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Published reports say that SignStorey Inc., which provides instore video programming for more than a thousand supermarkets including Price Chopper, Pathmark, and a number of Albertsons’ banners, has signed a deal with the CBS Television Network to provide semi-original content – meaning that it generally will have been seen on broadcast television.

According to a statement released by the company, the content will include “branded segments from CBS Entertainment, CBS News and Sports as well as from the diverse slate of properties offered by CBS Paramount and King World. The clips will be interspersed with the existing programming in a specific retailer's lineup.”
KC's View:
We can only hope that they don’t show scenes from a “CSI” autopsy on the SignStorey screens over at the butcher counter…

Actually, we certainly can understand why this is good for CBS, which gets to find new uses for existing footage, and SignStorey, which gets a seemingly inexhaustible supply of content to run on the stores’ video monitors.

Our only reservation is what the stores get out of it. If the footage is health and food related, then we see the connection – it might actually be able to sell merchandise (though we wonder if it will be quite that targeted). But if they’re running sports scores or an Andy Rooney commentary from “60 Minutes” or a segment from the “CBS Evening News,” we’re not sure how that helps the store sell stuff – except to create more noise that isn’t really relevant to the shopping experience.

In the official CBS statement, the company describes it as “an exciting advertising platform that connects with our viewers and the stores' customers.” And in its statement, SignStorey said that the arrangement would provide “tangible value for retailers, advertisers and content providers.”

An “advertising platform” that provides “tangible value” – that’s what the stores get out of it. In addition, of course, to revenue. Because they must be making money from the advertising being sold by SignStorey. Which is good for them.

But again, we just hope that the content being supported by that advertising is relevant to the shopping experience. If it isn’t, it will just be more noise that doesn’t provide real value to the shopper.

Which is really the last thing the average American supermarket needs.