August 17, 2010

Advertising, Digital Media, R2D2 and Facebook


Good grief. What could the four words in the title of this blog post have in common?

A year ago my family drove to Columbia Missouri for my nieces wedding. Along the way I noticed about 50% of the billboards were giant digital screens. Aha, there is the link for Advertising and Digital Media in the title.

It turns out there are three significant areas where digital signage is exploding in growth. All of them are in the DOOH (digital out of home) category. The three areas break down into generic advertising where it is the display only, in store retail display to help people make a decision, and extremely interactive touch screen displays people can use to find out information or find a destination.

You are probably exposed to some type of digital signage many times throughout the day; Airports, elevators, fast food restaurants, hotels, health clubs, office building lobby, shopping malls, the list goes on and on.

In fact, according to a Arbitron Digital Place-Based Video Study 2010 these type of media reaches over 7 out of 10 U.S. residents each month. The study also reports that more people watch digital place-based video than watch video online, have a Facebook profile or a smartphone. There is the word Facebook! 

PQ Media forecasts that this $6 billion media "industry" will grow 9.4% through 2014 in the U.S. and 10% globally.

Coca Cola likes this new technology so much it is operating its own network of digital billboards

ROI is alway of interest in advertising and sometimes hard to measure. You can get some info from studies like Arbitron. And the more interactive the digital display is (ala touch screens) the more data can be collected. It will be interesting to see how ROI is measured as this technology grows and defines itself more and more. It will be fun to watch how creative the advertising becomes.

So why did I include R2D2 in my title? One word: Hologram. Remember when R2D2 projected the hologram of Princess Leia saying "Help me Obi-wan, your'e my only hope"? Wouldn't it be cool to add holograms to this digital technology? Done. Many companies are experimenting with this technology. Here is a link to a company that is building in store kiosks with holograms.

Is digital signage marketers "only hope" for standing out in the sea of marketing messages we see each day? Stay tuned.

John Meyer



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