This stuff works, sometimes despite itself

March 25, 2009 by Dave Haynes

I really, really struggle to get excited about little screens clamped on to poles sticking up in the checkout lanes of stores.

It seems entirely uninteresting, and more than anything, too late in the game to influence whatever is trying to be influenced.

But then comes research from PRN, that suggests at least that consumers really like this sort of thing:

From PR sent to me – Premier Retail Networks, Inc. (PRN), the world’s most experienced provider of digital media solutions at retail, today announced that its Checkout TV™ Network advertiser recall surged to 60 percent in 2008, up 18 percentage points from a similar study conducted in 2007. 

The 2008 Checkout TV™ Recall Study, conducted by GfK Custom Research North America in six major retail markets, revealed an average brand recall of 60 percent, with some individual brands delivering results as high as 91 percent. The study also revealed that 70 percent of consumers who viewed participating ads reported that it influenced their intent to buy the product in the future. 

PRN’s Checkout TV™ Network presents engaging programming that entertains and informs shoppers while they wait in line at supermarket and retail locations worldwide. U.S. viewership is quickly approaching the 100 million mark with 2008 viewership increasing 8.4 percent to 94.6 million viewers every four weeks, according to a viewership study conducted by Knowledge Networks Inc.  

“2008 was a great year for our Checkout TV™ Network,” said Richard Fisher, president of PRN worldwide. “In only four years, the Checkout TV™ Network has become one of PRN’s most compelling networks because it serves retailers, shoppers and advertisers equally well. With this year’s increases in ad recall, viewership, distribution and advertisers, we can show that the market is really embracing this network and we look forward to even more growth in 2009.”  

The release does not say whether the recall rate reflects aided or unaided (for example, did the clipboard people ask what ads shoppers remembered seeing, which is unaided, or did shoppers remember seeing ads for Colgate, and so on, which is aided). The aided number is almost certainly going to be higher.

Whatever the case, my limited understanding of ad recalls rates is that this is a very good number to have. I think the benchmark for TV is something like 10%-15%.

The numbers come from a medium that, based on the pic that came with the press release, is a carved up screen with a weather forecast along the bottom with little, teeny icons, and a skyscraper banner section on the side of the screen, so that the ad spots retain their 4:3 aspect ratio. Marketing after the shopping part of the shopping trip is over, other than impulse buys, doesn’t make a bunch of sense to me.

But I guess you could argue screens down at eye level, small trhough they may be, still get noticed when all those big, expensive flat panels hanging from the ceilings of big box stores mostly get ignored. The research certainly suggests people are indeed looking.

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