ATMs are latest place-based ad medium

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Electronic Data Systems Corp. has introduced technology that puts full-motion advertising where consumers' money is: automated teller machines.

EDS, a technology service provider with a proprietary network of 6,000 ATMs, the week of Nov. 17 started testing video advertising on its machines in San Diego-area 7-Eleven stores.

If the six-month test run is successful, EDS plans to extend the program to Chicago, Los Angeles and New York by the end of 1998 and sell the technology to banks for their own networks.

"You have a very captive consumer; they're just staring at the screen," said Dale Dentlinger, product management director for EDS Consumer Network Services.

The ads, which go a step beyond the banner ads that many banks now run on ATM screens, will play when the machine is processing the transaction and will add no time to a customer's wait, Mr. Dentlinger said. The machines also will offer coupons.

DIRECT MARKETING ELEMENT

"It will combine elements of traditional advertising with direct response and direct marketing," said Don Jarecki, marketing and sales director for EDS Retail Terminal Services.

Costs of the program and ad rates were not disclosed. The first advertiser on the machines is Fox Searchlight Pictures for "The Ice Storm" and "The Full Monty."

In January, Nissan Motor Corp. USA will run ads tied to its cars and local dealerships.

Once the program is up and running, EDS plans to run a range of ads during different times of day. Beer ads, for instance, would run only in the evening.

Mr. Jarecki said some spirits companies have expressed an interest in the ad medium as well.

EDS is teaming with Cashpoint ATM Advertising, Seattle, and Rio Network, Raleigh, N.C., to sell the ad time.

Stephen A. Cone, chief marketing officer for KeyCorp, said the ad technology is a worthwhile enhancement of the ATM if properly executed.

"I think it's a reasonable approach if it's done in a way that doesn't take any longer than a normal transaction," Mr. Cone said.

Copyright November 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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