By Andrea Waldin, VP, Marketing, Scala, Inc.
I, of course, pay special attention to all types of signage - particularly digital signage. Sadly, I've spotted some rather lame attempts at the art of digital signage. One struck me as particularly awful and I thought I'd share. In a hotel (that shall remain nameless) in Montreal, the management had made the investment to hang a screen in the lobby. Seems like all hotels have screens in the lobby these days, so that wasn't interesting on it's own. The content on the screen is what shocked me. Here is a mock up of what I saw...
Seriously? I know that lots of people think that PowerPoint works for digital signage, but this was just pathetic. It was a 4x3 slide on a 16x9 screen. Never mind the fact that they used a standard PowerPoint template and didn't even make an attempt to add any movement or graphics at all. It might as well have been a white board.
I applaud the fact that this hotel was forward thinking enough to spend the money on a screen and PC for their lobby, but this is exactly why some digital signage networks fail - no one thought about the content and the content is the whole point of the sign.
This type of "digital signage" is becoming more and more prevalent because people think this is the cheapest way to get started when in reality it's a waste of money. Digital signage companies are offering all kinds of entry level digital signage products. These low end digital signage offerings have the low price point with the necessary functionality. For the same price as this screen+PC+PowerPoint license, this hotel could easily have deployed a cheap digital signage product that would have given them the ability to deliver compelling content.
I'm sure that if this hotel had all the facts, they would have made a wiser investment. I'm also sure that when they understand their options going forward, they will choose a different path. The problem lies in educating the world on what digital signage actually means and how to make the most of it. So that's my goal: to get the word out on digital signage (because THAT is NOT digital signage).
By Dennis Ryan, Founder & Creative Director, uplone Consulting
First off it is NOT that thing that Homer Simpson says when Bart runs over his foot with a skate board. That would be D'oh!
Kidding aside... so what is DOOH?
Basically, as it sounds, Digital Out Of Home is digital advertising out of the home. So advertisers that typically run ads on commercials--between TV programs spots--can take advantage of targeted regions outside the home to advertise.
Why all the fuss:
BUT advertisers still need to advertise their products. So this type of targeted out of home advertising in digital fashion is gaining true momentum. In fact, Digital out-of-home advertising is one of the fastest growing forms of ad spending across North American and Europe. Estimated statistics show it growing 9.1% in 2009 and 12.8% in 2010.
In the chart above you can clearly see a bump up in the "DOOH" search term since mid-2007. Interest in this digital market has been trending upward. It is clear by the chart that digital out of home has grown legs. The only unclear thing for me with this term is how to hyphenate it... Digital-Out-Of-Home, Digital Out-Of-Home or just plain ole' Digital Out Of Home :)
Any questions? Ask a leader in DOOH--digital out of home advertising
by Sandra Sigel, Summer 2009 Marketing Intern, Scala
My first day as an intern at Scala was on May 18th, 2009. As the day approached, I became more and more worried I was going to be “the girl who got people coffee” or “just the intern”. On my first day, Andrea, the VP of Marketing, had assured me I would be working on projects that would help the company as a whole. She had an outline of activities and projects that I would be working on throughout the summer. When I saw the list of duties I was pretty overwhelmed, and realized I knew very little about digital signage - which made me even more nervous.
One of my first tasks was to read the press releases and tag them according to their subject. Let me tell you how I learned so much about digital signage it’s ridiculous. There are several different types of installations all over the world. The most recent and interesting one I’ve read is Miele (pronounced meal-eh not mee-lee) Domestic Appliance and Commercial Equipment. They have sensors throughout the building so when you walk to a particular section of the displays it triggers the appliances to work and produce the effect that is usually associated with the appliance.
It is outrageous how digital signage is so advanced around us. Digital signage can be used in so many ways it baffles me why more people don’t use it. It is much more convenient than putting up a new billboard every couple weeks/months, or even at stadiums they can decide what is going to be displayed the day before so they have one less thing to worry about the day of the event.
As the summer winds down and I prepare myself to go back to school, I have been reflecting on how lucky I am to be a part of Scala for the summer. I have had many great experiences while working here at Scala and never once did I feel like “the girl who gets people coffee” or “just an intern”.