Pump it up

Looking for a captive audience? Esso's got one.

Looking for a captive audience? Esso’s got one.

The Globe and Mail and Toronto’s Mojo Radio are just two of the advertisers taking full advantage of Esso’s Pump Topper Screens.

Ad space is supplied by Vancouver-based VST Canada’s Point of Influence Network. According to San Diego-based VST International founder and CEO Lee Olesen, the brains behind the medium, there will soon be more choices; he says the screens will be rolled out to other gas stations over time. And he’s looking at breaking into the lucrative 18-25 market by developing a spin-off of the Point of Influence Network for universities.

Currently, the Esso pumps play 15-second spots on the network, which broadcasts two- to three-minute loops of news, spliced with ads, on monitors mounted above gas pumps. The loop is triggered when the customer picks up the gas nozzle.

‘It’s a great value in that it’s highly targeted,’ says Olesen. He points to Pizza Nova as an example: The chain is running ads at stations next to its shops. Ads are sold in 10- to 15-second slots and range in price from $300-$700 per site.

Esso launched the network at five test locations in late 2003. Today, 118 gas stations across the GTA are equipped with an average of 10 monitors, and Esso has plans for a national rollout, according to category manager Maryann Pugliese.

Pugliese also reports that, among all 118 locations, Esso is registering two to three million impressions each month.