Several major advertisers signed up for a two-month test
|U.S. Marketers may soon be able to measure their audience in nozzles. The new advertising delivery device is called a 'Fueling Talker.'
"There's no other way for the oil companies to greet their customers daily," said Chip Rimmer, marketing director of DirectCast Network, the U.K. subsidiary of DirectCast Network LLC, the Midland, Mich., marketer of the Fueling Talker.
Mr. Rimmer wants Fueling Talker to be gabbing at 1,000 U.K. stations by the end of the year. The pumps will get a limited exposure in the
"It's an intrusive medium, but it's elective as well," said Mr. Rimmer. Pumpers can opt out by turning off the volume on the nozzle, which also has a counter to measure consumers who activate it. "From an advertising point of view, that's total accountability."
Mr. Rimmer has inked deals with the petrol purveyors, which also have 15-second messages about their own offerings
|The nozzle speaker broadcasts 15-second audio commercials.
Mercedes' Smart Car spot, from Interpublic Group of Cos.' Springer & Jacoby, Hamburg, touts it takes just 15 pounds (about $24) worth of fuel to fill up, vs. 40 pounds ($63) for an average car.
Can't build message
Tom Healey, a former agency media director and now a partner at consultancy J.D. Power and Associates, said the Smart Car ad is a "very relevant message since it's talking about the price of gas." But he dubbed Fueling Talker a point-of-sale tool. "I don't know how you could build any frequency or message continuity since it's a one-shot deal." He went on to call the advertising method "intrusive and offensive."
Marketers keep trying new ways to reach elusive consumers. A year ago, a gas-pump video ad network called Video Venue launched in the U.S. at several hundred Casey's General Stores with ads from major advertisers that included General Motors Corp. and Toyota Motor Sales USA.
Bank of America is now charging advertisers, including several AOL Time Warner's TV networks, to run ads less than 10 seconds long on its automated teller machines in California.