The in-garage advertising program created by New York-based Video Marketing Concepts has appeared in six Manhattan locations.
Using 35-inch TV screens capable of 80-decibel sound, the network will play an hour-long loop of 30- and 60-second spots for local and national advertisers 24 hours a day.
To date, only local advertisers have signed up for the network, which will be distributed through Square Plus, a New York chain of 70 parking facilities. Distribution pacts with garages in the top seven markets are planned.
National advertisers including Mercedes-Benz of North America, National Car Rental, Warner Bros. and movie theaters are in talks with VMC.
CEO Walter A. Thompson said the network is designed to bolster small to mid-size businesses, though national brands can benefit by perhaps marketing a product available in a neighborhood store.
In addition, Mr. Thompson said the network would accept tobacco advertising, although it hasn't talked to any marketers.
The target audience, Mr. Thompson said, is consumers who have to wait from 5 to 15 minutes for attendants to handle their cars..
"It allows us to do two things: Build a network for advertisers from local communities and tailor the product to this particular audience," Mr. Thompson said, referring to the 70% male demographic he expects will see the network.
21 TO 24 CPMS
Ad rates based on a quarterly buy top out at $500 per month for a :60, which translates to cost-per-thousand rates of 21 or 24, depending on the length of buy after discounts.
In a value-added service for advertisers, a quarterly On-Site Magazine will be available free at participating garages and will contain advertorial content and coupons for advertisers and local stores.
Buyers seem interested, if not enthusiastic, about the medium.
"Should a consumer product use this as a vehicle? I think there are lots of other options," said Jack Hanrahan, senior VP-media director and director of out-of-home media at Leo Burnett USA, Chicago. "If people who see it are going to pay attention, and [the network] continues at that price, it's not a bad option, though. I'd look at it."