U.S. News

Taking Ads To The Consumers

Julia Boorstin

With the advent of TiVo, satellite radio and more distractions than ever - it's hard for advertisers to grab consumers' attention, which is why they're venturing into new territory: The mall.

Stores, it turns out, are one of the best places to find a captive audience that is ready to shop.

OnSpot Digital Network — co-owned by ad giant, publicist and mall operator Simon Properties — broadcasts to 1,300 plasma screens in 49malls across the country

Why market to people already shopping?

“It’s a place where you are not passive but active,” says Simon Badinter, CEO of OnSpot Digital Network. “It is a place where you can make a purchas and you are looking to make a purchase.”

The in-mall advertising is proving to be a big win for shoppers and store owners, which spells big returns for advertisers.

Others are getting in on the game

CBS recently bought SignStorey, a digital media company advertising on monitors in 1,400 grocery stores, combining ads and content, like recipes and produce tips. The new company, CBS Outernet, plans to branch into other retail outlets using its technology to target mall shoppers.

And the Oh!Zone, a division of ClearChannel, will hit the mall with immersive experimental marketing soon, gathering focus group information and getting consumers to interact with new products. Net year’s planned Traveling Oh!Zone mall tour is expected to reach about 1.4 million people.

But does it work?

“There’s a tremendous amount of stickiness with the interactive advertising,” says Chris Cocerill of ClearChannel’s Oh!Zone. “It benefits the ad purveyor, it benefits the marketer, it benefits the mall shopper.”