Gas pump TV guys become vital information source before and after hurricanes

September 8, 2008 by Dave Haynes

If you have read this blog for a bit, you may have noticed I am not the biggest cheerleader for the whole screens on gas pumps thing.

The concept has some logic, but the crappy shovelware these networks tend to put on the screens leaves me cold … the usual, slightly aged news and weather that people who drive cars can get ad nauseum via the radio on their dashboards. 

So it was with considerable delight I read a press release about what New Orleans-based Petro TV did during the recent visit of Hurricane Gustav to the Gulf of Mexico.

Petro TV, a pump-top digital media network located in convenience stores, served as a vital information source for motorists in the New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana areas as motorists evacuated in advance of Hurricane Gustav.    

In conjunction with state officials and its local content partners, CBS affiliates WWL-TV (New Orleans) and WAFB-TV (Baton Rouge), Petro TV began displaying hurricane preparedness and evacuation route segments on Wednesday August 27, four days prior to landfall of Hurricane Gustav.  During this time, the Petro TV network displayed three minute hurricane updates, evacuation procedures and real time traffic maps as an unprecedented 1.5 million people began to evacuate southern Louisiana.  “Petro TV is a great resource for my customers.  We had half-hour lines for fuel prior to evacuation and everyone was glued to the Petro TV screens showing evacuation information as they filled their tanks.”  said John Roberts, a New Orleans Chevron retailer.   

As the first convenience stores returned to business on Tuesday Sept. 2, Petro TV locations began airing critical information for residents returning home.  Information currently showing includes RSS news tickers from WWL, FEMA distribution center locations and vital state and local recovery information.   “The Petro TV network is very informative and a great way to keep my customers informed as they return home and recover from the hurricane.  Since cable TV service is out to most areas, many people are filling their vehicles here simply because they can also get important news from Petro TV at the pump.” said Nadia Elbar, a Baton Rouge Chevron retailer.

With Hurricane Ike setting its sights on the Gulf of Mexico, the Petro TV network stands ready to again assist motorists and evacuees with timely and informative weather information, evacuation routes and traffic patterns in advance of the threatening storm. 

Ethan Cheramie, CEO of Petro TV stated “We appreciate the opportunity to serve our communities during this time.  Our local news partners, WWL and WAFB, have provided our network with timely and critical information as residents needed it.  Our advertisers were also very accommodating to pause their advertising campaigns as we exclusively streamed storm news and related information to the public.  We’re thankful to all of our partners and stand ready to provide this service again as we continue to expand our network.”


THAT is flipping awesome! Directly relevant, compelling information right when people need it. A nice reflection of what can be done with this new medium, and a fabulous case study for these guys to help build their business.  

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