'Deal or No Deal' Producer Set to Debut Series -- at the Mall

Endemol Teams With Digital-Out-of-Home Media Network to Broadcast Show in Stores

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Want to watch the latest series from Endemol, the producer of "Deal or No Deal," "Big Brother" and "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition?" You won't find it on TV, or even online. Come April, Endemol's new scripted reality series, "Waiting for a Ride," will premiere in a new video venue: retail stores.

Digital-out-of-home company Access 360 Media programs content and sells advertising on 12,000 screens in national chains such as Journeys.
Digital-out-of-home company Access 360 Media programs content and sells advertising on 12,000 screens in national chains such as Journeys.
Endemol is teaming up for the show with Access 360 Media, a digital-out-of-home media company that programs content and sells advertising on 12,000 screens in national chains such as Journeys, FYE, Game Crazy, Quiksilver, G by Guess and Hollywood Video. The show will be updated monthly in two-and-a-half-minute installments, which will run on the in-store content loop broadcast in participating locations. In addition to reaching Access 360's estimated monthly in-store audience of 43 million young adults, the series eventually will be distributed online, with exclusive behind-the-scenes content, as well as additional mobile call-to-action elements.

"Waiting for a Ride," which is currently filming in California beach cities such as San Diego, Santa Barbara and Manhattan Beach, will be a "Laguna Beach"-esque docu-series that follows five surfer friends on a road trip in search of the next wave.

Also along for that ride will be advertisers, which Access 360 and Endemol will be jointly pitching for integrated sponsorships, product placement, adjacent 30-second spots and possible in-store signage.

A different approach
David Armour, VP-Endemol Digital Studios, said digital out of home was an appealing new area for Endemol to invest in original content because of its ability to reach younger audiences in targeted, on-the-go environments. But like any new content platform, the show will be measured and even filmed differently than a typical TV series.

"For this to be a success, we need to engage an audience and prove a model that we can make this work," he said. "Just as with online video, you want to make TV-quality content as lean-forward programming, so it's not a passive viewing experience. There will be different techniques we use in how we shoot the show and the music and things we'll do creatively to get people's attention."

Roman Tsunder, president and founder of Access 360 Media, said the series is the first of its kind: an original show produced specifically for the digital-out-of-home market. Access 360 has aired original in-store programming before, with a "TRL"-style music-video program that featured hosts such as Gwen Stefani and Bam Margara. Mr. Tsunder also described "Waiting" as a win-win for retailers and advertisers.

Roman Tsunder
Roman Tsunder
"For the retailers, they're getting the most compelling original content, paid for by sponsors. Imagine this retailer, in this case FYE, what they would have to be paid to be associated with a format like this," he said. "For the advertisers, this is like a handshake to reach consumers."

The return on investment
Brands that have frequently advertised on the company's network recently include Mountain Dew, Samsung and Honda, producing original content as well as repurposed versions of existing TV and online ads. They're also buying ad time for a fraction of the price of a typical TV deal. Access 360's cost-per-thousand ad rates often fall within the $4 to $7 range.

"The ROI is we're three times the recall for brands at one-fifth the cost of TV," Mr. Tsunder said. To me, the logic there is overwhelming. When you're watching TV at home, you can't instantly buy any of the products you're seeing. But the products on our network you can typically buy anywhere in the mall."

Digital out of home's relative cost-effectiveness is proving to be its biggest advantage in a rough ad market, with a media-forecasting firm recently pegging it as the second-largest growth category in 2009. PQ Media CEO Patrick Quinn recently estimated that digital out of home will continue to grow 9% in 2009 from the $2.43 billion it grossed in 2008, even as traditional outdoor declines 1%.

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