In Store Advertising. Q&A with Rick Sirvaitis

Rick Sirvatis is a sales legend in the media industry with stints at Blair, NBC Network, WDIV, Turner, Fox Family, ---- and GM Mediaworks. Now, as President of StoreBoard Media, he is involved in an entirely different form of advertising in a place where one might never have seen ads before – at the entry ways of stores wrapping the security pedestals. At a time when one might think that advertising is everywhere, there are apparently more opportunities to place a message than we thought. And at a time with more technology built into every out of home ad, the simplicity of this type of advertising is notable.

In this interview, Sirvaitis talks about his company and how it is measured, the impact of outdoor advertising, the fragmentation of television, C3 versus C7 and programmatic. In addition, Sirvaitis gives an astute overview of where he sees the future of media.

There are four videos that can be viewed at www.WeislerMedia.blogspot.com

Subject                                                 Length (in minutes)
Background and StoreBoard Media           (6:57)
Research and In Store                                (5:26)
TV Fragmentation and C7                         (5:50)

Predictions                                                 (4:19)

CW: Tell me about StoreBoard Media.

RS: It is a very simple concept. Virtually every major store has pedestals at the entrance that prevent people from stealing product. There is an RFID tag on every product that sounds an alarm when they try and exit without it being deactivated. Very simply, we put ads on those pedestals. So everybody entering and exiting the store can see the ads and they can’t be missed.

Charlene Weisler interviews industry veteran Rick Sirvaitis who talks about his extensive media background and his newest venture StoreBoard Media in this 6:57 minute video:

CW: Rick, how do you measure exposure?

RS: I have always gone by the premise that an impression is simply an opportunity to view and we estimate the number of transactions that that average retailer might get over a four week period. We then multiply that by 2.76 to come up with an average number of impressions over a four week period. We sell it on a four week basis. A client gets all of the ads whether there are two pedestals or twelve in a particular store for that full four weeks. We factor the 2.76 as follows – we count going into the store as one, going out the door is two and we add a factor of .76 for people that shop and don’t buy or shop with somebody. We have had that data verified by people counters.

Charlene Weisler interviews Rick Sirvaitis who talks about in store research methodologies for StoreBoard Media in this 5:26 minute video:

Rick Sirvaitis talks to Charlene Weisler about TV fragmentation and C3 vs C7 in this 5:50 minute video:

CW: What is your opinion about fragmentation in television?

RS: I think what is happening in the real world with DVRs is a little different from what some of the numbers may be showing. Right now you are talking about 50% penetration on DVRs and we did a number of studies when I was at Mediaworks about what the impact was. I contended at that time that for every point of penetration of a DVR the marketplace in effect lost half of that in GRPs of commercial value. We can all talk programming; Program delivery in television is at an all-time high in viewing but I would ask the question – do we really know how much of it is commercial viewing versus programming viewing? And how much of today’s viewership, especially by Millennials, is non-commercial? Look at binge viewing. Look at Netflix. Look at HBO. Look at all of these trends. Most people who get a DVR feel that it is the consumers’ right to avoid commercials and they will figure out how to skip through them as fast as possible. They are going to watch more programming but it is getting tougher and tougher to get a commercial message in front of the consumer.

CW: What are your thoughts about going from C3 to C7?

RS: I am a little surprised that there is such a trend towards C7 because to me it is really missing the big issue which is that most of those delayed viewers are skipping commercials. So how you can really count a commercial message beyond a few days is tough. I think the best way to count them is what a lot of networks are doing with VOD now where they might have a shorter commercial load but that’s probably of greater value to most advertisers because you can’t fast forward it and they know it is short so the viewer will pay attention. It probably has a lot more impact.

In this final 4:19 minute video, Charlene Weisler asks RIck Sirvaitis to forecast the changing media landscape over the next five years:

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