By offering free sunscreen to the public at parks, festivals, and many more locations, the Stop & Block team hopes to help people in New Orleans enjoy the city’s outdoor events safely. Dr. Keith LeBlanc, medical director, and Jaime Zwiener, director of sales and revenue, spoke with Avenue about their unique company. Their sunscreen-dispensing kiosks are already helping people all over New Orleans and the surrounding area protect their skin and health.
The touch-screen kiosks run on solar power and they do not generate waste. Each user receives a single serving of SPF 50 sunscreen. Wearing an SPF of 30 or higher is recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology, so Stop & Block sunscreen has you covered.
Although the company’s original founder operated the machines on a pay-per-use basis, Zwiener and Dr. LeBlanc are working toward a completely free model. “For me as a skin cancer surgeon, the more sunscreen I can get on people, the better,” said Dr. LeBlanc. Currently, there are permanent Stop & Block kiosks at the Steamboat Natchez loading dock, City Park, Bayou Oaks Golf Course, Girard Playground, Lakeshore Playground, The Blue Crab in Slidell and Carrolton Boosters at the Fly. Another kiosk operates as the festival machine, a free model that has serviced Satchmo Fest, Jazz Fest and the Crescent City Classic. A number of upcoming events are also in the works.
In addition to the ten machines they gained with the initial acquisition of the company, the Stop & Block team is in the process of manufacturing additional kiosks for use all around the greater New Orleans area. In fact, Jefferson Parish signed a Cooperative Endeavor Agreement for up to an additional 40 kiosks to be installed within the next two years.
Various Jefferson Parish Parks & Recreation sites, including playgrounds, multi-use sports parks, and trails, will soon feature these free sunscreen kiosks. It’s a serious investment to help everyone enjoy these outdoor facilities safely.
By encouraging advertisers to sponsor these kiosks the Stop & Block team can keep the sunscreen dispensation free while engaging with local businesses. Calling the kiosks a “Billboard with a Purpose,” the team can offer a unique way to boost visibility for advertisers — both through the exterior wrap, as well as engaging digital screens through banner ads, QR codes and even more dynamic options such as health screening surveys. By supporting a good cause, and advertising their business on this interactive machine, organizations that sponsor the Stop & Block kiosks can reach potential customers in a unique way.
“The exciting thing is the partnership between getting sunscreen on as many people as possible and local businesses who are able to advertise on the machines and be part of that community outreach,” said Zwiener.
In fact, the numbers show that a significant number of people interact with the kiosks, particularly at large outdoor events. At the 2022 Jazz Fest, the Stop & Block kiosk dispensed sunscreen over 5,500 times in the course of a single week. Events like the Crescent City Classic also clock in hundreds if not thousands of sunscreen users as well.
Going forward, the Stop & Block team would like to install more machines throughout New Orleans, and they have plans to extend into the Northshore, Baton Rouge and Mississippi Gulf Coast areas as well. They aim to have 250 machines in place in the next few years.
Anyone interested in installing a Stop & Block sunscreen kiosk at their location or event are invited to contact the team for details. Event organizers and race directors can offer the mobile kiosks as a service to their patrons. In addition, local businesses interested in supporting the Stop & Block team by advertising on the kioasks are also welcome to get in touch.