Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The morning press - digital signage news for September 26

Here are some of today's interesting clips from the web:

  • Valley Ear, Nose & Throat Sees Growth Thanks to Mediplay - Mediplay, Inc. is transforming point-of-care marketing in doctors’ offices by helping physicians increase profits. Today the company announced its agreement with Valley Ear, Nose & Throat to install Mediplay’s digital signage system in 14 Valley ENT locations across Arizona.
  • Fred Meyer Goes Hi-Def - Fred Meyer has outfitted its electronics departments with a new high-definition digital signage network. Custom content is being developed to play on LCD and plasma TV screens positioned along the West Coast supercenter's media wall. There are an estimated 35 to 40 screens on the floor at any given time, which translates to about 5,000 in the network.
  • SeeSaw Adds Inventory From Sports Networks - Inventory from DirecTV's Atherton Communications, ONTrack, OnSite Network and The Bar Network increase SeeSaw's sports enthusiast network by about 3 million weekly impressions for a total of about 12 million.
  • Access 360 Media and 18 in '08 Launch 'Shop The Vote' - Access 360 Media and 18 in '08 have joined forces to create Shop The Vote, the first digital out-of-home public service campaign designed to reach these critical citizens before November 4 in the environments that matter to them most: in stores, online and on their mobile phones.

Looking for more digital signage info? Check out WireSpring's Kiosk and Digital Signage blog for in-depth industry analysis and even more news about the digital signage industry. While you're there, feel free to read up on our digital signage software and services

Monday, August 25, 2008

Wireless Ronin (RNIN) calls in bad debt, is left with a big pile of hardware

I hate to say I told you so, but ... well, I told you so.

While Wireless Ronin has yet to restate its past years' earnings based on the decision by its biggest customer -- start-up company NewSight Corp -- to throw in the towel and hand over its assets since it hasn't been able to pay, that may still come to pass. Right now, the company has simply called in the note that it has been allowing NewSight to hold. Instead of the $2.4 million that RNIN originally claimed to have gotten from the company, it will instead get a load of quickly depreciating hardware that NewSight was busily installing into Meijer stores for their in-store TV network.

I know, I know, technically they could just write the whole thing off as a bad debt, and perhaps that's what they'll do. But seriously, it's $2.4 million of bad debt, which is an enormous chunk of their stated revenues since they went public. I don't know if their investors will let them off the hook that easily. At the very least, I'd expect a management change.

As for the Mejier network, Ronin has a few options. They could try to sell the hardware and come away with some cash (not that they need it after a few rounds of very successful fundraising on the public markets). They could try and contract out the network management to a new company, essentially replacing NewSight's role while maintaining control over it. Or, I suppose, they could try to run the network themselves, which would be a big repositioning from them (it's hard to sell hardware, software and services when you're competing with all of your clients), but might actually be the best possibility for both short-term revenues and long-term growth that the company has.

Granted, the rumors floating around that Meijer is looking for a new provider can't be helping them much on that side of things.

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PRN taking over the Walmart Mexico network

Long known for their work in the US Walmart stores (as an aside - does anybody else think that 'Walmart' just looks weird after writing 'Wal-Mart' for so many years?), PRN announced last week that they would be taking over the operation of the firm's in-store TV network in Mexico, which was originally installed and managed by Spanish language media company Televisa S.A. de C.V. As the press release they put out notes:
PRN now operates and manages the largest in-store media network in Mexico, which is currently installed in 287 large-format Walmart Supercenter stores. The system features large plasma screens in select areas within the store and 19-inch flat-panel LCD screens at checkout lanes and waiting areas. The Walmart network is driven by two channels with displays and programs specifically designed for each location within the store. The storewide channel, positioned at the traffic hot spots in the main alleys guides shoppers and informs them of products sold in the store, encouraging cross-shopping via short and targeted messages. The waiting area channel enables shoppers to watch entertaining and informative content to reduce perceived wait time while they are in line at checkout and service areas. The waiting area channel broadcasts longer messages to provide more detail to the shopper about products and services.
PRN has a group in Mexico dedicated to building the content for the network -- long gone are the days of merely repurposing plain old TV commercials. These guys know what works and what doesn't, and aren't afriad to invest in the time and manpower to do it right. Of course, that won't stop them from sourcing "high-quality branded content from a variety of areas to enrich the Walmart in-store media network," much as is done in the states.

To answer the other question you have on your minds (and to hopefully stop the influx of phone calls and emails I've been getting about it), yes, Walmart Mexico is still a WireSpring client.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

NEO Advertising partnering with RMS Networks for US expansion?

I ran across this wire post indicating that long-time BroadSign customer (perhaps their biggest) NEO Advertising would be partnering with RMS and using their software and content creation services for expansion into the US and Canada. Normally this kind of news would be a non-starter with me, but a few things struck me as peculiar. For one, I met the two co-founders of Neo a while back, and they seemed pretty happy with BroadSign. I mean -- I bashed it pretty hard, but they wouldn't hear any of it. Second, RMS's software "product" is quite green -- most of their efforts fall on the content creation side, the rVue package is offered free as an afterthought. Although, it's based on their own internal software bits and pieces which has been around for ages, so if Neo is going to have RMS produce the content AND schedule/apply it, I might see it working.

As for NEO's successful entrance into the US market, that will be an interesting thing to watch. They have a massive footprint in Europe thanks to an initial first-mover advantage and later acquisitions. They have a much more modest footprint in Canada, again through acquisition. But in the US, they're not even a player yet. And we have *tons* of networks here already, based on dozens of business models and probably as many different hardware and software platforms. Simply jumping in with another offering probably won't work. But growth through acquisition could be more expensive than elsewhere. Unless, of course, they plan to buy up the networks of other BroadSign retail customers and convert them wholesale to use RMS technology. That seems pretty far-fetched though. Alternatively, somebody could be lying, but it's generally considered bad form to send out press releases that are patently untrue.

So those are my thoughts. What about you? And Dave Haynes, care to comment? (probably not ;)

The dragons roar

A few weeks ago a trio of publicly traded US companies announced their quarterly results, and if you'll recall, they were not stellar. All three lost millions of dollars in spectacular style. At the time, I wondered whether public digital signage companies were somehow required to lose money.

Well, apparently that's not the case, as some other digital signage companies recently posted Q2 results and other announcements. Though trading on US exchanges, the companies this week were all Chinese, and doing business on the mainland. Consequently, they've been able to take advantage of China's strong economy and new appetite for consumerism to drive growth. The first was AirMedia, which announced that:
Total revenues increased 251.6% year-over-year and 37.9% sequentially to US$29.8 million; -- Revenues from digital frames in airports for the second quarter of 2008 grew 63.4% sequentially to US$11.0 million. Revenues from digital frames in airports was nil in the same period one year ago; -- Net income increased 241.8% year-over-year and 0.7% sequentially to US$7.3 million.
Net income of $7.3M on revenues of $29.8M translates to margins of over 24%, which would make most Fortune 500s -- let alone the handful of unprofitable US digital signage guys -- green with envy. Next comes one of my favorites, Focus Media China, who announced that:

Total advertising revenue from our digital out-of-home advertising reached $135 million in the second quarter of 2008, up 76.2% as compared to $76.9 million in the second quarter of 2007 and 24.4% sequentially.

Within our digital out-of-home advertising business, the revenue from our commercial location network in the second quarter was $81.1 million, up 58.9% year over year and 29.9% quarter over quarter. The revenue from our in-store network was $17 million, up 135% year over year but down slightly due to our continuing effort to optimize the combined in-store network coverage during the integration of CGEN acquisitions. The revenue from our poster frame network in the second quarter was $37.3 million, up 101.2% year over year and 27.9% quarter over quarter. The commercial location network, in-store network, and poster frame network contributed 59.9%, 12.6%, and 27.5% of the total digital out-of-home advertising revenue in the second quarter respectively.

Not satisfied with mere double-digit growth, Focus Media shows that digital signage really is an emerging medium, and perhaps, just maybe, that whole notion of hockey stick growth has some legs under it. Maybe not in the US market, mind you, but elsewhere? Sure. Lastly, Vision China, who announced their quarterly results last month (noting that they had revenues of CNY 1.6 billion in their LED billboard advertising market, representing growth of 69.6% over the period last year) decided to up the ante, and taking advantage of their recent successes just raised $101.2 million via an additional offering of 6.325 million shares at a price of $16 apiece. Needless to say, those LED billbards are pretty darned expensive, so the $100 million will go a long way towards helping the firm plaster major Chinese cities with outdoor digital billboards.

So is it US versus Chinese market conditions that are enabling these Chinese firms to kick butt while their US counterparts languish? Or is it the business model -- after all, Focus and Vision are more akin to ClearChannel than Wireless Ronin, and their market caps and profitability ratios reflect that. Or, maybe it's better management teams, better planning and better execution.

My guess would be that all three factors are in play. And while some are fixed and immutable as far as these companies are concerned (e.g. larger macroeconomic conditions), others should be more fixable. We'll see if any of that holds true next quarter, when the next round of results are announced.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Someone is clearly doing their job horribly wrong

Had to cross-post this from Kiosk News. Too funny...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Access 360 CEO says media agencies will buy place-based networks soon

Just got a message from MediaPost's Digital Outsider in my inbox (here's the blog link) with the following:
Noting that "the agency model is breaking down," Lon Otremba, the CEO of Access 360 Media said big agency owners are picking up place-based video networks as a way of "offering audiences and services bundled together," marking a new approach to vertical integration of media.

Rattling off examples, Otremba recalled that Omnicom acquired IMS, a merchandising service agency specializing in in-store promotional signage and displays and branded merchandise, and MarketStar, which provides retail and channel marketing including brand advocacy, product demos, events, and direct sales.

Unsurprisingly, agencies are also acquiring mobile marketing companies to boost their ability to reach young consumers, complementing place-based vide networks.
While I can completely understand where Otremba is coming from, this is a tough concept for me to agree with. While CBS, NBC, ABC and other networks have made strategic acquisitions and generally gotten more involved on the ownership side of digital signage networks, this is a natural extension of their current line of business, which is essentially owning over-the-air "real estate" in the form of TV stations and the channels of content that fill them.

Agencies, on the other hand, have to sell to these guys. Buying up digital sign networks would be tantamount to competing with their own customers. Not that that's anything new, of course, but ad agencies tend to be pretty conservative when it comes to challenging incumbant business models.

Now place-based media services companies, I could easily see. It's not hard to imagine Publicis, WPP or Omnicom picking up a few software and media creation companies here and there to put together a comprehensive digital signage offering to sell to their customer base. But competing with them at the network level just doesn't make sense to me.

The morning press - digital signage news for August 26

Here are some of today's interesting clips from the web:
  • Digital Signage Association Elects Officers - The Advisory Board of the Digital Signage Association (DSA) has elected its first Executive Committee, with Stu Armstrong, president of EnQii North America named the first president of the Association.
  • The Golf Network Prepares Major Roll out with Series A Funding in Place - After three years of extensive planning, testing, and building industry relationships, The Sports Retail Networks announced the closing of its Series A funding. "We are now positioned to roll out our premier digital signage brand, The Golf Network, to more than 100 retail locations in the next two months," announced Mark Biestman, co-founder and CEO/President.
  • NTT commercializes aroma-emitting digital signage system - They tested it for nearly a year now but today Japan’s telecommunications giant NTT announces their aroma-emitting digital signage system is finally available [JP] for advertising and promotion companies in and outside Nippon.
  • Turning Point for Touch Screens - The success of the iPhone has encouraged other companies to explore multitouch screens. It might follow that if people like using their fingers on the screen of a cellphone, they would like it even better on the bigger displays of computers.
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Looking for more digital signage info? Check out WireSpring's Kiosk and Digital Signage blog for in-depth industry analysis and even more news about the digital signage industry. While you're there, feel free to read up on our digital signage software and services

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Consumer connections: Information creates sales

I did a little bit of commuting this summer, two nights a week, two hours each way back on a major highway, to teach a course. This meant I spent a lot of time at the gas pump, usually at a rest area so I wouldn’t have to pull off, pay a toll, and pull back on again. These rest area gas pumps were where I first encountered gas station digital signage and it wasn’t a happy experience. The problem, as I see it, is twofold: The commercials don’t distract from the fact that we’re all paying a lot more for gasoline, nor do they entice customers into the food court or shops in the rest area. It’s just advertising and music, loud and reverberating across the bank of pumps. There's nothing to be gained from listening. As I watched each night, almost all the other drivers would quickly fill up, grimacing, and jump back into their cars and onto the highway.

Some new digital media are jarring in our first encounters (self checkout at the supermarket) but eventually we adapt. Others remain annoying (CNN streaming video in the airport), especially when many of us waiting have our own digital media in hand and don’t want or need the extra noise. But what if digital media enhanced the consumer experience, giving customers a definitive source for information and knowledge? (Certain installations in medical offices and hospitals come to mind...)

Recently, Promo magazine highlighted some ways to use digital and other media that are more in line with consumer needs than merely filling more spaces with advertisements. In fact, the media itself is subordinate to customer service (Promo highlights "friendliness, helpfulness, and clarity" as the basis for a good approach). One key example was of shelf-level video commercials or information-based segments:
"Provides in-depth information for inquiring customers who are ready to buy. For example, video makes it possible to speak out to older customers who cannot always read small print, or meet the needs of non-English speaking customers who rely on visual images for product information. Informative labels at the shelf-edge increases shopper awareness and drives volume at the point of decision. Displaying key pricing and product information coupled with a clear, bold sales message proves a value-added convenience. Building in integrated marketing messages at multiple touch points throughout the shopping trip keeps the desired brand at the forefront of the customer's mind."
Promo suggests that this is also a great way to educate consumers about what’s available. Yes, it's branding, but it's also about informed choice. In my supermarket there are now so many varieties of store-brand natural eggs, including “organic,” “omega-3,” “free range,” and some combination of those three. I’d be more likely to buy some if I knew more about how they came up with those designations. For now, I stick to the name brand organics because I know more about them.

Promo further notes that that, "retailers can easily incorporate easy-to-read, data-driven, integrated shelf communications that operate as color-coded nutrition 'flags' to identify foods that meet special dietary needs, such as gluten free, healthy kids, organic and/or heart healthy." Given how products are constantly morphing, it’d be great to have more information right at the point-of-sale. If I see something new and interesting, I’m likely to look it over the first time, go home, do a little research (or at least mull it over), and then if I’m satisfied and see it again in the store, buy it. Imagine how happy retailers would be if I skipped the middle step.

I wish the folks who thought of the digital signage at gas stations were thinking in this way. How about information about road conditions, weather reports (okay, I saw one weather update in my six weeks of commuting), or even ideas about how to save money while traveling (maybe Obama is not the only one who thinks you need more air in your tires)? Digital signage definitely has the capacity to go everywhere. The question is, once it's there, how will it prove its worth?

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A "Customer Bill of Rights" for digital signage network operators?

Two weeks ago I posted an article about how some were predicting a Minority Report-like shopping experience in as little as 5-10 years. While the author's intent was to highlight the huge advances in technology that would make personalization useful and effective, I chose to highlight the privacy issues instead. As usual, nobody took the bait and started a much-needed discussion on the issue of consumer privacy.

So last week over on the WireSpring blog I did another post, this time focusing on what would happen if there was some kind of Bill of Rights that all shoppers would be entitled to (my not too subtle title: Digital signage networks must guarantee viewer privacy). Who would be responsible for drafting it? Administering it? Punishing violaters? What kind of rights would be guaranteed, anyway? And what if nobody was interested?

This time, a bit of a discussion seems to be brewing, and I'd like to encourage more -- enough that some of the industry bodies will actually say something (which may be to the effect of "nothing's wrong. we're not doing anything).

But I think this is an important issue that, in a few years time, will become the important issue for marketing at-retail.

If you have a second, read up, and then join the discussion.

Monday, August 11, 2008

CNN to study out-of-home TV viewing habits

Fresh from MediaWeek:
CNN has commissioned Integrated Media Measurement Inc. to analyze out-of-home ad exposure for 10 clients of media agencies OMD and PHD with an eye toward ensuring greater accountability for viewership in bars, dorm rooms, gyms and other venues.
Once data is processed in early 2009, D’Alba will share the results with the agencies and their participating clients to better contextualize media planning.

The rest of the article covers how digital out-of-home viewing is poised to nearly now between now and 2011 (topping out at around $2.25 that year), and how effectively advertising in these places might help networks make up the shortfall in revenues sure to come when people start watching less TV inside the home. Of course, nowhere in the article does it note that most "TV screens" outside of the home aren't really used to show TV, they're used to show some kind of highly-optimized content loops to inform, entertain or just plain sell stuff.

OMD and IMMI, please repeat after me: it's not TV!

I know... I know... they look just like regular TV screens hanging from the ceiling and mounted behind those bars, don't they? But every time you get started trying to use your existing TV marketing savvy to analyze the workings of the screens you'll be examining in various out-of-home environments, repeat that mantra. Otherwise I can tell you right now that your data won't be accurate, and the advice to your clients probably won't be too useful.

The morning press - digital signage news for August 11

Here are some of today's interesting clips from the web:

Dave Haynes scooped me on the first two -- that guy clearly has too much free time. But if you have absolutely nothing better to do, you might want to check out his new web site. Anyway...
  • Big 3 TV Networks Follow Consumers Out of the Living Room - In recent months, the three oldest -- Walt Disney's ABC, General Electric's NBC Universal and CBS Corp.'s flagship operation -- have set up ventures to place ads on screens that consumers might watch as they fill up at the gas station, hunt for produce in the supermarket or shop at the mall.
  • National CineMedia 2Q Ads Drop - NCM said total revenues grew 3.6% to $86.7 million in the second quarter, compared to the same period last year. This growth rate is sharply down from 46.6% growth between the second quarters of 2006 and 2007. Advertising revenue was down 2.5% in the second quarter of 2008 to $74.8 million, also sharply down from the company's 52.8% ad revenue growth last year.
  • Out-Of-Home Not Running Out-Of-Gas, Report Finds - Out-of-home's reach and frequency have remained "virtually unchanged"--even as consumers react to high fuel prices by driving and flying less, the OAAA asserted. Regardless of gas prices, most Americans still have to go to work, prompting many to turn to public transportation, which offers equivalent exposure to out-of-home media via buses, subways and commuter rail.
  • VisionChina launches $162 million follow-on - VisionChina was one of the most successful IPOs by a Chinese company last year, pricing its initial offering at $8 a share in December. The company’s share price closed at $20.34 on Friday, bucking the markets' downward trend.

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Looking for more digital signage info? Check out WireSpring's Kiosk and Digital Signage blog for in-depth industry analysis and even more news about the digital signage industry. While you're there, feel free to read up on our digital signage software and services

Thursday, August 07, 2008

A few publicly-traded digital signage companies announce quarterly results

[UPDATE] This article continues to get a lot of traffic well after the events recorded below. So if you're here trying to locate a reputable digital signage company, you might want to check out our article on Choosing the Best Digital Signage Providers or visit our Digital Signage EasyStart site.

You know about my obsession with the big Chinese digital sign companies that trade on US Exchanges, but that doesn't mean I don't like to follow home-grown companies on the public markets as well. Today there were at least three announcements that I picked up:


As they do a lot more than just digital signage, it's tough to speculate how much money comes directly from sales of Coolsign software and monitors destined for the digital out-of-home world. So how'd they do? Well, not too good, as Bizjournals tells us. The good news is that revenues for Q3 of their year were up to $75M from $68.2M last year. The bad news is that it was mostly due to an acquisition, and what's more, they managed to somehow lose $62M in the process of making all that money. Unfortunately, it looks like a good deal of that loss stemmed from their control room and signage business, which is essentially what's left of their $56.1M acquisition of Clarity Visual Systems (who had themselves acquired Coolsign from Adspace in an earlier transaction). The company is selling off a medical imaging unit in the hopes of raising some much needed cash.

NTN Buzztime

A smaller company who's claim to fame are those quiz programs that are so popular at bars and louder restaurants around the country, these guys have been working hard to reach profitability for a while now. Working... but not quite there yet, as this press release notes. Revenues declined 8% from the same time last year to $7M even, though they had an operating loss of "only" $2.1M -- seems small compared to Planar, but then again, this time last year NTN only lost $377K.

Wireless Ronin

The good news: they managed to earn $1.6M this quarter. The bad news: that's down 48% from the same period last year. Worse, they managed to lose $5M in the course of earning that money, 5X what they lost last year around this quarter. Gross margins were 3.9%, which I don't quite understand since I thought Ronin was primarily a software and services company. Even their adjusted gross margins of 20.4% seem low to me, but I'm not at the helm of a publicly traded company...

...which is a GOOD thing, since my company likes to actually make money, and apparently that's a no-no when you're trading up on the big board. At least that's what my admittedly limited data set of the above 3 companies would suggest.


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The G2DMiR: bad acronym, good report

As I mentioned in a quickie post last week, the UK chapter of POPAI, in cooperation with the Imperative Group, released a report on the use of digital signage and other forms of digital media at retail. I just had the chance to read the document (formally titled Guide to Digital Media in Retail, though they seem to favor the unpronounceable G2DMiR moniker), and thought I make a few comments to anybody who has been on the fence about spending $200 (free for POPAI UK members) on yet another research report.

First of all, at only 26 pages it's a quick read, which is not a bad thing at all. Having read more than my fair share of reports over the last few years, my estimate is that about 75% of the stuff in there is often hype. The G2DMiR is largely hype-free and statistic-rich. Instead of taking the position of infallible research company, they also took the very nice step (in my opinion) of soliciting case studies and anecdotes from numerous industry experts (at companies including Dunnhumby, Retail Week, Spar, and The Co-operative Group), which gives them an extra degree of accountability (or, they're all a bunch of liars, though I suppose that's not too likely ;)

So, for example, I could tell you that "I've heard that some retailers see a 20% in sales of advertised products, with a 3-5% lift on the whole category". But it wouldn't be very verifiable, and in fact I'd probably forget where I first heard the statistic so you'd be out of luck trying to follow up on it yourself. Or, you could read that very stat in the report, as written by Susan Beetlestone at the Co-operative Group, who manages Europe's largest digital screen network. Need to cite something to an investor or advertiser? You now have a company name and responsible party.

So should you buy it? I'd say that depends on what your business is, and how far along you are. If you are focused on the retail vertical and are concerned about things like sales uplift and retail case studies, or if you want some details on what the UK's top companies think about loop length, playback frequency and using audio in your content, it's easily worth the money. If, on the other hand, you're just starting out in the market, or if you're focusing on an industry other than retail, you might be better off saving a few dollars and picking up a more comprehensive guide to the digital signage industry.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Best practices for digital signage content

It looks like LevelVision and Met|Hodder have teamed up to produce some best practices for digital signage (with a specific emphasis on LevelVision's fairly unique 4-pane digital floor mat thingies. While the information on their site seems to be geared towards their screens in college book stores, most of their recommendations easily extend into other venues, and, more importantly, other forms of in-store digital signage. For example, have a look at their tips for crafting messages:

Simplicity: Digital signage is communications at a glance, so make sure the shopper can get your meaning quickly
  • Use language economically – fewer, shorter words
  • Use action-oriented verbs and active construction
  • Headline-like phrases work better than full sentences
  • Consider a single word as an attention-getter
  • Deliver one, focused message per screen
  • Avoid too many messages in one segment

Repetition: You only have 10 seconds, but you never know when in that short time a shopper will see your message
  • Within a single segment, repeat your key message at the beginning and end (that’s why brevity matters)
  • Consider using more than one segment to deliver the same message – although using a different design

Call to action: Never leave the shopper in doubt. Tell them what you want them to do – how and when, too
  • Strong verbs drive audiences to the take-action message
  • Give audiences information that allows them to act, a Web URL for example
  • If you have an in-store promotion, direct shoppers to the location of merchandise that’s part of the promotion (e.g., “at the checkout”)
  • Provide a timeframe for action (e.g., “sale ends July 31”) if that’s appropriate
  • Consider leaving call-to-action messages on screen throughout a message, or at least show it at the beginning and end
Those suggestions look a lot like some of the digital signage best practices articles that we put together over on WireSpring's digital signage blog a few months ago, specifically those about optimizing message text for the best recall, and creating a strong call to action that produces meaningful results. Of course, both we and Met|Hodder go further. Our whole series on content got to be pretty long, and covered things like visual design and composition:

The most positive thing I see here is that there's a good deal of overlap between our two sets of best practices. So while it would suck if they simply copied stuff out of our articles (which I seriously doubt is the case), it would be great if our two, parallel and independent resaerch efforts produced a similar set of results, since that would indicate that we're going down the right path (or that our methodologies are equally flawed, but that seems less likely ;)

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Monday, August 04, 2008

The morning press - digital signage news for August 4

Here are some of today's interesting clips from the web:

  • Infosys to help retailers watch in-store activity - The company has launched a new technology platform called 'ShoppingTrip360', incorporating a number of auto-ID technologies to help retailers and consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies gain better visibility into in-store shopper and inventory activity.
  • P&G, Unilever Slash Ad Spending - Procter & Gamble Co. slashed media spending last quarter at a steep double-digit pace that accelerated as the quarter progressed -- a move that bodes ill for media players who had been counting on the relative stability of the world's biggest advertiser.
  • Coke to sell ads on its vending machines - Coke is going to start advertising other brands on its vending machines, beginning with a pilot programme in California. AVT has negotiated a cooperative agreement with Coca Cola to distribute vending machines with three to six month campaigns.
  • Channel M Creates Online Content for WaMu - The company is creating original content for a new live entertainment-themed portal operated by Washington Mutual, called Washington Mutual Live. The deal follows the announcement by Captivate, another major place-based video, that it will also be launching online content in the near future.
  • PSI Corp. Announces Successful Launch of E-Banking Kiosk - PSI is having customers using the various services such as ATM, bill pay, check cashing, purchase of phone cards and gift cards among the kiosk's many services. (these guys have a seemingly-unrelated digital signage network in NY area hospitals)
  • Provision teams With LocalVision Digital Advertising to Increase Advertising Revenues - The partnership will bring LocalVision's advertising to Provision's 84 screens, including Fred Meyer Stores, in the greater-Portland area, adding more than 5 million new impressions per month to Provision's screens. LocalVision's top-tier brand advertisers will now be able to feature their messaging on Provision's fast-growing network of 3DEO Media Centers located in retail locations.

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Looking for more digital signage info? Check out WireSpring's Kiosk and Digital Signage blog for in-depth industry analysis and even more news about the digital signage industry. While you're there, feel free to read up on our digital signage software and services