Channel M Network Expands Into Dallas

LOS ANGELES The rapidly expanding Channel M out-of-home network is adding a Dallas office, said David Teichner, CEO.

Teichner’s network, which has grown from 7,000 to 20,000 locations in less than a year, is also prepping an in-store promotion to tout Bungie Studios’ “Halo 3” for the Microsoft Xbox 360.

Chris Gayton, former vp, associate media director at Arnold and senior director of media and promotions for Gap/Old Navy, has been hired as vice president of marketing; he’ll lead the network from Los Angeles. Tim Eaton, former RadioShack marketing manager for sports and events, was hired as the senior account director to head up the Dallas office. Eaton will also manage the video for the 3,750 GameStop venues that are part of the Channel M network.

The rapid growth of the network is attributable to acquisitions such as ScreenPlay advertising in Seattle, last fall, as well as the market itself, Teichner said. That’s why, he said, he and others in the industry formed the Out-of-Home Advertising Bureau association about a year ago. “From the standpoint of advertising venue demand, everyone is getting hot on reaching consumers out of home,” Teichner said.

Teichner said he views the Channel M business model much like “a cable set-up,” with each store a subscriber paying for targeted content that includes advertising. “The challenge in advertising is to offer the breadth of demographics,” Teichner said. “But our first step is to lock up the real estate.” Venues such as MyGym and EBGames outlets are part of the network.

In terms of recent custom content delivery, Channel M executed a campaign for Mazda Speed 3 with a tie-in to the Electronic Arts’ game Need for Speed. The EB Games and GameStop venues got a first look at game-play footage featuring the Mazda in the action. Tournaments were filmed for later distribution. The Microsoft/Halo 3 sneak peek is expected to run at more than 3,000 venues.

“Most of the agencies are attempting to embrace this,” said Teichner. “But the reality is that it is yet to be a line item in the budget. That’s why we’ve formed an advisory board with agencies. It’s not an easy buy.”