If you're stuck in traffic it probably helps to have company — even better if it's funny company, someone who'll crack jokes and keep you amused or at least bemused instead of yelling at other drivers.
A smart campaign for Sprite provided the company earlier this year with a joke-telling digital billboard in a busy intersection in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi, "Bill the Billboard."
Bill's gotten a lot of attention lately, including mentions by AdWeek and Ads of the World, but it appears to have run sometime in the last year, given that it took Silver in the Loerie Awards for agency Ogilvy & Mather Africa - Nairobi last month at the Cape Town International Convention Centre in Cape Town, South Africa. The Loeries go to the best campaigns in South Africa and the region, according to Cape Town Magazine.
And while Bill's jokes were genuinely groan-worthy — one has him telling a therapist, "You know who raised me? A crane." — they are worth an occasional chuckle..
Here are two videos showing Bill the Billboard in all his glory:
Yesterday marked the opening of one of the biggest, if not the biggest, sporting events on the planet, and digital signage was there in an un-missable way.
The 2014 FIFA World Cup kicked off with a giant LED digital signage globe that flashed welcoming greetings in the languages of the 32 participating countries before opening like a flower and transforming into a stage on which performers Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull and Cláudia Leitte sang this World Cup's anthem, "We Are One (Ole Ola)."
Clearly, some watchers didn't know quite what to make of the globe ...
... but it was certainly part of the spectacle.
So now most of the world has seen just one more of the innumerable ways digital signage can be used creatively. The next time someone ask you, "What's digital signage?" you can point them to this.
"If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else." – Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra
The famed philosopher and Hall of Fame Yankees catcher Yogi Berra was right: If you want to get where you want to go, you'd better know where it is.
But how do you know where you're going?
The most intractable problem in any industry is planning for the future. Who knows what it holds? How can you plan for the unknown?
Well, you can ask a lot of people what they're planning to do in the future, and go from there. And that's exactly what we're doing – and we could use your help. (And you might just help yourself while you're at it.)
We're putting together the latest version of our Digital Signage Future Trends report, in which we'll combine the results of our far-reaching, responsive survey about end-users' future digital signage plans with commentaries from industry leaders about what they see coming down the digital signage pike in the next few years.
We're already over the 700-response mark for the survey, with a healthy mix of end-users, potential end-users and solution providers. If you're one of the above, and you haven't already, you should fill it out.
And if you're a member of the digital signage industry, whether it's in hardware, software or something else, you should be asking your clients and potential clients to take it too.
The more information we can get about what's coming, the better off we'll all be. After all, "Knowing is half the battle."
So take a few minutes and head here to take the survey (or paste https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DSTFT_2014 into your favorite browser). Or tweet it out. Or send it to your favorite clients. Participants will get different questions based on their responses. For example, a hotelier will see and respond to different survey questions than a restaurateur or a college dean. And we'll be putting out a report soon that takes all that information and compares it to the growing body of historical data we have fromm previous surveys.
Heck, if you fill it out you might even win a new iPad mini.
There's a reason we have living rooms and dens and man caves.
You can't set up your TV outside; if it gets rained on, it's goodbye to the set.
The same can be said for most electronics components, including most digital signage: They need to be inside, in a controlled environment.
If you want to take your electronic devices — and your digital signage — outside, you need to take certain precautions and certain factors into account. It's not as simple as just setting up a display and a Web-connected media player on the endcap at your local Walmart.
It gets wet outside. And hot. And cold. And dusty. And windy.
Most digital signage components aren't big fans of any of those things. So if you're going to set up your displays outside, you have to take into account some special considerations and take some specific precautions.
But the benefits of taking your digital signage outside could far outweigh the extra work and extra cost, replacing static advertising or wayfinding with a dynamic medium that should deliver a significant uptick in engagement and a healthy ROI.
Scroll on down to the infographic below (sponsored by Manufacturing Resources International) to see some of the specific considerations end-users should be sure to take into account when setting up outdoor digital signage. And, as usual, feel free to use the embed code below the infographic to publish it on your own website or blog.
Beating the Elements with Outdoor Digital Signage [Infographic]
Compliments of Digital Signage Today
Learn more at DigitalSignageToday.com/Outdoor
Download a PDF of this infographic
EMBED THIS INFOGRAPHIC ON YOUR SITE
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<a href="http://www.digitalsignagetoday.com/blog/11359/Beating-the-Elements-with-Outdoor-Digital-Signage-infographic?rb=false"><img border="0" alt="Beating the Elements with Outdoor Digital Signage [Infographic]"width="500" src="http://www.digitalsignagetoday.com/images/Outdoor-Digital-Signage-infographic.png"/></a><br/><a href="http://www.digitalsignagetoday.com/blog/11359/Beating-the-Elements-with-Outdoor-Digital-Signage-infographic?rb=false">Beating the Elements with Outdoor Digital Signage [Infographic]</a><br/></a>Compliments of <a href="http://www.digitalsignagetoday.com">Digital Signage Today</a><br/></a>Learn more at <a href="http://www.digitalsignagetoday.com/outdoor">DigitalSignageToday.com/Outdoor</a>
It's funny to me how something will come up repeatedly in conversations with different people, then pop up in real life, too.
In several interviews I've done recently with DOOH providers/networks/etc., one benefit they all mentioned was that digital signage allows end-users and brands to make sure they don't advertise for their competitors in their stores.
A Mercedez-Benz dealership, for example, might have screens that end up showing commercials for BMW if they're just using a TV feed, but can make sure they only promote their brand if they have a dedicated digital signage content feed.
So on a recent road trip I stopped to get something to eat at a fast food quick service restaurant when this ad came up on their "digital signage":
And no, the restaurant I was in right then wasn't White Castle — but the next one was.
(Also, all those wires? That's just sloppy, guys. C'mon, you're better than that.)
It's the screen so bad it has its own name, and you never want to see it on your computer screen or even worse on your digital signage displays: The Blue Screen of Death.
There's a grocery store that will remain nameless near me that had a BSOD not once but twice recently. (And for all I know, it could've had the dreaded BSOD up and running the entire week and a half between my visits. But let's hope they're not that incompetent there.)
But here's the thing: Even if the screen is running properly, it's pretty much useless anyway just because of its poorly thought out placement.
1) It's placed on the wall at the very front of the store; y'know, the wall customers never look at until they're already at the checkout counter and not very likely to leave the line and go pick up something else, no matter how cleverly promoted on the sign.
2) The sign is too darn high. Really, people are looking ahead, not up; place signs in your customers' lines of sight. (And yes, I understand sometimes that line of sight is or has to be raised up a bit. Not that high.) And the other screen, the one with the lotto numbers, that might be even higher.
Speaking of raised digital signage that's still in your sight line, and in a place where it might encourage shoppers to buy something, let's take a trip to the neighborhood Walmart.
Now, while it pains me to admit I was at the local Walmart the other day, I was — and boy, have they digital signage'd the heck out of that place.
The minute you walk in the door, there's a passle of digital signage screens trying to sell you something. It's reassuring, like I'm actually in a place that actually wants me to buy something from it.
Of course, there's an argument that could be made that Walmart has maybe gone a little *too far* with its digital signage, in part because so many of their signs include audio and are a touch on the annoying side if it's quiet in the store. But seriously, how often is it quiet in a Walmart? Late at night when journalists and other scary people are out, so, really, who cares?
And annoying as it might have been, I still remember Sharon Osbourne squawking at me from an endcap digital sign, so it must be working.
Digital signage provider INNOVEX, formerly Advanced Business Machines, recently jumped on the viral bandwagon when it posted its own version of the still-popular "Harlem Shake" video meme to YouTube.
Clearly there are some serious science fiction fans at the company, given the number of sci-fi movie characters in the video, and the slightly-longer-than-normal version of the video ends up with most of them stuck in a digital signage screen. (The video also starts out with the de rigueur solo dancer, Boba Fett in this case, dancing in a digital signage screen.)
There's a lot to learn about digital signage in education.
The dynamic messaging and information capabilities of the medium offer a plethora of benefits to universities and colleges, from dorm room to the cafeteria, from the classroom to the quad.
And the digital signage industry has a great deal to teach the education sector about this still-underutilized technology both from a benefits standpoint and a how-to view.
We've gathered some interesting data points that suggest the technology's reach on campus is growing, and showing some of the impact it can have for schools and students. Global spending on IT in education is expected to double over the next three years. At the same time, digital signage on campuses is projected to grow 22 percent worldwide and 47 percent in the U.S.
And the digital signage industry has a great deal to teach the education sector about this still-underutilized technology both from a benefits standpoint to a how-to view.
Universities, always facing tight budget restraints, can use them to provide revenue from advertisers and they can deploy high-tech signage to keep up with the Jetsons, to reach today's students and tomorrow's in a way they'll pay attention to, understand and act on.
Now that we've schooled you in the possibilities, scroll down to view the infographic.
Digital Signage Big Screen on Campus [Infographic]
Compliments of Digital Signage Today
Another video popped up on YouTube recently showing the digital signage in Times Square getting taken over by hackers and used to display an unsettling — and for those of us of a certain age, oddly familiar — image:
Of course, the signage wasn't really hacked; the video is part of an attempt at viral marketing for a new TV series on A&E. The new series, "Coma," appears to be based on the 1978 movie of the same name directed by Michal Crichton — which was, in turn, based on the 1977 novel of the same name written by Robin Cook.
Unfortunately for the marketers running the campaign, this virus doesn't seem to be catching — which speaks to the need to be either incredibly good at these kinds of campaigns, or incredibly lucky at catching lightning in a bottle.
Still, it's a cool example of how much digital signage is part of the visual landscape, when disrupting it becomes a novel way of catching attention.
What do you think of this latest Times Square digital signage "hack"? Let us know in the comments below.
Long before I even came on board at Digital Signage Today, the Steven Spielberg/Tom Cruise sci-fi flick "Minority Report" had become something of a cliché in the digital signage world – after it was repeatedly over-cited as an example of what digital signage could be, ad nauseam.
Still, though, if you wanted to give someone an idea of some of the possibilities, both attractive and frightening, inherent in the rise of digital signage and digital out-of-home advertising, "Minority Report" was, and continues to be, a handy shortcut to an explanation for the uninitiated.
(I'll admit, I still use it from time to time to tell people who aren't familiar with digital signage — or at least don't realize they are — about what could be soon coming down the pike, sooner than they realize.)
But starting last year and then continuing into this, specialty glass and ceramics maker Corning began releasing its "A Day Made of Glass" videos that update our vision of a possible digital signage future.