Monday, June 29, 2009

Haynes goes out on his own, starts DOOH press/pr service. World cowers in fear. News at 11.

Dave Haynes of sixteen-nine fame has made no secret of his recent ride through the economic turbulence, so the entrepreneur in me is thrilled to see him casting off the shackles of formal employment to pursue a life of adventure and mystique as a small business owner. Given his strong writing skills, popular brand (in our industry, at least) and large rolodex, he's basically taking his writing services on the road, first come first served:

A new media communications firm, called pressDOOH, launched today to help companies in the fast-evolving digital signage and digital out of home (DOOH) industries break out from a highly competitive pack.

pressDOOH ( is specifically positioned to help established and start-up companies develop effective communications material, such as press releases, white papers and case studies, to help build market awareness and drive new business. What sets pressDOOH apart from established public relations and communications firms is that the company has a deep history and understanding of the industry.

The founder and principal of pressDOOH, Dave Haynes, is a well-known industry pioneer who made the leap from mainstream print journalism to new media in the mid-'90s and has been involved in the digital signage and DOOH sectors for more than a decade. Haynes is the writer behind Sixteen:Nine, one of the nascent industry's most widely-read and respected blogs.

"Writing is in my DNA, and this is really just a return to my roots," says Haynes, who for the past few years has done senior-level business development for two of the biggest names in the software side of the industry. "In fact, I'm writing this right now. And now I'm even writing about writing. Writing writing writing writing writing." (that last part was made up to see if anybody's still reading).
So if you're in the digital signage business, you have lots of stuff that you want the world to know about, and you can't write (which, sadly, I've found is often the case), Dave's services seem well worth checking out. And hey, you'll be paying him in Canadian dollars, so that's only like $0.85/each in real money!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Artisan Live's digital signage YouTube channel is up

I continue to be a fan of the work of Artisan Live, the digital signage-focused unit of Canadian ad/marketing firm Artisan Complete. Their content continues to be among the best I've seen in the retail digital signage space, and every year they win a bunch of new awards to prove it.

The group just started a new channel to showcase their work on YouTube, and it includes some of my favorite clips, including the Mike's Hard Lemonade spot whose image is to the left. This one won some kind of POPAI award a year or two ago, and really demonstrates some of the best practices for digital signage content that we've been talking about for years now.

I'd certainly like to see more design shops putting up YouTube pages for digital signage content. Of course, for that matter, I'd really like to see more great digital signage content, instead of the ongoing slew of mediocrity I seem to come across in every airport, bar and store I visit.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Another week, another set of digital signage news links

Infocomm 2009 claims to have had its biggest East Coast show ever, with 29,000 attendees. I spent three days on the floor there, and while there were some very, very busy periods in our digital signage area, there were also some points where our entire hall seemed empty.  Perhaps 29,000 isn't enough to fill the Orange County Convention Center. Or perhaps not all of the audience was into digital signage. Either way, I'm glad we attended, and wouldn't be surprised if we did it again next year, with a few changes.

Consumer-grade wireless video gear in the digital signage market.  We've had a few requests for replacing the "last meters" of a typical wired digital signage installation with wireless in order to save on the cost and complexity of hauling out Ethernet cables, but up until recently the only options were impressive but wildly expensive offerings from ProAV and digital signage-specific vendors.  New equipment from consumer companies like Iogear might start changing that real soon. While their devices require a line of sight from transmitter to receiver, and have limited range, neither of these may be a problem for lots of venues. And the devices only cost $350 a pair -- about 80% less than some of the full-HD alternatives out there.

Microsoft's recent withdrawl of a system that would allow very specific targeting of TV commercials spotlights a problem that the TV ad world shares with its digital signage brethren: the need to book spots ahead-of-time. There were some technical hurdles, but apparently the need to book slots a whole 11 days prior to air proved too much for advertisers.  Last-minute buys and spot provisioning continues to be the most well-worn path in the ad world, regardless of medium, it seems.

Did you guys know that PRN's Michael Quinn has a blog? I didn't until recently. So far he has a few interesting posts and head-scratchers up, and I'm sure there will be more to come.  Well worth checking out and bookmarking.

Ad network aggregator SeeSaw Networks seems to be getting more into the role of arbiter between the traditional agency and signage networks, this time by setting up seasonal buys for the very important back-to-school season. Their new media plans apparently allow marketers to reach 75 million students nation-wide, across 200 media markets. This is a great example of using a traditional strength of digital out-of-home (namely time and place-specificity) to intensify campaigns that traditional marketers already know to be of critical importance.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Arbitron report good news for digital signage statistics enthusiasts

Some day I hope to sell a line of digital signage trading cards. On the front is a picture of the screen. One the back, the vital stats.  I'm not sure whether I'll go with a traditional baseball card-style collect-them-for-the-sake-of-collecting model, or something more along the lines of Magic: The Gathering where networks duke it out for the title of Grand Champion (or something). Either way, it looks like CARE Media would be one to have (though perhaps not its rookie year), if you believe what Arbitron has to say about them:


With an average wait-time of 17 minutes while being exposed to CARE Media programming, the Arbitron study found that:

  • 64% of viewers recalled at least one of the advertisements that was shown in the program they were watching
  • 63% of viewers go shopping on the same day after being exposed to CARE Media programming and advertisers
  • After being exposed to CARE Media programming and advertisers, consumer's next shopping trip is to:
    • Grocery store - 38%
    • Drug store/pharmacy - 35%
    • The mall - 9%
    • Convenience store - 3%

After viewing CARE Media programming, consumers recalled advertisements for:

  • Child care products - 46%
  • Pharmaceutical products - 33%
  • Pet care products - 46%
  • Healthcare products - 26%
  • Informational websites - 32%
  • Retail outlets - 35%
  • Consumer products - 34%


A majority (92%) think CARE Media TV is a good thing for doctors' offices to offer clients while in the waiting area

  • 91% think CARE Media TV helps to pass the time spent waiting
  • 88% think CARE Media TV is a credible source of information that they find useful
  • 67% think that CARE Media TV enhances the patient-doctor relationship

In addition, 76% of viewers plan on watching CARE Media TV the next time they visit this or any other medical office.

I'd like to see some research as to why certain types of ads were more memorable than others (though it could be anything from production values/budget to frequency), as well as whether or not there was any correlation in media exposure and purchasing behavior (which would be a pretty neat trick, considering that you'd have to somehow isolate the effects of that media exposure from all of the other contributing factors).

Get yer somwhat-relevant digital signage news fix here...

Between the growing number of high-caliber bloggers out there who are actually pumping out some decent content, it's getting harder and harder to come up with new, relevant content and/or analyses here.  But thankfully some of our sister industries have been leading the way with news for them that's clearly becoming more and more relevant for us.  For example:

Cablevision's about to offer same-day VOD ad insertion to its advertisers, allowing the operator to improve their relevance (time-wise, anyway). Beginning this summer, the cable operator will be able to swap out existing creative within 24 hours of receiving notification from a client, which of course means that clients will really need to be on their game to get finished spots to the operator in a timely fashion.

The DOOH industry is about to face another source of competition for viewer attention: mobile video. I know, I know, that's something already on the radar, but now that the digital TV switchover is about to happen here in the US, all of the bandwidth previously used to send analog TV signals is being reused and reassigned, and you can bet that mobile video providers want access to that spectrum. It's hard enough catching somebody's attention in a supermarket or a train station or anywhere else where there are a number of things to look at. Now imagine trying to compete with all that and last night's rerun of Idol.

Mediabrands, the parent company of the IPG Emerging Media Lab, has decided to start a digital advertising network, Cadreon, and seems to have its sights set on another SeeSaw/BookingDOOH-style cross-network and cross-medium ad management system. Adweek notes that "in addition to buying, Cadreon will provide real-time dynamic ad creation to help clients build and serve units on the fly. The system utilizes a host of different parameters, tailoring both creative content and messaging to specific client audience profiles." While the initial focus seems to be online, the company clearly wants to cross the chasm into the real world when the time (and money) are right.

Another article talks about advertisers making lemonade from lemons via advertising on vacant storefronts. While it's nothing we haven't seen before, it's nice to see the kind-of win-win that is advertisers paying a fraction of what billboards cost while landlords get to fill a bit of barren, unproductive space.

As a reminder, if you plan to attend the Strategy Institute's Digital Signage Technology conference tied to Infocomm next week, you can get a 10% discount by mentioning the code "9015-DSN10" when you sign up. Full details are at:

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Going to Infocomm? Want to stop in at a Strategy Institue conference? Read on, get 10% off...

In spite of their curious habit of NAMING THEIR CONFERENCES IN ALL CAPS, I'm generally a fan of the Strategy Institute's digital signage seminars. We've sponsored a bunch, and I've attended more than I can count at this point. The next one I'm heading to is right up the road (well, a long way up the road) at Infocomm 2009 in Orlando. Their "2nd Annual DIGITAL SIGNAGE TECHNOLOGY SUMMIT" is going to focus on 11 case studies from users in the education, corporate, government, transit, healthcare facilities, convention centers, airports, public spaces, and hotel/hospitality sectors.

While the TECHNOLOGY SUMMIT sounds like it has a lot to do with technology, it's less of a nuts-and-bolts affair and more of a strategic planning session to help people integrate digital signage solutions into their rate cards. Since Infocomm tends to be AV- and IT-vendor heavy, there will probably be coverage of things like planning rollouts effectively, using digital signs to find new revenue streams, lower operating costs or improve productivity, and integrating digital signage solutions with other products.

Since the conference is held at the same place and time (roughly) as Infocomm (it's Tuesday, June 16th and Wednesday June 17th at the Orange County Convention Center), there's a good chance you'll already be in the neighborhood. Should you decide to attend, readers of this blog can get a 10% discount by mentioning the code "9015-DSN10" when you sign up. Full details are at:

POPAI's CEO resigns as marketing at-retail moves above-the-line

Here's the official distribution which somebody left (in a twist of irony) as a blog comment on a recent post about the POPAI board meeting:
From: John Anderson, POPAI Chairman of the Board, BPOil/Bovis Lend Lease
Re: POPAI President and CEO Dick Blatt resignation

June 3, 2009

Please be advised that POPAI President and CEO Dick Blatt has announced that he will resign those posts at Point of Purchase Advertising International (POPAI) effective immediately. The announcement was made yesterday during POPAI's Board of Directors meeting. Since Dick joined POPAI nearly two decades ago, we've seen Marketing at Retail grow from below the line media to an important strategic campaign element.

Today, POPAI's board and membership is comprised of the world's most powerful retailers, agencies, brands and producers. POPAI currently has more than 20 chapters globally with 17,000 individual member contacts. The entire industry and organization recognizes his dedication over the past 17 years. We wish him much success in his future endeavors.

POPAI continues to grow with strong leadership in North America and globally, as we progress forward studying shopper engagement, shopper insights, protecting our member's interests on the legislative front and fortifying the business of Marketing at Retail for all of our membership segments. POPAI's global reach and resources will continue to help drive a new level of success within the Marketing at Retail environment.

Among our many initiatives, this summer, POPAI is launching retail level research across multiple trade channels- including supermarkets, drug stores, mass merchandisers and convenience stores- to determine what in-store solutions, Marketing at Retail materials and shelf layouts work best and, most importantly, why and how they turn shoppers into buyers. Study participants include 7-Eleven, Inc., Ahold, Frito-Lay North America, Pepsi-Cola North America Beverages, Walgreens and a Major Mass Retailer.

POPAI will continue to provide the services and programming that you have come to expect.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Kevin Murphy, Vice President of Member Services at 703.373.8804

While it's sad to see Dick go, I'm very excited about the direction POPAI is taking. Rather than being just a supplier-centric organization focused on POP displays, the group is now exploring topics like shopper marketing research and in-store media measurement, and continues to expanded their focus on digital signage and digital retailing (as evidenced by their ongoing work on technical standards and the digital privacy debate).  No word just yet on who the new CEO will be.

Monday, June 01, 2009

DOOH ad spend to triple, and other digital signage news for you

Electrograph has closed.  The one-time largest distributor of business television and AV equipment has shut their doors, thanks mostly to razor-thin margins and a poor economy for being a middleman.  I know that over the past few year more and more tier-1 manufacturers have been willing to work directly with smaller customers and end-users, making Electrograph's position more difficult to justify.

JiWire promises 'net-like' analytics to digital out-of-home folks, according to today's Marketing VOX article. The company's delivers and tracks ad impressions over a network of 25,000 public WiFi hotspots, and claims to offer the same kind of measurability that advertisers are accustomed to online (so that most likely means impressions and clickthroughs). And you thought DOOH only meant digital signage!?

In the face of all the bad economic news, PQ Media decided to announce that the digital out-of-home ad spend is on pace to triple this year, and will comprise nearly 30% of all out-of-home ad spending at $2.43 billion (thanks, Marketing Charts):

More specifics:
  • US spending on video ad networks, the largest segment of digital OOH media, is on track to expand 8.1% in 2008 but will decelerate in 2009 before returning to double-digit growth in 2010.
  • Digital billboards remains the fastest-growing segment, though it will be slower in 2008, posting growth of 28.2% and remaining in the 20% range through 2012.
  • Ambient ad platforms will grow 6.8% in 2008. This growth compares with expected low single-digit growth or outright declines in most ad-based media in 2008 and 2009, including newspapers, radio, broadcast TV and magazines.
As we've noted for a while, mobile is becoming the next hottest way to reach consumers with a message at the right place and time, and this is one of the better approaches that I've seen.  As Marketing VOX notes, "Coupious, a mobile marketing platform that delivers on-demand, location-based coupons to smartphone users, is testing out its service at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. After downloading Coupious from the Apple App Store or the Android market, smartphone users browse deals in their immediate location (or up to 50 miles away), identified using the phone's GPS technology."