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Why Front-of-Store Ads Are Grabbing Consumers' Attention

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Advertising company StoreBoard Media has been running in-store billboard displays on security pedestals for clients like Johnson & Johnson, Alberto Culver and Cadbury. Located at the front entrances of major drug store chains, this type of media buy allows marketers to catch consumers’ attention the moment they walk into the store. StoreBoard Media, which boasts about 13,000 retail locations within its network, runs displays one advertiser at a time (per store) to “reduce clutter,” said company president Rick Sirvaitis (pictured far left). Sirvaitis, along with StoreBoard Media CEO Doug Leeds, recently chatted with Brandweek about the benefits of security pedestal display advertising. Here's what they had to say:


Brandweek: How do security pedestal media differ from other shopper marketing techniques? What advantages do they offer?
Rick Sirvaitis: We are an out-of-home vehicle that happens to be located where people enter the store, as opposed to a promotion-oriented aisle display. Unlike [shelf displays], we are unique in that we do have this entrance location. If you look at studies, most people only go to the front end of the store. It’s very rare for people to go down every aisle of the store.

BW: How effective is this type of advertising? Is it more cost efficient?
RS: We have the ability to reach over a billion consumers over a four-week period at a cost per thousand (CPM) of less than $2.

We also only run [store boards] one advertiser at a time per store. We feel it adds impact and reduces clutter . . . There is [also] this feeling the store is very much endorsing this product and that is a very strong endorsement ticket.

BW: Do clients usually time their store board ads to coincide with the seasons?
Doug Leeds: [For a program we did in March]—Nexxus (Alberto Culver), Halls (Cadbury) and Curel (Kao)—of those three, the only one that was time sensitive was Hall, as it was cough and cold season. And a skin cream like Kao might be something you advertise when consumers have skin that’s drier. There is no question [clients want] their advertising to run when there is a greater interest in their products. But [timing] isn’t a big difference, really, when running it on store boards.

BW: Why so? What advantages does this type of media have over other forms of advertising, including in-store?
RS: It’s TiVo-proof. It reaches a mass audience because the retailer establishments are turning into mass outlets and mass vehicles. It hits consumers with immediacy. They are aisles away instead of miles away from buying the product.

BW: Are you expanding to channels beyond drug stores?
RS: We are going after some new channels. Right now, we’re concentrated on the drug store chains, but we’re also launching into our first big box store this month. And we’re also going into the food category.

BW: What kind of ROI do clients usually see after using this medium?
RS: We have done match panel studies in the candy, hair care, razor, oral and cough and cold categories and unit movement sales have increased anywhere from nine to 65 percent. In some cases, clients had two different products that were advertised, both of which had significant increases.