Wal-Mart TV: More motivating than broadcast?

Surveying 5500 of the retailer’s customers appears to document the narrowcasting network’s powerful impact on brand equity and consumer behavior
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Wal-Mart and PRN created a stir in the narrowcasting and advertising industries by announcing that the Wal-Mart Television Network “drives significantly higher motivation levels than advertising for similar brands on in-home TV.” The claim, supported by a TNS 2005 study conducted with more than 5500 Wal-Mart shoppers, indicates consumer motivation, but does not necessarily correlate with actual in-store sales lifts.

The TNS study measured the ability of Wal-Mart TV to drive positive brand equity, motivation and purchase for advertised brands. According the study, customers who have viewed advertising for specific brands on Wal-Mart TV are significantly more likely to:

  • Agree with positive statements about those brands (61 percent agreement) vs. customers who did not see those same advertisements (40 percent agreement).
  • Purchase the advertised product immediately after seeing the in-store commercial (15 percent vs. 4 percent)
  • Plan on purchasing the product in the future (85 percent vs. 62 percent).

Previously, Wal-Mart and PRN measured the in-store network’s viewership using Nielsen studies. This year, they augmented this research by commissioning TNS to dig deeper into the actual impact on the viewers of narrowcasting in Wal-Mart. TNS intercepted 5630 customers at the exits of 20 geographically dispersed stores installed with Wal-Mart TV Network Next Generation configurations. Research took place over three waves between March 28 and May 15, 2005.

The Wal-Mart TV results, if truly indicative of actual buying behavior, are encouraging news not only for Wal-Mart and PRN, but also for the overall digital signage industry. In-store networks clearly reach large audiences, but this research highlights that “consumers viewing an advertisement on WMTV are significantly more likely to make a brand purchase decision for that product today and in the future,” according to Mark Mitchell, executive vice president of advertising sales at PRN.

For more information, visit www.prn.com.

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