Media Network allows me to differentiate my sites from my competition and helps me to monetize the investments I have made in real estate and operations. Whether through increased c-store sales, improved customer loyalty or additional car washes, I expect the VST Media Network to have a significant impact on my bottom line.

Gary LePon, president of VST Media, said, Petroleum retailers need innovative ways to enhance the overall customer experience and improve gas and convenience store sales. The VST Media Network helps the petroleum retailer establish a return customer base and build incremental profit growth for the long term.

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