A major strength of place-based digital networks has always been their highly localized footprint. However, this strength is also a challenge when it comes to creating high-impact national advertising campaigns. With new networks springing up across the country in dozens of different categories, what has been missing is a way to tie these different networks together and create a single national media platform.
At SeeSaw Networks, we aggregate these disparate place-based digital networks to create a single, viable, national advertising platform. In 2009, we have grown to over 50 networks, reaching a scale that has changed the way advertisers view place-based digital video advertising. We also added new technology to facilitate very efficient and effective campaign targeting, planning and execution. Today, when companies plan their national media campaigns, it’s not uncommon for broadcast-oriented media planners and advertisers to look at what SeeSaw has to offer and say, “I can plan and buy this media like television.” Similarly, digital media planners and buyers say, “This fits perfectly with my web and mobile strategies.”
The three keys to the evolution of the SeeSaw place-based digital video advertising solution – national scale, precision targeting tools, and technology and processes for planning and execution – also reveal key benefits of this media for advertisers.
How big is big enough?
Using third-party data from sources such as Nielsen and Arbitron, and OVAB’s recently released guidelines, SeeSaw’s aggregated network delivers more than 50 million weekly gross impressions across 200+ DMAs in over 30 different types of places like gas stations, coffee shops, grocery stores, health clubs, transit centers and hair salons, to name a few. This puts place-based digital advertising spots on a scale that is equivalent to a couple of TV spots on a blockbuster primetime show such as American Idol and well on our way toward reaching Super Bowl scale with 100 million gross impressions in 2010.
With this kind of national scale at their disposal, advertisers and media planners understand they can extend their reach by incorporating place-based digital video advertising into their advertising campaign. This allows advertisers to connect with on-the-go consumers in a new and more effective way while they are out and about in places where they work, shop, socialize and play.
Target practice makes perfect
But clearly, scale is not enough today. In this economic environment, advertisers and their agencies are under pressure to make their marketing spend as efficient and effective as possible. And agencies are obliged to make the most of available resources and work as efficiently as possible on their client’s behalf. SeeSaw’s Life Pattern Marketing methodology combined with the precision marketing capabilities of SeeSawAds.com enables advertisers to reach audiences far more effectively and streamlines the process for agencies to build truly national place-based digital advertising campaigns.
What’s exciting about the combination of a large-scale national platform and precision targeting is the way it enables brands to think strategically about their national campaigns while delivering a far more relevant message to individual consumers. For advertisers, it’s the ability to think nationally and locally at the same time, eliminating the inefficiencies and waste of ‘shotgun style’ national advertising campaigns.
For consumers it’s about personal relevance. A typical knock on advertising is that too much of it is disruptive. But it’s only disruptive when it isn’t relevant to the target audience. Consumers actually like to learn about the products and services that can improve the quality of their lives, especially if they encounter ads at the right time and place. With precisely targeted place-based digital advertising campaigns, advertisers can reach more of their target audience in contextually relevant settings, so the audience is more likely to be aware of and be receptive to the messages. Consider an agency developing a campaign to promote a manufacturer’s protein bar. After developing the core messaging and creative concept, the team is able to use copy splitting to refine the message for the different types of venues: “Stay Energized!” in health clubs, “Fuel Up!” in gas stations or “Energy On the Go!” for convenience stores, for example.
A plan for success
Another important step in the evolution of the place-based digital video advertising platform is the development of new SeeSaw planning and execution services, that provides one plan, one proof-of-delivery, and one invoice that until now would have required consolidating information from potentially over 30 different networks. The SeeSaw campaign process helps agencies easily and quickly work through the following steps:
Ideation – Because place-based digital video advertising helps advertisers reach a specific audience segment in many types of places, it is critical for media planners to have the greatest flexibility in how they solve their clients’ communication challenges. SeeSaw’s Life Pattern Marketing methodology reveals where target consumers go and what they do throughout their busy week, allowing media planners to target only the most appropriate networks and venues. SeeSaw’s technology then lets media planners easily review detailed information on every affiliate network and create different scenarios for achieving their objectives. Based on this knowledge, companies can be very precise in setting priorities and establishing budgets based on geographic area, demographic profile and venue targets. This level of detailed planning has never before been possible with place-based digital media on a national scale.
Optimization – Each plan on SeeSawAds.com is optimized to meet the specific media objective for a particular campaign. Once an initial campaign plan is complete, SeeSaw’s technology also lets planners optimize it by creating “what-if” scenarios that show the impact various changes (in venues, campaign length, creative specs, frequency, etc.) will have on the cost, number of impressions, and reach. Planning can also include developing a campaign flighting schedule based on individual life patterns and an effective frequency for optimal message impact.
Buy – Once the optimal media plan is finalized, it can be purchased with a single insertion order across multiple networks. This single order can eliminate days or even weeks of calling each network and issuing separate insertion orders. It is also possible to set up schedule reminders and notifications for delivery of creative, creative quality management, format conversions, final content delivery, campaign launch and campaign end.
Go Live – Over the course of the campaign, the SeeSaw operations team works with the our affiliate networks to assure the campaign is executing to spec. Agencies can relax knowing everything from creative format conversions for the different networks, to pre-campaign checks, to ownership of ad-flighting and rotation is being managed on a day to day basis to assure a quality customer experience.
Completion – SeeSaw delivers a single, comprehensive proof-of-performance report, eliminating the need for the agency to rationalize thousands of plays across thousands of venues over several weeks or months. Instead, SeeSaw lets agencies focus on analyzing campaign results and creating the next opportunity for their clients.
For national advertisers that have challenged their media planning teams with finding new ways to more effectively and efficiently reach their consumers, place-based digital video advertising offers an effective way to grab the attention of people where they work, play and socialize. By using SeeSaw’s national network, Life Pattern Marketing methodology and precision targeting capabilities to create cost effective digital video campaigns with national reach, agencies can deliver one of the most powerful ways to connect with people in today’s media landscape.
Learn more about the exhibitors at this year's NRF show at Retail Customer Experience: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
One exhibit that drew a lot of buzz at NRF this year was the wine kiosk at the Curiosk Marketing Solutions booth. The wine kiosk allows a retail customer to scan a bottle of wine to get additional information about the wine, ensuring a wise purchase. Users can get tasting notes, food pairing information and can create a preset or typed personal greeting to attach to the bottle of wine if given as a gift. Josh Rosen of Curiosk shows how.
A decade ago, the self-checkout unit was a relatively new concept. Now, one can't walk through a Meijer, Kroger or Home Depot without seeing them. From information kiosks to wayfinding stations, self-service permeates the retail experience. What prompted this seismic shift? Norma Wolcott, self-service business line executive for IBM Corp., explains why she believes self-service is a natural response to consumer demand.
2008 has come and gone, ushering in some of the most practical self-service applications to ever hit the industry. There were the rising stars – the redboxes, the SoloHealths and the Mod Systems of the world. But as the old saying goes, not every elevator makes it to the top floor. There were other deployments that ...
Let's just say that when the votes are tallied and final story of mankind's achievement is told, they'll certainly raise some eyebrows.
In just a moment, you're going to read about some of those kiosks. I can tell you the who, the what - and in some cases - the where.
What I can't tell you is why.
And therein lies the tale. Some of them have legitmate purposes, while others call into question their being. All of them are characterized by a quirky edge. For the truth of the matter is, these deployments have one leg in objective reality, and the other in that shadowy realm mere mortals refer to simply as "the unknown."
…And now they're subheads on SelfService.org's "Weirdest of 2008" list.
#5 – Student Performance Kiosks.
For most shoppers, the local grocery store is an open inventory of food, supplies, clothing – the bare necessities of life. But things are different in Grand Valley, Colo. – particularly in a little area known to the locals as School District 51. Six City Market grocery stores populate the district, each containing computer kiosks. But you won't be able to pay your bills or purchase gift cards here. Instead, these kiosks tell you about your children. According to The Daily Sentinel, parents can use the kiosks to look up their child's school grades, attendance records, assignments and lunch expenditures. And they don't dispense prepaid phone cards, they schedule parent-teacher conferences. It's an unexpected partnership between City Market, the county government and Bresnan Communications. Practical, you say? Maybe so. But if you're a middle school student worried about the grade you got on that Ernest Hemmingway book report, you might think twice before asking mom and dad to swing by the grocery store to pick up some Wheaties ...
#4 – Self-service book binding kiosks.
There's nothing new or inherently bizarre about swiping your card and having a kiosk dispense the latest entry in a long list of summer reading. But deep in the heart of New York City – a bustling metropolis where unsuspecting men and women in well-tailored business suits scurry about their mundane tasks – one company is building a horse of a different color. For the Espresso book ATM created by On Demand Books doesn't just dispense the books – it builds them for you. It accepts pdf files from the user, prints, mills, aligns, glues and dispenses professionally bound books in only seven minutes. Book covers come in four colors. It may be something for the local Kinko's to consider, but don't look for it at the airport anytime soon.
#3 – Carbon offset kiosks.
Submitted for your approval: a world held in the unmerciful grip of an economic recession. As businesses fight bankruptcy like gladiators in some ancient coliseum, men and women struggle to hold on to what little currency they have. Against this backdrop, one San Francisco company, 3Degrees, unveils a kiosk that takes the user's money and, in exchange, provides them with a certificate of no tangible benefit whatsoever. So it is with the carbon offset kiosks now deployed at the San Francisco International Airport. Travelers guilt-ridden with the knowledge that their flight spewed harmful carbon emissions into the atmosphere can volunteer to swipe their cards and pay compensation in the form of carbon offsets. I don't name this kiosk to call into question the value of ecological responsibility. Instead, mine is an issue of timing, for the time at which the kiosks are deployed is the one time consumers can't afford to use them. It's an irony found only on the SelfService.org "Weirdest of 2008" list.
#2 – The Robot kiosk.
You can't judge a book by its cover. Whoever penned that adage probably wasn't looking at this Robot kiosk designed by NEC and demonstrated at the iEXPO 2008 trade show in Japan. The kiosk is a replica of a life-sized android.
But it just dispenses tickets -- it's not alive, you say. Don't be so sure. According to pinktentacle.com, the kiosk can use facial recognition technology to identify, single out and target ads to individuals. It's not without its critics, however.
As a blogger on dvice.com stated, "Clearly, it's jut a ticket kiosk. It's not a robot. It can't walk around, it isn't sentient. It's just shaped like a robot, and we aren't fooled by it. Those legs are just for decoration. Weak, Japan."
Tough medicine from a skeptic or frantic words fueled by fear? In any case, if you happen to be at an amusement park and get the strange feeling something – or someone – is looking over your shoulder, don't panic. Just reach into your wallet, pull out your credit card and buy a ticket to that jazz concert…before those lifeless eyes zero in on you.
#1 – Marijuana kiosks.
Chalk this deployment up as something that could only happen in Los Angeles. A series of kiosks deploys medical marijuana – cash for hash, so to speak. Not only did this deployment catch the eye of us at SelfService.org, but it also raised eyebrows at the U.N.'s International Narcotics Control Board in Vienna, who quickly ruled that the machines are illegal and should be shut down. Let's just say it's one more notch in a long tally of self-service experiments that maybe should have never made if off the drawing board.
So there you have it – five kiosk deployments that served as monuments to the bizarre in 2008. As we plunge headlong into 2009, we have no doubt that there will be even more wacky and fantastic entries for this year's list. If you happen to be at a seminar, a trade show or just picking up groceries on a Saturday afternoon and you stumble upon a kiosk deployment that doesn't quite fit the mold, don't panic. There's no need to hide the children. Just snap a picture, write a brief description and e-mail it to .
As deployers and vendors look to maximize the value of self-service in the coming year, it helps to take a look back at what did (and didn't) work in 2008. As editor of SelfService.org, I've compiled some of the stories that rocked the industry last year. Here is Part II of that list.
February was a black month for Citibank as two Brooklyn men allegedly made hundreds of fraudulent withdrawals from New York City ATMs. They reportedly pocketed at least $750,000 in cash. The significance of the thefts? Experts say this ATM crime spree is the first to be publicly linked to the breach of a major U.S. bank's systems.
#4: NCR debuts SelfServ kiosk, ATM lines.
In January, NCR announced the release of the SelfServ ATM, its first new line of ATM in a decade. The SelfServ ATM features, among other things, the ability to accept bulk check deposits. It also comes equipped with so-called self-healing technology – technology that enables the ATM to recover from some malfunctions via a remotely-managed reboot.
The SelfServ 60 kiosk was unveiled in October at KioskCom Self Service Expo. It integrates Intel vPro technology, including the next-generation Intel Core 2 Duo processor and Mobile Intel GM45 Express chipset, enabling it to run more advanced and engaging applications than its predecessor, the EasyPoint 42 kiosk.
#3: EyeSite kiosks help health care industry 'see' the light.
It was early in 2008 when EyeSite kiosks first broke into the national scene. Developed by startup SoloHealth, the EyeSite kiosk provides the user with a self-service eye exam. Though not a substitute for a professional eye exam, the kiosks do give the user a general idea of the quality of his vision and spotlights the dangers of conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration. The EyeSite kiosk was developed via a partnership with Netkey and KIOSK Information Systems.
#2: Redbox and Universal Studios go head-to-head.
In August, representatives of Universal Studios showed up unexpectedly at the headquarters of redbox with an ultimatum: Sign a revenue sharing agreement limiting the types of DVDs that could be stocked in redbox kiosks, as well as the amount charged for them, or Universal would cut off sales of its DVDs by commercial distributors. Redbox refused to sign the agreement and in November, filed a lawsuit against Universal, alleging that the distribution company was improperly interfering with a business relationship.
The lawsuit highlights the dramatic effect DVD kiosks are having in entertainment industry. The lack of overhead means DVD kiosks are able to offer DVD rentals for $1 a day – a dramatically cheaper price than that charged by brick-and-mortar stores.
#1: Recession strikes the world economy.
There's no denying that the economic downturn that struck in the last financial quarter of 2008 will have a significant impact on the self-service industry. The jury is still out: Will companies turn to self-service in an effort to cut labor costs, or will they shy away, fearing the initial costs of new deployments?
"We're on the eve of, probably, the greatest financial crisis of our time. In retrospect, I don't think we've ever seen anything like this since World War II," said V. Miller Newton, president of the Self-Service & Kiosk Association, while at KioskCom Self Service Expo in October. "Companies are definitely hunkering down. They're gonna cut costs … they're gonna be budget conscious … but I believe self-service is a critical component and a must-have in this economic downturn."
As deployers and vendors look to maximize the value of self-service in the coming year, it helps to take a look back at what did (and didn't) work in 2008. As editor of SelfService.org, I've compiled some of the stories that rocked the industry last year. Here is Part I of that list.
Click here to view Part II.
#10: The Green Movement
There's no doubt that troubling weather patterns and dire warnings from some in the scientific community generated significant public concern about manmade carbon emissions. As a result, the heat was on for the manufacturing industry to take positive action to "greenify" their plants.
Companies in the self-service industry were no exception. As a result, NCR and IBM completely revamped their production processes to comply with Restriction of Hazardous Substances (ROHS) standards. NEXTEP SYSTEMS halted its practice of burying kiosks in landfills. Olea debuted a kiosk made from organic waste materials like cardboard and plastic. And NCR developed thermal technology enabling kiosks to print on both sides of receipts, thereby cutting back on paper waste.
#9: The Self-Service & Kiosk Association gets a new president
In April, Alex Richardson relinquished his role as president of the Self-Service & Kiosk Association to become president of the Digital Technology Alliance. As a result, the Advisory Board elected V. Miller Newton, chief executive of software vendor Netkey, to take the reigns as president.
Newton is widely recognized for playing a pivotal role in the success of Monster.com and told SelfService.org in a July interview that "I think it's somewhat important that we communicate the value and ROI of self-service in the marketplace. It's an extremely important initiative for companies, in terms of better service at a lower cost."
#8: 11 suspects indicted for infamous TJX card breach
The word came down from the U.S. Department of Justice in August: 11 suspects from five different countries had been indicted for allegedly using POS systems, wireless networks and self-service kiosks from a host of big-name retailers to steal cardholder data from roughly 45 million consumers. Affected retailers included names like TJ Maxx, BJs Wholesale Club, OfficeMax, Boston Market and Barnes & Noble. The thefts were uncovered in late 2006. Those charged included three U.S. citizens, one Estonian, three Ukrainians, two citizens from the Peoples Republic of China and one from Belarus.
#7: Self-Service & Kiosk Association introduces Best Practices Library
The TJX indictments prompted some self-service deployers to take a harder look at kiosk security, and the renewed emphasis couldn’t have come at a better time. One month earlier, in July, the Self-Service & Kiosk Association announced the release of its Best Practices Library – a collection of 10 online documents outlining best practices related to topics such as kiosk enclosures, photo kiosks, remote monitoring and system security. The library is available to association members only and can be accessed here.
#6: Mobile e-ticketing takes a big step forward
In Oct. 2007, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) passed a mandate for its 230 member airlines to replace magnetic stripe and one-dimensional barcode ticketing with boarding passes with two-dimensional barcodes. The adoption of that new technology paved the way for e-ticketing – the ability of the airlines to transmit scannable electronic boarding passes directly to the traveler’s cell phone display. Several airlines have since trialed the technology, including Continental Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Delta Airlines, Air Canada, British Midland Airways, Japan Airlines, China Southern Airlines and others.