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As if the cost of gas alone wasn't enough to make your gut gurgle and grumble, now... gasp... the pumps are equipped with little television monitors blaring ads at you while you pump your hard-earned dollars into your tank....


After breakfast with Masidaughter this morning, I headed across the street to the local Shell gas station to tank up "the money eater."
I stuffed my plastic wealth into the remover of funds machine and then, lo and behold, the pump began playing commercials on a small LCD screen over my head while blaring the noise from one of those irritatingly tinny sounding speakers.
First it was an ad for Doritos, then it was Diet Mountain Dew (eeeeww, gross) and then it was the "host" of the program... NBC.
NBC has done a great job of getting involved with social media with their fantastic viral videos on YouTube and other video sharing sites. They've really gained some great cred in the online world with their actions.
But this new venture, in my very humble and opinionated opinion, just smells bad (and I don't think it was just the gas). Seriously, my fellow marketers, doesn't this begin to cross a threshold that is just a tad gross? I mean, I know each time I pull up to the pump and swallow my rage long enough to pump my gas, the last thing I want to deal with is somebody trying to talk me into walking into the station convenience store and buying an overpriced Diet Mountain Dew or a bag of Doritos. Seriously...
I get the connection; customer is at the pump and already spending money, why not plant the idea to spend a little more money in the store while the pump is decreasing their ability to send the kids to college. Marketers, this is the kind of thing that gets us the bad image we frequently have in the public's mind. Marketing is everywhere all the time. There should be a few places where we can escape it. Even if there was simply a button on the pump you could press to turn the darned stuff off while you are the victim at the pump. Maybe that would be a step in the right direction. As cell phones become more technical and more like portable computers/ televisions, we are certain to become increasingly saturated with more and more advertising.
Certainly, the public is going to become even less thrilled with us and our ilk. Just the thought of it all gives me gas... too bad I can't put it in the tank.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tim Jackson rarely writes about himself in the third person, so he is going to take the opportunity to do that now. Tim is a bike geek, first and foremost. This geekdom has taken Tim to the helm of a small, but respected bicycle brand- Masi Bicycles. This has proven to be Tim's dream job and has given him the chance to experiment with previously unconventional methods of marketing, such as blogging and other social networking, to try and reestablish the name and reputation of his beloved Masi brand. In the past year, Tim has been very lucky to meet and learn from many different marketing professionals who have been kind enough to validate some of his marketing ideas and embolden him to keep pushing ahead. Tim is a battle hardened marketer, educated by the school of hard knocks, as opposed to any professionally accredited institution... which is a bummer because that would probably get him a better paying gig somewhere. Tim will likely be a somewhat infrequent contributor here because he keeps his hands pretty busy fighting in the trenches each day, but he'll stick his head out in the air long enough to fire off some half-baked theories from time to time. He apologizes in advance, just for the record.