Innovation is the Key to Digital Signage Success


In a recent survey conducted and published by POPAI UK & Ireland, the trade association for companies involved in point-of-purchase and retail communications, there are nearly four times as many shops and business incorporating digital signage into their retail sales operations as there were only four years ago, which essentially equates to a nearly 100 per cent per year rise, and the trend in digital signage, particularly that with which customers can interact, look set to grow exponentially.
Digital signage is not a fad or a gimmick. It is a cogent, tangible marriage of marketing strategy and progressive technology that is finding powerful ways to engage destination and passing trade in ways never before, well, envisaged.
For Mode-AL, a recent case in point is work we did with Visionpoint Technologies Limited, a respected UK-based AV installation and maintenance company.
Visionpoint had been contracted by Jameson Irish Whiskey to organise a worldwide promotional campaign in Duty Free shops in airports around the world, starting with the Malaga airport in Spain. Visionpoint and Jameson had cleverly come up with a highly interactive signage scheme that invited travellers to try their luck at reaching for a virtual glass of Jameson by way of “augmented reality”, which is rapidly taking hold as a genuine crowd pleaser.
The issue, as ever, is how do you make such a display portable enough to be easily transported to the next venue, or replicated as longer term fixtures for ongoing promotional campaigns? Most digital signage options are fixed installations, but would it be possible to devise a readily moved flight case for such a display?
That may seem a simple question, but let me assure you that the answer is not. However, we have some very clever people who, because of their work on what are almost always a bespoke projects, are able to work out elegant solutions.
Mode-AL Managing Director David Lees and his team were set the challenge by Visionpoint to produce a portable digital signage flight case, in an extremely tight time frame and, to their credit, they delivered.
The flight case produced by Mode-AL enables the entire display to travel freely from location to location and incorporates a gas cylinder that elevates a 42” LED screen from the flight case at the touch of a button, thereby almost transforming the case into an interactive bar. Interested travellers can simply move toward the pop-up screen, reach for a glass, and have it filled with virtual Jameson whiskey as well as participate in other tasks by interacting with the augmented reality software developed by Visionpoint.
The portable signage idea, and the response to the augmented reality, has been so successful that Mode-AL is now working on further projects of a much larger scale.
And only a few are much larger than the recently opened Westfield Stratford City shopping centre in Stratford, London, the gateway to the London 2012 Olympic Park and the largest urban shopping centre in Europe. It’s been estimated that up to 70 per cent of visitors to London 2012 will pass through Westfield Stratford City to get to the Games, and they will in large part be walking past signage supported by Mode-AL.
But a 42” plasma is not going to get the job done in such an environment. So, how do you scale up to support Westfield’s drive to enhance the consumer experience with spectacular new screen formats?
You draw from years of experience. We recently designed and built the structure for Europe’s largest hybrid video wall at Ernst & Young London’s reception area. The structure combines 160 Christie MicroTiles and 162 Ignition 20mm pitch LED panels that cover a massive 60 square meters in a 90 degree arc.The digital signage support we’ve provided for a number of Westfield retailers is not quite to that scale, but it’s not far off.
Whether it’s the enchantment of augmented reality on a small scale, or the awe-inspiring draw of gargantuan signage that evokes emotion and compels action, digital signage to any scale must nevertheless continue to innovate to capture the imagination.

Tags: iss059 | mode-al | digitalsignage | flight case | N/A
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