Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Everything Old is New Again?

"New" ideas spark memories of when they actually were new!

Perhaps you've seen announcements of the expansion of the “Gas Station TV” network. Not content with screens displaying full-motion video and audio to consumers while they are actively making a purchase (I wonder where they got that idea, don't you?!!), there will now be screens placed inside the stations in the “convenience” store portion of said edifices.

Growing up, my sister always wanted to work in a gas station. Not because she loved cars or because she was a gearhead – she loved the smell of gasoline. (I understand that gasoline fumes can cause brain damage, but I also wonder if brain damage seeks out those fumes!) At any rate, most people don't – pace Robert Duvall – love that smell, whether in the morning or any other time of day, so one wonders whether adding this olfactory experience to a commercial message will turn out to be helpful or harmful.

Our guess, here at Jay Standish, Inc. LLC (as if one could reasonably characterize our data-driven marketing forecasts as guesses!), is that it will prove to be a net drag on the utility of this video distribution platform.

This development led me, this past week, into a bit of a reminiscence about the painstaking development of our own full-motion capable, Wi-Fi-enabled, beverage vending machines, equipped with CoollMisstTM technology. Long-time readers of this newsletter will certainly recall the various stages through which this product line has gone, what with the addition of the Wi-Fi capability (giving marketers the ability to change creative "on the fly" in near real-time, as it were.

Then, the CoollMisstTM technology was added, giving the consumer an extra sensory experience - although in this case, it was a welcome one!

The long list of participants in both market tests, research projects, and actual roll-outs of working prototypes gives mute testimony to the power of adding the sense of touch to the sight, sound, and motion already inherent in the product. We here at Jay Standish, Inc. LLC hope that those of us who "know better" won't be fooled into adding a negative olfactory experience to what ought to be a simple message delivery.

Clearly there are many better (and less smelly!) ways to get one's message to the consumer, wherever he (or she!) may be found.


Last week, Jay wrote about getting back in the saddle, only to find he'd been presumed dead:
Ronald Geary responded:
"Jay, it's fabulous that you're not actually dead. It certainly took the wind out of our sails here at the Cape when we heard you'd been killed. It was a bleak birthday celebration back in September without your "salutation" from the Rolodex ..."

Ron, you've made me very happy to know that our birthday missives are appreciated. Hearing my own eulogies, as it were, has been an eye-opening experience - but I'm still mad at Pat!

-- Jay


Henry Michaels said...

OK, so do they think this is something new? Isn't TV just radio with pictures? Didn't we already have gas pumps with radios blaring from the pump handles?

Am I missing something here, or are they?

Jay Standish said...

I think you both are, Henry, you both are missing something.

They're missing the fact that not only has gas pump radio been tried (and found wanting!), but there are already full-motion-capable machines out there happily dispensing potable liquids.

You're missing the fact that there's more to TV than just radio with pictures, and there's more to radio than just TV with no pictures. They're each a fascinating take on each other, and yet wholly their own selves.