Pro AV Magazine, as its name implies, tends to focus on the nuts-and-bolts aspects of all sorts of high-tech projects, and digital signage has been no exception. In a recent article, John McKeon took a look at the use of audio in digital signage projects, primarily from the angle of the common problems that arise from many audio installations, and the solutions that people have come up with to solve them. For example, audio fatigue, one of the most commonly cited problems with in-store audio, can obviously be remedied with very long audio loops that don't repeat. But for the technically minded, one could also install highly directional sound via hypersonic speakers or sound bells, which can allow audio to be delivered to specific locations without constantly annoying the staff.
As one might expect, much of the article features insights on speaker types and placements, and comments from various industry experts about different ways to solve the audio conundrum. Mixed into it, though, was this quote from Kari Mettala, CEO of the Finnish loudspeaker company Panphonics:
"Right now we are on the verge of a boom concerning audio in digital signage networks.While I agree that content is the most important element of a digital signage network, that's very different from saying that merely reproducing an existing medium like TV in the retail environment is going to produce good results. In fact, if there's anything that we know at this point, it's that using TV-oriented content at retail for the purpose of advertising is not going to work very well. Re-use branding elements. Re-purpose existing messages and premises. But don't pull a spot from your TV lineup, run it in a store, and expect it to do anything. A shopper's modus operandi at retail is very, very different than at home, so expecting her awareness state and media consumption habits to be the same in both places is a major mistake.
"The driving force is content. Content is king. It’s expensive to produce, and advertisers would like to use the same content as they use in other electronic media.”
One result, says Mettala, is a call for "all aspects of the content to be on the same level, meaning you need to have a TV-like experience in the grocery store, including the sound."
I'm sure that Mettala was simply trying to drive home the point that a multi-media experience utilizing both sight and sound can have a pronounced effect on the impact of a digital signage system, the "re-use old assets" mantra is still common in our industry, and needs to be approached with an understanding of the differences between in-home and out-of-home advertising media.
Tags: digital signage, out-of-home advertising, retail marketing