Multi-channel Technological Usefulness (or My Day at the Mall)

With three little ones, we often frequent venues that allow us to consolidate our tasks into one physical space.  Super Targets and malls, especially malls with play-areas-for-kids, are high on our list.  Malls are a fascinating place to me, although I don’t like spending lots of time in them.  What fascinates me, aside from the people and the over-saturation of “things” is the lack of technology that exists inside them.  I still see the static, Dewey Decimal System-like mall directories (that’s what I always think about anyway) that were around when I was a kid.  I can’t believe those things still exist?!?  Those scream touch screens with wayfinding + behavioral targeting + mobile couponing + social engagement – they’re really an endless well of multi-channel technological usefulness.

But by an large, these don’t exist.  Digital signage is slowly becoming a standard in malls, but interactivity with that signage doesn’t even seem to be on the radar.  So, I was giddy when I saw a digital signage solution that encouraged me to interact with it.  (NOTE – I did not capture the best content to represent my experience.  Next time, I’ll know exactly what to get for the set-up and pay-off to tell the best story.) 

In any case, these digital signs were scattered throughout the mall, not as a digital directory, but as a vehicle to deliver moving, engaging content, be it movie trailers or dynamic store advertisements.  On one of the “pages” of the scroll, there was a contest that encouraged users to take a photo in front of the sign and post it on their Facebook page.   

So, I took my mobile phone, positioned myself in front of the screen, and smiled:

Then, when we got home, I uploaded the photo on their Facebook page:

And I was happy.  As it ends up, I didn’t win, but I had lots of fun doing it, and appreciated a brand driving me deeper in the experience through digital signage and enabling technology.  This is a good example of DOOH being made interactive through this sort of technology.

With a few tweaks, I think this could have been a better, more effective initiative, but they deserve kudos for utilizing the digital signs in this way.  I hope to see more of this sooner rather than later because I think it’s one of the easiest, most natural extensions of incorporating multi-channel technological usefulness into the spaces around us.

Now, I am not a world-wide mall-goer.  These are my observations based on the malls I have gone to primarily in Texas.  If you have seen any other examples like this, particularly in malls, please send them my way.

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