More Consolidation: RIP Ripple, Long Live TargetCast

September 22, 2009 by Dave Haynes

I got told several weeks ago that hyperlocal ad network Ripple TV was at death’s door and the source was pretty reliable, but then watched as nothing happened. Then there was word last week and confirmed this morning that the LA-based company has been acquired by another LA DOOH company, TargetCast Networks.

Putting on my pressDOOH hat for a second here, I was impressed the Websites for both companies actually make direct reference to the deal this morning  and have creative to that effect on the splash page. That sort of coordination doesn’t happen all that much. But keeping my hat on, WHY do the companies then make people download and save the PDF of the press release instead of just linking to a page???

Very annoying and pointless.

Anyway, this means Ripple’s 650 or so host venues, or most of them, will move from one flawed content and ad model to another one that has open questions about it. In the Ripple model the screen had roughly 500 content widgets going on at the same time, surrounding the ads. In the TargetCast model, the ads are L-shaped and border the top and one or the other sides of squeezed broadcast signals. That means you can be sitting at the bar watching a big bowl game with about 30 per cent of that lovely big HD screen peddling cocktails and wireless plans at you the whole time.

Maybe some people don’t mind that sort of thing. I do. But the model is now out there to more than 3,400 screens and time will tell how it resonates with consumers. The demo content on the TargetCast suggests they do a nice job of that creative, and they have what looks to be a cool templating tool clients can use.

The release makes no mention of what the deal involves … Cash? Shares? You get to stay employed???

The release, below, also drops a hint that TargetCast will NOT be in Borders stores, where the Ripple installs really didn’t work.

TargetCast Networks, Inc. (TCN) has acquired Ripple TV to create the premier national away from home television network delivering local and  national advertisements to over 1,400 locations on 3,425 screens.

“This combined organization creates the largest away from home television network in the industry with its casual sit-down and fast casual chain locations delivering 3.9 million Nielsen measured viewers weekly,” said Jerry Hall, President/CEO of TargetCast Networks, Inc. The combined 3,425 screen footprint leverages both existing television panels and supplied flat panels TVs to engage active viewers while they are away from home and in “ready-to-buy/eat/drink” shopping mode in bars, eateries and in proximate retail outlets.

“Advancing technologies are enabling new and powerful advertising venues,” said Dr. Peter Sealey, former Chief Marketing Officer for Coca Cola. “We are now able to deliver a message to consumers exactly when and where they are willing to buy.”

TargetCast will rebrand existing Ripple TVs in fast casual locations, integrate the content and advertising delivery into a single format and use its patented use its patented TargetCaster hardware and software products to scale growth into new locations.

“The media marketplace demands scale and big brands like to associate with other big brands,” said, John McMenamin, TargetCast Network’s newly appointed Chief Revenue Officer and former Ripple TV CEO. “TCN’s proven business model and domain experience has created a substantial branded footprint in a short period of time. Together, we bring the advertising community the largest branded network in the industry, delivering quality audiences.”

TCN’s growth will include expansion in new locations with its existing venue partners and the addition of new distribution channels capable of delivering the scale and return on investment required by its leading advertising partners. 

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