TV for fashionistas and gas pumps seems like ballroom gown and high-tops

November 24, 2009 by Dave Haynes

I am seriously skeptical about the applicability but applaud the efforts by PumpTop TV to offer something different on its screens.

As spotted too early this morning on the Digital Signage Expo site:

PumpTop TV, a digital out-of-home media network comprising more than 12,600 screens at service stations and convenience stores nationwide, is bringing a world of personal fashion and style to gas stations across the country with original content from StyleCaster, an online personal style discovery platform.

According to the company, the ongoing series of 30-second video fashion trends is part of the PumpTop Network’s effort to provide its estimated 12 million monthly viewers with engaging and informative custom content that cannot be found anywhere else. The series kicked off nationwide on November 16.

StyleCaster is integrating Content, Shopping and Community to create a unique, personalized experience for each user. The site helps users get to know their personal style better with every click — from clothes to styled looks to articles — tailored just for them, the company said. StyleCaster’s executive fashion director, Carol Han, will be presenting the latest in fashion and style trends in the 30-second spots.

As viewers enjoy the StyleCaster videos, they also will be exposed to adjacent banners filled with information such as where to buy and how to wear certain fashion pieces. The surrounding banners serve as value-added content to any video or even text shown on the main screen. According to the company, the StyleCaster spots reflect PumpTop TV’s unique position to enrich video content with creative functionally-rich banners highlighting the interactive capabilities of its digital out-of-home network.

“Both PumpTop TV and StyleCaster are very synergistic when it comes to taking advantage of digital content,” said Doug Woo, Executive Vice President of Irvine, Calif.-based AdtekMedia, the parent company of PumpTop TV. “We are both experimenting with all the new digital applications in order to captivate our wide audiences wherever and whenever possible. We hope more and more content providers will realize the enormous opportunities PumpTop TV provides once they see how StyleCaster applied their talent to our video network.” 

“The future of new media is based on distributed content that can be seen on multiple platforms,” added Ari Goldberg, Founder and CEO of StyleCaster. “Whether it’s a 2-inch screen, a 20-inch screen or a 200-inch screen, StyleCaster is creating engaging content that provides utility for style enthusiasts as we continue to democratize fashion.” 

Me passing judgement on fashion is about as amusing as me passing judgement on particle accelerators. But I do understand the concept of contextually relevant. I think what the StyleCaster people are doing could be really relevant for certain types of screen networks, particularly those bubbling up to go after women in high dwell places like hair and nail salons. 

But gas pumps?

Again, kudos for getting beyond the usual sludge like last night’s edited-down newscast from CBS, but I am not sure this is what I’d recommend as part of the mix for people standing by a busy road squeezing in a few gallons. I do like how the company’s programming mix is far more inventive than most screen networks. They have partnered with a lot of Web-based TV companies and seem to be trying things out. TV networks introduce a lot of new shows each fall and dump most of them. Why not gas pump TV networks, I suppose.

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