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CBS Coming to the Produce Aisle 237

Posted by samzenpus
from the more-commercials dept.
smooth wombat writes "In the continuing struggle to capture viewers, CBS is pairing with SignStorey Inc. to provide short-form programming designed specifically for shoppers on topics such as health, nutrition, as well as short news and sports items and entertainment. This programming will be displayed on video screens in the produce and deli sections of 1,300 supermarkets nationwide. Virginia Cargill, the CEO of SignStorey, said CBS will provide 1-2 minutes of programming for each video loop that appears on the in-store monitors. Each loop consists of about 8 minutes, half of which is advertising."
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CBS Coming to the Produce Aisle

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  • Horrible. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DrEldarion (114072) * on Thursday March 23, 2006 @01:33PM (#14981479)
    I feel bad for the poor produce section workers that have to listen to the same 8-minute loop for 8 hours a day.

    • Re:Horrible. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Otter (3800) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @01:37PM (#14981511) Journal
      And it'll probably be like the airport, where you have CNN blaring and Muzak playing simultaneously, while everyone shouts into their cell phones that much louder...
    • Re:Horrible. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by thrillseeker (518224)
      I feel bad for the poor produce section workers that have to listen to the same 8-minute loop for 8 hours a day.

      I think this might be actionable as the audio equivalent of the chinese water torture. Repetition ad nauseum is a viable torture technique.

    • by ackthpt (218170) *
      I feel bad for the poor produce section workers that have to listen to the same 8-minute loop for 8 hours a day.

      Yeah, and as if we need to encourage people to loiter longer in the stores.

      They way people drive shopping carts, IMHO, is highly indicative of the way they'd drive if they knew there was no ticket forthcoming.

      I once got so fed up with a couple of nattering bints who completely blocked the aisle, I picked up one of the carts, and moved it aside. That shut their traps.

    • Agreed. And half advertising... jebus. Coming soon to grocery stores: baseball bats.
    • If they've ever worked during the holiday season, then they're used to it... with the same xmas music looped over and over and over and over...

  • by TimeTrav (460837) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @01:34PM (#14981482)
    This will probably encourage the trend of people listening to music or talking on the phone *all the time*, in this case just so they don't have to hear the advertisements. I fail to see how this could be successful.
    • I agree.

      This is proof that TV Execs are complete idiots. Or perhaps the people purchasing advertising. Every store I walk into that has telescreens I observe most if not all people doing something to avert their attention away from the screen. It's a colossal waste of money and I don't see how it is of any benefit to the advertisers.
    • This will probably encourage the trend of people listening to music or talking on the phone *all the time*, in this case just so they don't have to hear the advertisements. I fail to see how this could be successful.

      We brought this upon ourselves.

      Where were the people who complained when movie theaters started showing commercials before a movie starts? Where are the people who complained when theaters expanded these commercials to over 20 minutes before a movie starts? Did anyone stop going to the thea

      • Yeah, actually I did. I don't shop at stores with obnoxious advertising, or patronize companies that have bad customer service/overseas non-understandable customer support. Just so you know: we're out here. Doesn't help any, but not everyone's an utter moron when it comes to consumer habits.
      • Will you buy pizza hut pizza if you see Jessica Simpson eat it in a movie.

        I think it's safe to say I'd buy just about anything after watching Jessica Simpson eat it. That woman can make the muppets sexy, fer cryin' out loud!
    • because now the TV junkies will stop and stare at the monitors and clog the superarket aisles.

      If this shows up at HEB, I'm going elsewhere.
  • As it gets harder to reach people at home, everybody still goes to the grocery store.

    And I will make it a point to shop at the stores that don't bombard me with extra advertising as I walk down an aisle.
    • Absolutely. I will not shop at a store that shows video ads in the produce department. Where I live, there is no shortage of grocery stores. I feel sorry for the poor jerks who don't have much choice and will be forced to see this.
    • the entire aisle is ads. Every single product box is designed to be picked up and bought, as the decision to buy is known to be pretty darn close to point of purchase.

      Anyway, this sort of thing (the big ads everywhere) won't be happening at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods I'd wager. . . which is where my girlfriend shops anyway.

      I don't shop, that's wimmins work. *ducks* I keed, I keed. But I do make her shop or promise not to complain about stuff I bought at Jewel. Her choice.

      • The produce aisle is the single place in the store that isn't all ads. That's changing as they figure out how to overpackage produce, but for now you can go for dozens of feet without seeing brands, packaging, etc.

        That is unacceptable to these advertising bastards, so they want to put a frickin TV there.

        Oh well, they're trying to put TVs on buses and trains here in Denver, and I've seen such in other cities already. The whole advantage to taking transit is I can read instead of marvel at other people's dr

    • by zxnos (813588)
      amen, could it be, that people are harder to reach becuase they dont want to be bombarded constantly? when it becomes too much, people ignore it instinctively.

      i didnt realize google had ads in gmail until someone mentioned it here. every slashdot story has an add when you go to read comments. i have no clue what they are selling. when a webiste asked me to look at an ad before reading a story, i go to another site. i glazed over the parts of articles that are ads becuase the format changes. i could go on..

    • That's one of the quotes which makes me despise these marketing/advertising people even more. You can see their attitude in their choice of words. It isn't "people fucking hate being advertised during 90% of their waking hours", it's "harder to reach people at home". This is exactly the same way of thinking that leads spammers to work out ways to avoid spam filters - these assholes think their "message" is so important they have the right to force it upon you whether you want to hear it or not. God, how
      • God, how I hate them.

        Turn on your radio and wait for a commercial. Then call these fine folks at (203)255-7840, hold your phone up to the radio, and let them appreciate some of the "helpful messages" that pollute our world. Repeat, say, 20 times a day.

  • Nothing to see here, and half of it's advertising.
    .
    .
    .
    Hey! They're scoring coconuts now so they're easier to break open!
    • > Nothing to see here, and half of it's advertising.
      >
      > Hey! They're scoring coconuts now so they're easier to break open!

      Because if a frog had side pockets, he'd carry a handgun, and those coconuts are gonna get scored like a butterfly ballot made of beef jerky and left to cure an alligator-infested Florida swamp.

      Seriously, Dan [about.com], we never knew you had a Slashdot account! How's the turnip soup [wcco.com]? I love biscuits with gravy.

  • So what? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cartel (845256) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @01:36PM (#14981504)
    Seriously, who cares? Nobody really watches those screens anyway.

    • Seriously, who cares? Nobody really watches those screens anyway.

      Or watches them specifically to buy from their competitors? (The more annoying the commercial, the more likely I am to buy another product. I don't have a Dyson or an Oreck vacuum cleaner: I have a Hoover. And thanks, I'm not a hausfrau who is sufficiently ignorant of the laws of physics to believe in bagless vacuums not blowing fine clouds everywhere, nor do I wish to have a vacuum cleaner which is so much flimsy crap that it only weighs 8l

  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @01:36PM (#14981505) Homepage
    Two gas stations near me now have 17 inch flat-panel displays near each gas pump, running news and ads. With loud audio. It's so annoying that I switched gas stations.
    • Apparently some stations are now doing something so you have to decline a car wash before you can start the gas pumping after swiping your card too. To my understanding, my dad was waiting for about three minutes before figuring this out, and was *not* happy about it.

      I love how so much advertising is now having negative effects. The only time I don't mind it is during the superbowl (which I wouldn't watch otherwise), but even those commercials are barely worth watching anymore. Unfortunately instead of


      • Apparently some stations are now doing something so you have to decline a car wash before you can start the gas pumping after swiping your card too. To my understanding, my dad was waiting for about three minutes before figuring this out, and was *not* happy about it.

        Yeah, it's a little intrusive. Just a bit...

        Someone should hack those things to change the options, maybe a randomized thing based on some function of the date and the last digit of the card number, in order to make it seem like an urban leg

        • Just change "paint" to "dirt and road salts" and then you can go after the gas station for abusive marketing. If intrusive ads aren't bad enough, the "company" insulting "their" customers certainly should cause some lost business.
    • I had the same experience at a Shell station. I had already begun pumping before I noticed, but I pushed the "turn this crap off" button, thought for a second, then quit pumping and went to the station across the street.

      • You're allowed to turn off the thoughscreen? The ones here don't have that. Maybe you have to be an Inner Party member.
        • Yes. I don't recall the exact details, but there was definitely a button. The screen also wasn't so large. Yours sound much worse. Hopefully more people start avoiding such stations. I started going to a station that has free air (for tires). It took me weeks to find such a station (new to the area). I truly don't care if the gas is slightly more expensive to subsidize the air pump (and it does not appear to be any more expensive); the convenience of not needing quarters is worth it.

  • Ok (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cubicledrone (681598) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @01:37PM (#14981508)
    This may come as a shock to middle management, but people don't want to watch commercials. The supermarket is already a clogged toilet of happy-talk announcer voices, video screens, blaring signs, surveillance cameras, one cashier for 15 customers and constant harping about signing over your credit profile to avoid being charged penalties of up to 75% on food.

    The last thing people want to see is some blow-dried "my voice is smiling" asshole reading a 30-second factoid from a teleprompter while people try to find a box of breakfast cereal that doesn't annihilate a $10 bill.

    Unplug the fucking televisions. At least give people the dignity of being ripped off in peace.

    • by LS (57954)
      Is there an actual industry term for that smiley voice that women do in ads... the one that has the tone of a mother saying "koochy-koochy-koo" or "I'm so proud of you" in a fake way to a child? I HAAAAAAATE that voice. I'm living in China right now, and they are even worse about using that voice in ads. argh

      LS
    • Get over it. (Score:3, Informative)

      and constant harping about signing over your credit profile to avoid being charged penalties of up to 75% on food.

      You know that's not true. The issue of Club Cards has been hashed over and over here, but the bottom line is that most do not require any personal identifiers. That the stores give shoppers value in return allowing them to better understand purchase trends is not scandalous in the least except to the tinfoil hat crowd. Get over it.

      • Re:Get over it. (Score:4, Insightful)

        by XorNand (517466) * on Thursday March 23, 2006 @03:47PM (#14982580)
        I'm guessing that you're laughing to yourself about sticking it to The Man by putting down "I.P. Freely" on the card application? Have you ever, even once, used your club card in conjunction with a check or a credit card? Whoops. There goes your alter ego.
    • "This may come as a shock to middle management, but people don't want to watch commercials."

      This may come as a shock to you, but if product revenue doesn't see a significant hit from this annoyance, and if profits from this additional advertising more than make up for any dip in product sales, then management won't give a shit.

      If you see these in stores, complain to management, tell them you will be switching to another market to do your shopping and that you will be advising everybody you know to do the s

      • This may come as a shock to you, but if product revenue doesn't see a significant hit from this annoyance, and if profits from this additional advertising more than make up for any dip in product sales, then management won't give a shit.

        Fine, then we'll get the legislature to outlaw it. Then management will give a shit.

  • Ummm... offworld colonies! Replicants! Yay!

    Still waiting for the "basic pleasure model"
  • by dada21 (163177) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Thursday March 23, 2006 @01:38PM (#14981519) Homepage Journal
    I'm not a huge fan of advertising because I hate paying increased prices for products -- I tend to buy generic if the quality is close (or I just make dinner from scratch). Yet advertising is a huge portion of the economy, and if the old media formats don't work, the companies have to evolve.

    I actually like this form of advertising IF it gives me some interesting information. If it is the same 4 minute segment run over months, I'll ignore it and it will likely fail. If they give me something interesting to do with produce, I can actually see it working.

    "Buying onions? Try them with Hamburger Helper for a delicious meal for the family!" isn't going to get me to buy packaged junk. But if they combine it with an interesting recipe (or fact) about the onion, I may just stick around to watch it.

    For those anti-advertising in general, remember that much of the old media that you might have loved (think: Firefly, Futurama, etc) may have died because advertisers wouldn't pay for it -- and we never had the chance to ourselves. Don't knock advertising until you understand how forcing millions to pay a nickel more for a product might be better than asking a few tens of thousands of media users to pay $5 each.

    Then again, the iTunes format may destroy TV and radio anyway. I guess CBS is seeing the forest for the trees.
    • I actually like this form of advertising IF it gives me some interesting information. If it is the same 4 minute segment run over months, I'll ignore it and it will likely fail. If they give me something interesting to do with produce, I can actually see it working.

      I'm halfway looking forward to this "educational nutrition programming."

      ... and orange veggies are a great source of betakerotine...
      This program brought to you by,
      Skittles: You're in the wrong isle, fat ass

  • Good! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Reality Master 101 (179095) <RealityMaster101@NoSpam.gmail.com> on Thursday March 23, 2006 @01:38PM (#14981523) Homepage Journal
    A supermarket's margins are notoriously cut-throat. If they can come up with new revenue streams, that will create more margin for them to lower prices because of store competition (no, I'm not claiming they'll lower prices out of the goodness of their heart). If my having to ignore this gives me lower prices, I'm all for it.

    Just like I'm all for those stupid "club cards". I used to hate them, until I realized that the suckers who didn't use them were subsidizing me, along with the free advertising and coupons. It's well worth it to me for them to know how many tampons my wife buys in exchange for lower prices. Same theory.

    • A supermarket's margins are notoriously cut-throat.

      Actually, this isn't quite true -- supermarkets have very thin margins on certain items, but they have many items with very good margins. I've consulted in the past on some POS systems for smaller supermarkets and was always very surprised at the gross margins of the average sale.

      For the discount card, I use the phone number of a friend of mine at check-out. It's always funny when the clerk says "Thank you Mr. Martin" even though my last name is Dada :)
      • I moved every 6 months in college (dorm life) therefore I got all my club cards right as I was leaving one room to move to the next. If you butcher the spelling of your name well enough the annoying mailers never quite make it to your new dorm across campus, and the grocery store / club doesn't know your true identity.

        And kids, NEVER i mean NEVER fill out a credit card application from a credit card company that shows up on campus. I don't care if the T-shirt is free. I was smart enough never to do it but
    • by Surt (22457)
      Even better is when you don't let them know how many tampons you buy by using someone else's phone number and paying cash.
    • "If they can come up with new revenue streams, that will create more margin for them to lower prices because of store competition"

      Just like the way theater ads have lowered movie ticket prices? Oh yah, they haven't.
    • A supermarket's margins are notoriously cut-throat.

      If only because it's the supplier's whose throats are being cut. They get kicked around like you'd never believe in the name of low prices, and I personally try and avoid that by shopping at places with a more rigorous code of conduct.
  • See, all you skeptics! It's 2006 and we *are* living in the future!

    Who cares if we aren't flying to work in our personal hover cars/jet packs, haven't cured the common cold, haven't eradicated hunger, or, heck, solved any of life's huge questions, when we have all the advertising promised us in films such as Blade Runner and Minority Report?

    Seriously, though, I'm so fscking sick of seeing all those video screens running ads in the grocery store every week. Food Network at the checkout counter, adapalooza b
  • Advice for CBS (Score:3, Insightful)

    by stlhawkeye (868951) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @01:40PM (#14981543) Homepage Journal
    CBS's entire network is an utter disaster except for their sports division. Their news desk has been shamed and discredited, their mainstream programming is garbage. CBS Sports is a competant division with some decent sports journalists. The rest of the network is garbage. I'm sure there's some redeeming shows that some of you watch but I can't remember the last I time I even noticed CBS except when it was in the news for various journalistic integrity scandals.
  • "Each loop consists of about 8 minutes, half of which is advertising."

    Uh...if they do it right, the whole thing will be advertising. 8 minutes might be traditional 30-second spots, but the rest of the content will be either infomercial (Today-show-ish) or pure product placement.

  • to shop at small operations and locally owned stores and chains. Here in Southern California there are Trader Joe's and Henry's stores, both relatively pleasent shopping experiences. Even they are getting a bit too commercial for my taste though. I feel like I am in some failed pavlovian experiment everytime I go into a large supermarket. The executives who run these publicly traded companies use a behavioral approach, instead of asking "what would I like if I were shopping here". Ruins the whole thing
  • by i_am_the_r00t (762212) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @01:47PM (#14981611)
    ...Just installed 10 or so 40 inch plasmas suspended from the ceiling and a 17" LCD in every checkout lane.

    They show the "Walmart Network" on a recurring loop.

    I just wish I could order that channel on Dish Network or DirecTV.

    It could have valuable and informative programming on it that will stir my imagination, enrich my mind and possibly motivate me to buy something that I don't know (yet) that I need.

    later, gotta go punch the monkey and win.
  • How long before CBS can transmit to disposable, flexible displays in produce shrinkwrapping? Or even to displays inkjetted directly onto produce, then engineered into the produce itself?

    We're already close with radio networks and organic displays. What about tapping the energy in the produce itself to drive displays before it all wilts?
  • rather than going to buy food and getting random bits of television, why couldn't they work on technology that allows me to reach inside my television and get random bits of food?

    "oh look! CSI! and a burrito!"

    even though you may not understand what i'm talking about, i rest assured that homer simpson knows exactly what i mean
  • I'm with Bill Hicks on this one: all marketeers, salesdroids and advertisers should kill themselves. One of the biggest reasons I don't shop at either of the two Albertson's in my town is that one of them has these widescreen TV's yelling shit at you while you try to guess which vegetables to buy. I seriously hope they don't bring this to the other grocers in my area.
  • TV-B-Gone (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kjfitz (256432) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @01:53PM (#14981653) Homepage
    Looks like it is finally time to break down and get one of these [tvbgone.com].
    • I can tell you from experience, they are fantastic in stores like that, and usually work on the big expensive plasma models favored by ad monkeys.
  • It's hard enough to get my wife out of the grocery store as it is. Add TV to the mix and I'm going to be a bachelor.
  • not just half (Score:4, Insightful)

    by brre (596949) on Thursday March 23, 2006 @02:02PM (#14981715)
    half of it will be advertising

    No, all of it will be advertising.

    Consider a magazine with exactly one advertiser, entirely supported by that advertiser's dollars. These do exist. The "articles" are little different from the ads. The material identified as ads is at least presented honestly as persuasion, not information. The material identifed as articles is misrepresented as information when in fact it is persuasion.

    Take a look at the helpful health video running in the waiting room at your eye doctor, dentist, etc. Same deal. They're not blurring the line, they're obliterating the line between advertising and information.

    It will be no different in the supermarket. What advertising insiders call "short form programming" you will call ads. If the entire video was identified as ads, it would at least be presented as what it is. But it won't be; half of it will be passed off as "information".

    The result will be not just intrusive and annoying, it will be dishonest and misleading.

    • Consider a magazine with exactly one advertiser, entirely supported by that advertiser's dollars. These do exist. The "articles" are little different from the ads. The material identified as ads is at least presented honestly as persuasion, not information. The material identifed as articles is misrepresented as information when in fact it is persuasion.

      Hear, hear! I read the journal of the AMA, and they're ALWAYS talking about how people should go see "doctors." Scandalous.
  • Anything other than the products themselves that cause people to stop in the middle of the aisle (especially the produce section!) is bad news in my book.

    The grocery stores in my area are packed enough as it is without people gawking at television screens and clogging up the aisles.
  • At Jewel supermarkets in Chicago they have flat-screens at the produce section and checkout already, and yeah, I imagine it'd be annoying as hell for the checkers.

    I don't know that I pay any attention to them when I shop - maybe other people do, but they don't do much for me other than make me very, very glad that I don't work at a supermarket.
  • Can't I just buy some frigg'n produce!? If I wanted to watch TV I'd just grab a box of Krispie Creams and sit on the couch.

    And by the way, this isn't the TV aisle, can you move so I can get some onions?
  • in the grocery store. it's already got enough noise/video pollution to make me think i've stumbled into the game section of my local video store by mistake.

    i have to agree with the person looking for some measurment to weed out advertising types at birth. maybe send them to school as taxidermists or something.

    advertising is the bane of our age but many take it for granted, like a person who never realizes that not all people eat macaroni and cheese prepared from a box for every meal. there is more to life t
  • The Shaw's in my neck of the woods has one of these beasts hanging near the deli section. But there aren't self scanners in the store. What the hell.

    Its easy for me to ignore since I usually shop with headphones plugged into my ears. Makes for a less stressful experience.

    But I can imagine that just like Muzak, this will get on your nerves if you see it more than once a day. Sort of like those little interesting billboards they put in some laundromats. They only start to suck when the same one has been
  • This is simply the evolution of popups into our physical world. More and more invasive advertising. Its not really advertising, its SPAM - unsoliticed and inserted at a place that is inappropriate.

    What about advertisement screens in the toilet stall so that you are subjected to ads while taking a crap? "Having a problem! Try Brand-X Laxative!".

    Clockwork Orange
  • Am I the only one who is getting tired of being assaulted by video advertising everywhere? It's in the mall near my house--large plasma TVs scattered around the mall advertising movies, electronics, and the wonders of mall giftcards. It's in the grocery store, where LCD panels at the checkouts play food-channel type cooking soundbites and advertisements for the latest in precooked dinners.

    I don't mind ads that are billboards or signs, and I can generally put up with the ads they're inserting in Musak these
  • An excuse to buy one of these puppies: http://www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/electronic/755e/ [thinkgeek.com]

    I've been threatening to take one of these to my local sports bar (2 dozen TVs, at least) and watch the hilarity ensue. Too bad they got the best wings in town and I don't want to get keel-hauled by the "regulars".

    Turn off the TVs in the supermarket? Hell yeah.

    ~D
  • I'm not an irrational person. I'm not an inherently aggressive person. I can't lie to you, though: This idea arouses an image of physical destruction, specifically me throwing canned vegetables at these screens. I find grocery shopping to be a chore in the first place, something which I have to concentrate on in order to do well. I don't want a screen in constant view trying to change my attitudes about my brand of butter.
  • I'll be damned if I'm going to watch commercials in the friggin' supermarket. I'll find another local market or... gasp... shop at costco. Somehow, I don't think costco's going to be putting 100's of TVs in their warehouses along each aisle just to spew advertising.

    I don't view ads on my computer. I don't watch commercials on TV. I throw away all junk mail at my mailbox. All my numbers are on the do-not-call list. I don't subscribe to any magazines or newspapers.

    When computers get good enough to do real-tim
  • CBS Radio isn't making a dime now that you-know-who went to Sirius, and they'll have to pay for all his legal bills when the lawsuit they filed against him gets dismissed - or the massive countersuit that'll be filed if it isn't dismissed due to a clueless judge.

    They need the revenue stream.
  • I work in an office building where there's a 60" plasma screen TV by the guards desk and 15" LCD TVs in the elevators. I wish they played informational healthy eating tips and commercials only; instead, they play Fox News 24-7.

It is surely a great calamity for a human being to have no obsessions. - Robert Bly

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