FIESTA MART PILOTS BILINGUAL ADS

HOUSTON - Fiesta Mart here tested a new in-store media tool in one unit here, and is contemplating a chainwide rollout.The test involved Shelf-Ads from P.O.P. Broadcasting Co., also here. ShelfAds are 3+-by-9-inch wireless ad displays that attach to the shelf and feature a high-resolution television screen with sound.They can be programmed for four 10-second spots or two 15-second ads, which are activated

HOUSTON - Fiesta Mart here tested a new in-store media tool in one unit here, and is contemplating a chainwide rollout.

The test involved Shelf-Ads from P.O.P. Broadcasting Co., also here. ShelfAds are 3+-by-9-inch wireless ad displays that attach to the shelf and feature a high-resolution television screen with sound.

They can be programmed for four 10-second spots or two 15-second ads, which are activated by infrared sensors when a person stops in front of the display.

About 12 ShelfAds were installed in a test store in Dallas for several weeks in January and February. Coca-Cola, Colgate, Tyson and ConAgra were among the participating brand sponsors. Nearly half the ads were bilingual.

While Fiesta Mart has not determined the effect on sales, it likes the idea of at-shelf advertising, said Keith Jacobsen, the retailer's advertising manager.

"It's positive in that a lot of decisions are made at the store level," Jacobsen told SN.

Fiesta Mart is considering a chainwide rollout because ShelfAds provide a different way of communicating with its customers, about 80% of whom are Hispanic.

ShelfAds are conducive with its shopper demographics because they can be programmed in both English and Spanish.

"Bilingual ads help to break down the language barrier," Jacobsen said. He stressed, however, that Fiesta Mart has not officially approved a chainwide rollout.

Sponsoring manufacturers fund the cost of the displays. Retailers, in turn, receive a percentage of the revenue, plus a free 10-second ad for a noncompeting private label, or store offerings.

Fiesta Mart used its complimentary ads to promote its meat department and other department services.

ShelfAds are valuable in that they reach the right consumer at the right time in the shopping process, said Earl Littman, chairman of P.O.P. Broadcasting Co. and a longtime advertising and marketing executive. Littman cited research showing that 80% of shoppers make buying decisions within the final eight seconds of the purchase.

"ShelfAds are like having best sales representative standing right in the aisle talking to the consumer," Littman said.