Had a work conference call right before this 8:00 session. All I’m going to say right now is QR codes and cars are keeping me busy.
This session, Creative Tactics for Integrating Digital Signage in Different Environments, has a good panel:
- Steve from Symon – “Visual Communications Solutions” of which digital signage is a part of
- Jeremy from Razorfish – emerging media, enough said
- Bryan from OpenEye – unique experiences through digital media in various environments
I’m going to hear the stories that OVAB mentioned yesterday that we need – the case studies.
Landscape is constantly changing – number of things that are competing for consumer’s attention: traditional media, new media, social media. Everywhere an individual turns today, they’re being bombarded by information. It’s a different world today, more people are gravitating to online media, now mobile elevating in importance, social, too.
Just having a digital sign on the wall doesn’t mean your message is going to be delivered, seen, absorbed. You have to do something unique. If you’re going to keep people from looking at their handsets instead of the digital sign, you have to do something uniquely different.
Bryan (OpenEye) – what do we do with content (non-advertising based content)? A huge question? Create identity to help strengthen the brand. Emphasize the brand values, culture. Help educate the viewer. Perception is that content is video – not so – look at other dynamic media formats, for example Flash. Look at a way of using content to create a very visual, unique experience. How do we keep the screen fresh? Keep people from overlooking it? You have to create a consistent message across other mediums. There’s a way to pull all that together and put something effective, consistent on digital signage.
(He’s showing examples)
Sovereign Bank example – incorporate media into the environment, not product promotion. Create unique experience for the customer. They developed a series of videos/content of people within the bank, also to show local businesses. All outside of advertising. Also product promotion, but used it in an educational way. Approach this as extending the relationship with the customer and the brand.
Smithsonian Institute Museum of Natural History example – problem with foot traffic, trying to get people from one location to another, to other exhibits. Another challenge – need to incorporate into existing environment, couldn’t move the exhibits. They looked at the architecture, the area – how do we get screens into the existing environment? And not oversaturate the environment? This is a non-advertising based network. The ROI is how big the person’s smile is when they leave. (I’m hearing this consistenly here. Perhaps OK for non-advertising based networks??)
Jeremy (Razorfish) – It’s about understanding the audience that’s going to be there and how to best impact them. What’s the dwell time? It’s a delicate balance. Every time you do one of these, you learn a little bit more. Test and learn process. 4 examples:
Microsoft example – Windows Phone 7 Series. Big touch screen that allows people to understand how the phone software looks/functions on a large screen, with the absence of phones themselves. Only had 6 weeks to do it. Thought about the content first. Animation, video. Instructional. Experience. From technology perspective – multi-touch, directional audio, Windows 7 based. Utilized their Razorfish Touch Framework. Also had tracking mechanisms built in as well. Will use the data to evolve the solution. Design – they worked closely with the MS booth guys. They really wanted to draw people to the screens. One of the biggest challenges is to reverse engineer the animations. Needed to spend a lot of time making sure it was consistent with the animation on the phone.
Retailer example – back-to-school initiative, wanted to drive to denim dept (jeans). Side by side touchscreens on a vacant storefront. Covered the storefront in a static wrap. Full-screen attract loop, made some contextual inferences – Starbucks close by, so mentioned something about the coffee. Heavy use of interactive video – video based on user’s decisions/interactions. A lot of that interactive video content was put on the website. We’re able to get more bang for the buck. Timeout screen if not interacted with after a period of time. Technology – rear-projection film. Their proprietary touch framework and analytics framework.
Audi example – surface experience as part of a tradeshow booth. Developed a complimentary iPhone application, too. Car configurator. Really rich 3-D. Various POVs. Audi-branded “puck” (I believe called a “muster” in the surface developer crowds) that brings up additional menus. Multi-user, multi-touch. Simple gesture that switches the whole interface around if others are interacting with the same surface.
AT&T example – surface experience in retail store. Most difficult considerations – do you want people sitting? Standing? Elevated? Fixture around it? How do you “present” it? Challenge with managing that number of people around it and the whole experience (like standing).
- How do you see these experiences evolving? A: mobile phones, social networking…digital signage is just a complimentary medium. It doesn’t stop, it extends.
- How do you get past the barrier of intimidation, particularly for touch screens? A: It’s about finding ways to attract people into the experience. It’s the content. But then, it’s all about how it looks in the environment. When it comes to multi-touch, gesture-based, the iPhone has really paved the way. But it’s a consideration – either visual or text-based, instruction needs to be there. Also, are there any on-site support (retail store employees, car salesman, etc..)
- Nationally-known brands – who are the leaders in embracing this technology/experience? A: From OpenEye’s perspective, there is “private” clothier who is looking to create these types of experience. Smaller organizations like that seem to embrace this type of technology. From Razorfish’s perspective, one of the most innovative retailers is Ralph Lauren. Touch screen windows for years. QR codes, too. From both perspective, there’s not a lot of case studies out there, so there is a tremendous amount of educating that comes along with talking to clients.
My thoughts – These guys are marketers, I can relate to everything they’re saying from personal experience. They’re saying all the right things. Cool examples, but examples that I read about online or in trades. 1 hour is not enough time for a session like this. So many questions, primarily around the future. I wish I would have gotten to hear Steve share some examples, but he just moderated. Off to coffee with him now.