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Retail news

Forecourts: Worth more than just a glance

Forecourts average 1,000 till transactions per day. If you look at the convenience market, the forecourt is today's 24/7 destination shop where you can buy anything from sweets to newspapers, ice to charcoal.
Forecourts also offer more than a pie and a cool drink; with most in partnership with a coffee supplier as well as a retailer offering fresh foods.

For example, Caltex and Seattle Coffee, Total and Mugg and Bean, BP with Wild Bean and Shell with Vida. Caltex has opened 150 Fresh Stops and Woolworths foods are at Engen.

This market has changed positively says Deborah Rosbergen, Digital Account Manager, Graffiti Digital. "Customers stop at the forecourt on their way home. The higher LSM groups purchase coffee and a newspaper and the lower LSMs airtime and fast food."

Graffiti Digital, a division of Graffiti Media, has the exclusive rights to the screens in forecourts following a partnership with AMScreen, a UK-based company to bring the screens to this country. So far, they have installed 400 of about 700 screens in forecourts of Caltex, Total, BP and Shell launching screens at the main tills in all their forecourts countrywide.

Tailored content

Forecourts offer everything from fresh foods to charcoal, ice to airtime - and more. (Image: National Cancer Institute, via Wikimedia Commons)
Forecourts offer everything from fresh foods to charcoal, ice to airtime - and more. (Image: National Cancer Institute, via Wikimedia Commons)
The screens run 24/7 in real time on a digital network. Rosbergen explains the network is very flexible. "Content can be uploaded to the network within minutes and can be specific to the time of day and an area. For example, content at lunchtime will be different to content in the morning or evenings when people are driving home. The content can also be different for a forecourt in Bryanston and a forecourt in Soweto."

The creation for the screens is key in the success of the campaign. This type of media is termed 'glance media' as advertisers have a limited window to (a 10 second slot) to engage the viewer. The campaign message must hit the viewer within the first few seconds. There is also no sound on the screen so the visual must be eye catching.

AMScreen has partnered with a French company, Quividi, which is a facial recognition specialist. Therefore, the screens pick up who is looking at the screen. "It picks up your age and gender and we are able to provide this information to the client. In the future we will take this a step further and correlate which ad the person viewed," explains Rosbergen.

FMCG leads the way

The screens follow a cycle of 100 seconds, of which there are six advertising slots. Content is provided by Times Media and includes live news and sports updates while live traffic feeds are supplied by Inrix. The traffic updates are relevant to that particular area.

Rosbergen says the campaigns run to date have been successful. This is especially so for FMCG brands. "We have done some case studies and the screens have led to an increase in sale of the products being advertised on the screen."

One such campaign was for Halls. Customers had to SMS the bar code on the halls packet to a number to win a prize. Other campaigns were for Magnum, and Airwaves.

"We also have access to sales data. With Magnum, we could compare sales for this period this year to the same period last year and see if there was a sales uplift. We did the same for Halls and they had a 15% sales increase," says Rosbergen.
    
 

About Danette Breitenbach

Danette Breitenbach was the editor and publisher of Advantage, the publication that served the marketing, media and advertising industry in southern Africa. Before her editorship, she was deputy-editor as well as freelancing for over a year on the publication before that. She has worked extensively in print media, mainly B2B, in the fields of marketing, mining, disability marketing, advertising and media.
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