I want to pump my gas in peace.

We really never get away from marketing messages today.

It seems no place is sacrosanct from the advertising blitz. (Ads in urinals, ads on top of buildings that I can see in flight, ads before, during, and after the latest big picture production). It is no surprise here that businesses are challenged to reach their receptive target market when we are so busy I-Poding (is that a word?), talking on our mobiles, interfacing with digital cameras, blogging online, surfing the Web, or watching any of 500 cable channels.

And now, we present to you — the gas pump ad blitz!!

Convenience stores for years have been strategically presenting (2 for 1 Dr. Pepper, 50 cent hot dogs) signage within eyesight of gas pumps. Businesses know that they have a captive audience for the two minutes or so that we will be pumping gas. Gas stations also know that they make big money from the sodas, snacks, beer, and cigarettes that people purchase at a high ‘convenience’ price. It makes tremendous business sense to get me into that store to browse and hopefully buy.

But now, (cover your ears) the audio blitz begins.

The other day I was greeted by a speaker and audio advertisements while I was pumping gas. For first reaction, where is that noise coming from while I am pumping gas? This is normally my quiet time. Just me and the gas pump for two minutes.

I spotted the Tetco audio box. Thankfully for me a mute button. I casually noticed that the mute button had been worn down to a pulp. I really have to wonder how many people actually get through the entire 1-2 minute commercial for sodas, beer, and cigarettes? 5%? 10%? The ‘increase volume’ looked fresh as a spring day!!

I understand the business pressures that we are under to drive revenue and cut costs.
But how much is too much? Do those messages do more harm than good? Are consumers thankful that this ‘quiet’ time has been invaded? Praise the mute button.

Has anyone else out there interacted with these audio devices at gas stations? Thoughts?

Until next time,

Dan Naden
Naden’s Corner

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