Another advertising disruption ahead

In the comments yesterday, Randy Hoffman pointed us to a new technology reported this week in AdAge. Called MediaCart, it’s a video screen attached to a shopping cart that can deliver video ads to consumers IN THE STORE and at the POINT OF PURCHASE. Using a combination of RFID and, I assume, wireless video to “help” shoppers with decisions, it’s a marketer’s dream.

The company is well‐funded and has done a ton of research with a test group of 150 shoppers.

One of the company’s findings: 87% of the 150 shoppers surveyed said they would choose a retailer equipped with Mediacart over one without the carts. The reason: “They enabled them to get out of the store more quickly,” Mr. Kramer said, because an on‐screen navigation tool allowed them to find the aisles where, say, anchovies, ketchup or razors were stocked.

Although Mediacart does not rely on item‐level radio‐frequency‐identification tags, it does depend on RFID technology. Each video screen is embedded with an RFID chip that interacts with chips installed on store shelves about every two feet. Without it, there would be no way to create point‐of‐decision advertising — so a shopper strolling in the soda aisle would get an offer for Pepsi, for example — a capability that could radically upend conventional in‐store marketing practices.

So why should those of us in media care? Why the post, Terry? What does this have to do with TV?

As Randy rightly noted yesterday, where do you think the money for these ads will come from? Always remember that disruptive media innovations take money from the existing money pool, and that means the budgets that would otherwise go to local media advertising.

Thanks, Randy.


  1. You’re welcome. The insights I have gleaned from you far outweight what I have shared. But we’re only getting started.

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