Finally, a shelf talker that actually talks (and counts, and does other neat tricks). A new device by Point-of-Product Broadcasting sits on the retail shelves, shows video ads and feeds back the metrics. ShelfAds are automatically activated when a shopper stops at the shelf equipped with the device and display one of the five rotating 10-second commercials.
The commercials are updated via 900MHz transceivers embedded in the unit. ShelfAds capture the number and the type of the ads shown, along with the date, time and store; this information can later be analyzed against sales data for the advertised product, allowing advertisers make changes in the planning and creative on the fly. The system can be tweaked to release aromas as well.
Coke, Colgate-Palmolive and Kraft are among the big advertisers testing the system. The units cost $300 to make. Advertising time costs $4 a day per unit. The main difference between ShelfAds and in-store video displays is that the ads on the former can be directly tied to the context in which they appear. Love a saying on their website: "It's more important to reach people who count than count people you reach."
The story about the device has appeared in AdAge, Dallas Morning News (Google cache), and a few blogs. Some fun technical details can be found on the site of Avid Wireless, the subscontractor who apparently developed the system. Thanks to Steve Miller for the pointer.