Wells Fargo Trys Advertising on Automated Teller Machines

Article excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO (NYT) -- Animated advertisements may soon be coming to an automated teller machine near you.

Since late February, 340 Wells Fargo ATMs in the Bay Area have displayed three promotional messages during each transaction.

The first ad, for ski-lift tickets sold through the machine, runs before a bank card is inserted. It shows a snowboarder and a skier swooshing across the screen. The second, for online bookseller Amazon.com., runs while the transaction is being processed. The third, which will rotate among several Bay Area nonprofits, is displayed as the receipt and card are being spit out. A final pitch appears on the back of the ATM receipt in the form of a coupon for a 10 percent discount at Amazon.com. The coupons are redeemable only by people who open a Web bank account with Wells. The San Francisco company, known as a marketing innovator, is the only bank using animated ATM ads. It also is the only financial institution that leases screen space to third-party advertisers, industry watchers said. Wells has been a pioneer in ATM technology. In 1994, it began selling postage stamps through its machines, and in 1996, it added the ski-lift tickets being promoted in the new ads. It operates the largest online bank, with 700,000 customers, and also has been an innovator as a retailer, sharing some of its marbled lobbies with dry cleaners and Starbucks coffee shops. These initiatives have contributed to superior financial performance, said Joe Morford, an analyst with First Security Van Kasper. Wells has undertaken an extensive and pricey upgrade of its machines to enable them to show the moving ads. …