On the Boards
A new medium for in-store advertising is spelling success in the drug store category, but other chains are jumping on board as well.
CVS/pharmacy and Duane Reade have rolled out an indoor billboard concept called StoreBoards, as have Longs and Jewel-Osco. Designed to transform entrance security panels into highly visible ad space, the ad panels were created by New York City-based StoreBoard Media.
“We use StoreBoard’s pedestal advertising in our stores to help bring attention to some of the products we sell,” said Mike DeAngelis, director of public relations for Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS/pharmacy. CVS recently debuted a Nexxus indoor billboard campaign in 800 stores nationwide.
StoreBoards presently has the exclusive rights to place their indoor billboards on the security pedestals that are at the entrance to more than 10,000 chain drug stores nationwide.
“We chose the drug channel as our initial point of entry because drug stores have become the convenience store for America,” said Doug Leeds, CEO of StoreBoard Media. “The other channels that we are now looking at are the DIY retailers, office supply, entertainment and electronics, and, ultimately, supermarkets and mass merchandisers.”
According to Leeds, the company is preparing to launch an expansion initiative into shopping malls, department stores and the aforementioned specific retail categories.
Contrary to the traditional school of in-store thought, the retailers that roll out the billboards don’t pay for the placement—in fact, they get paid for providing the space.
“StoreBoards are located within the four walls of a store, real estate that is owned by the retailer,” explained Leeds. “This has nothing to do with in-store dollars and promotional dollars.” The retailer and StoreBoard Media partner in the proceeds generated by the billboard ad sales: a 50/50 split after costs.
For example, when Nexxus shampoo is advertised on the indoor billboard at the entrance to a CVS/pharmacy, Nexxus pays StoreBoards for the ad space, and after StoreBoard Media has paid for costs such as installation, shipping and cost of sales, the remaining monies are split evenly with CVS.
The benefits transcend revenue-sharing. The panels create a graphically interesting entrance out of a typically unattractive security device. “It’s a great way to cover up dated, scratched security pedestals,” said Leeds.
The average CVS store has three security pedestals measuring about 5 ft. tall by 3 ft. wide. The two-sided billboards offer a combined total of 90 sq. ft. for advertising messages at the entrance.
CVS limits the advertisers to those that sell products that CVS stocks. But that isn’t always a requirement. “Duane Reade permits advertisers to promote products that have nothing to do with Duane Reade stores,” said Leeds. “Interestingly, because Duane Reade is such an iconic New York City brand, about a third of its ads are for Broadway plays. They look at it as being a good citizen in New York.”
In addition to determining what products are advertised for sale, the retailer has complete control over the graphics that adorn the panels. Approvals are generated corporately, not at store level, and all ads must be geared toward a general audience.
“Every person who enters, and then exits, the store will pass by the billboards,” said Leeds, “so it is imperative that the ads be appropriate for every customer.”
Panels are changed out every four weeks, and cost to the advertiser is based on a CPM (cost per thousand) of about $2.00.
Staples partners with Blackhawk for gift cards
PLEASANTON, Calif. Staples has announced an exclusive partnership with the Blackhawk Network, the largest third-party provider of prepaid gift-cards, to carry Blackhawk’s Signature Gift Card Mall, currently found in grocery stores such as Safeway. Blackhawk’s Gift Card Mall features over 300 branded gift cards across categories such as fashion, tickets, electronics, home and sports.
“Consumers love buying and receiving gift cards, and putting the Gift Card Mall in Staples stores will make it easy and convenient for our customers to buy a wide variety of gift cards,” said Mark Mettler, senior vp and gmm at Staples.
“Staples is a valuable retail outlet for us because of its understanding of the B2B aspect of our business,” said Don Kingsborough, ceo of Blackhawk Network. “Working with Staples, we will reach small business owners and give them the ability to purchase prepaid gift cards for their employees in the same place they buy office supplies.”
Staples is the first office supply store to carry Blackhawk gift cards.
RadioShack appoints new chief marketer
FORT WORTH, Texas RadioShack announced the appointment of Lee Applbaum to the position of evp and chief marketing officer. Applbaum will be responsible for advertising, brand management, customer relations management and marketing and will report to chairman and ceo Julian Day. He will also serve as a member of the office of the chairman, comprised of Day; Bryan Bevin, evp of store operations; Jim Gooch, evp and cfo and Peter Whitsett, evp of merchandising.
“Lee’s joining us at RadioShack represents another significant step in strengthening our senior management team,” said Day. “Lee’s background and successful track record position him well to add value to our brand.”
Applbaum began his career at Lederle Consumer Health, a division of American Cyanamid Co., shortly after earning his MBA in 1994 from the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He has also worked at The Coca-Cola Co., Schlotzsky’s, Footstar and The David’s Bridal Group, a division of Federated Department Stores. Immediately prior to joining RadioShack, Applbaum was the chief marketing officer for The Schottenstein Stores Corp.