Are TV Commercials Coming to a Supermarket Near You?

It wasn't too long ago, just April, in fact, that I wrote here on iVillage about grocery store-based radio broadcasts designed to spur consumer spending. My fear then, as now, was that as word of this phenomenon and its effectiveness spread, so too would other multimedia efforts to market products to grocery shoppers while they are physically in the store.

Guess what? According to an article earlier this week in the New York Times business section, a company called Automated Media Services is working on a system to bring television to "retail environments." In other words, expect to start seeing mini video displays near the toilet paper, dishwashing detergent, and milk, angling for your attention, and your hard-earned dollars. And so far as I know, there hasn't yet been a remote control invented to fast forward through the commercials. If some tech wizard would like to develop one, I'm happy to stand in line and be the first buyer. Early adopter here!

Personally, I like to consider my food and toiletry purchases silently, with only the crazy voices inside my head to guide me. How will I be able to listen to them if, while in the pasta aisle, some honey-tongued actress on a video screen encourages me to switch to a new brand of marinara? Or saline solution?

For as tasteful and unobtrusive as these video displays may be, and their design is purportedly "sensitive" to the surrounding environment, they're more obtrusive than commercial-free grocery aisles. If anyone would like to try to convince me otherwise, trust me, I'm all ears.

Do you think putting TVs in supermarkets is a good idea? Chime in below!

Like this? Read these!
- 9 Tips for Smart Farmers' Market Shopping
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- Taking the Sting Out of Grocery Shopping
- See All of Cheryl's Posts Here


Cheryl Sternman Rule is a widely-published food writer and the voice behind the blog 5 Second Rule. Read all of Cheryl's iVillage posts here.

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