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Digital signage and ads are growing and improving


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Digital signage provides opportunities for highly targeted campaigns and interactive promotions


As consumer life gets more digital everyday, so do the stores we shop in. Digital signage is making its way into the world and becoming more sophisticated. In the past year, digital signage has also become more affordable. Improved technology, including the debut of Web-enabled real time streaming, RSS feeds, bluecasting and mobile-enabled barcodes, means that usage of these technologies may grow.


Dynamax Technologies Ltd. recently signed a deal with media conglomerate Clear Channel to create an international network of digital billboards across the US and Europe. Over the next five years, Clear Channel will be converting many of its existing outdoor advertising real estate, which includes almost 1 million displays in more than 60 countries, from analog to digital formats.


“Digital signage 3.0 is about combining targeted real time content with analytics that measure performance at the register,” said Tom Nix, VP of business development in North America at Dynamax Technologies Ltd.


Dynamax has previously executed a successful campaign for the band Coldplay, in which consumers walking by an out-of-home digital billboard could interact with it and receive a free song download.


Digital signs are often used in conjunction with other marketing channels such as mobile, print or Internet ads.


“If you start to think about where consumers are engaging these technologies and what they are doing with this information, you can really benefit from integrating a traditional ad campaign with a digital sign,” Nix explained.


Wal-Mart Canada is working with digital services firm EK3 to use digital signage marketing across 100 of its stores. The Wal-Mart stores are divided up into 10 different zones and each zone has a number of screens with different offers that are updated in real time. The signage campaign also includes the animation “Lisa,” a cartoon version of a Wal-Mart shopper who endorses products and offers coupons throughout the store.


“Different consumers come into the store at different times of the day and shop in different zones,” said Nick Prigioniero, president/CEO at EK3. “It is all about knowing who those demographics are, targeting them with specific offers that are relevant to them.”


That targeting can include offering a coupon for a new cereal in the milk aisle or offering ready-made dinners for the after work shopper. According to Prigioniero, since Wal-Mart Canada first began testing this new signage, 4% of shoppers admitted to making purchases directly related to the ads.


“You are going to see a lot of proliferation at the shelf level, with lots of smaller screens,” Nix said.



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