Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Digital signage article from the St. Paul Pioneer Press

Not a terribly enthralling title, I'll admit. But this is a nice article about the current state of affairs in the digital signage market, mostly focusing on PRN and Target's new Channel Red in-store TV network. Here's a snip for you:

Whether suspended from ceilings or posted at check-out lanes, in-store TV is gaining momentum as a growing number of retailers — from Wal-Mart to Best Buy — tap into "narrowcasting,'' closed-circuit-type networks aired across their chains. These networks broadcast a steady stream of commercials that include weekly specials, new product releases and, increasingly, image and brand advertising.

But Target's in-store network is noteworthy because it makes the discounter one of the first retailers to operate and own its own system rather than farm it out to a media company, said Bill Collins, a principal at WBC Narrowcasting Group, a Cincinnati-based media consulting firm.

By owning its own network, Target has a greater ability to build its brand image and ensure the marketing is consistent with what it is doing in print, billboards and other channels, Collins said. Target declined to comment for this story.

The burgeoning in-store TV effort reflects a drive by retailers to improve "point of purchase'' marketing as consumers stroll down store aisles.

It's a captive audience, all right, but one already bombarded daily by pitches for products and causes. The trick is to not appear merely to be adding to the din.


So far, in-store TV generally seems to be paying off for retailers. Davis-Taylor said retailers are finding that products advertised on their networks show an average 10 to 20 percent increase in sales compared with normal periods and no advertising.

For example, a study of about 5,500 Wal-Mart shoppers last fall found patrons who saw products advertised on the discounter's in-store network had more of a positive feeling about those goods than customers who had not seen the ads (61 percent vs. 40 percent).

Further, 15 percent of respondents who saw the advertising were more likely to buy the product on the day it was featured as opposed to only 4 percent who had not seen the advertising, according to PRN, Wal-Mart's in-store media partner.

Best Buy officials noted a recent survey of their in-store HDTV programming found 87 percent of respondents felt the network was good, 77 percent found it informative and nearly 70 percent believed it had relevant advertising.

You can read the whole thing here. It kind of re-hashes the IMSI's recent state of the inustry address by Bill Collins and Laura Davis-Taylor.

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