Ads Are Everywhere: Ubiquity of the 'Fourth Screen'
CREDIT: Gas Station TV
Like gum stuck to a shoe, ads are following Americans wherever they go. From the airports to the elevators, advertisers have found new screens for their messages.
In the last quarter of 2010, ad impressions were up 250 percent compared with the same period in 2009: More than 8 million hours of ads are shown to adults on the go each month, according to The Nielsen Company’s Fourth Screen Network Audience Report.
The “fourth screen” refers to video networks in out-of-home locations like bars, restaurants , retail stores and other place-based venues. Television, computers and mobile phones make up screens one, two and three, which all deliver ads in the hopes of prompting consumers to buy.
More than two-thirds of ad minutes are delivered in restaurants and bars, that’s 335 million of the 501 million minutes. Health clubs ranked second in ad frequency at about 60 million a month, followed by electronics retailer Best Buy at 30 million. Airports, gas stations and stadiums accounted for the rest.
The fifth screen
In-dash Internet-connected vehicle screens are poised to become the next ad-delivery mechanism. Ford already equips some of its vehicles with MyFord Sync, Internet-connected touch screens that allow drivers to access local fuel prices, weather information, movie listings, sports scores and schedules.
Today, navigation systems like Ford’s are closed, but the temptation of new ad revenue is high. After several years of recessionary decline, new car sales jumped 12 percent in March of this year compared with March 2011, according to J.D. Powers.
In North America, advertising models generate well in excess of 90 percent of the more than $400 million in annual revenue from commercial traffic services, consisting mostly of radio and television traffic news reports, according to Howard Hayes, vice president of NAVTEQ Traffic.
Addressing in-dash systems, Hayes said, “Enormous potential exists for advertising models to further drive widespread consumer adoption of traffic services.”
ABI automotive research analyst Dominique Bonte isn’t so sure.
“When you're driving and want to go to [a] certain specific place, I don't think you will go out of your way to whomever is offering a discount,” Bonte told TechNewsDaily. “One thing the industry should not do is simply follow the Internet browsing model.”
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