Digital advertising, or Digital Out-of-home (DOOH) advertising as it is referred to in the industry, has been used in restaurants, gas stations, retail stores, and in the lobbies of businesses and hotels for quite a few years. As far back as 2010, Arbitron reported that 70% of Americans had seen a digital video display in the prior month and 75% of road travelers had seen a digital billboard. Moreover, a study conducted by Nielsen for the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) found these ad viewers were engaged, with more than half recalling specific screen messages.
Now in 2016 digital signage advertising is everywhere and creative and unexpected uses of digital signs are popping up all the time. Here are some of the more unexpected places you'll find digital signage advertising today:
1. On Vending Machines
Vending machines may seem outdated, but new technologies are being added to help bring them into the 21st century. One of the technologies being used is interactive touchscreens, which effectively turn the vending machine into an intelligent vending kiosk. These intelligent kiosks offer the customer a more personalized and engaging experience which improves satisfaction and increases sales. The digital displays on vending machines are being used to display product offerings, calorie counts, and also can integrate with cashless payment systems like Google Wallet or Apple Pay.
2. On Windows and Mirrors
Digital signage and advertising are starting to appear in the most some unexpected places. In 2014 eBay and Rebecca Minkoff teamed up to create a flagship store in New York City for that brand that featured interactive mirror walls that allowed customers to browse looks, request a fitting, or even order a drink. The fitting room mirrors also allow customers to request different colors or sizes without leaving the area. Gaming-quality response times make these displays particularly engaging to customers in a hurry.
3. Amongst Fine Art Displays
In the summer of 2014, "Art Everywhere US" entertained Americans and visitors as the world's largest outdoor art show. It featured over 50 American art masterpieces on some 50,000 digital and static ad displays including digital billboards along roadsides, static displays in bus shelters, and on digital signs in health clubs and airports. Images in the art show came from top museums like the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Gallery of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
4. In Golf Carts
Digital Caddies, which provides technology and content to golfers right on the links, now offers real-time advertising displayed on tablets mounted in golf carts. Ads are served alongside interactive features like course navigation, yardages to landmarks, and aerial views of the fairway and green. With golf carts increasingly put to other uses, like transportation within gated communities and for city tours for tourists, it stands to reason that this application of digital signage advertising has great potential for expansion.
5. Alongside Radio Ad Spots
Imagine a customer hearing one of your radio spots while commuting. He looks up and sees a simultaneous video billboard for your brand. Tech companies in the UK have learned how to do this by leveraging television, radio, and digital out-of-home advertising. Software is used to sync a digital roadside network with a brand's radio schedule spots. When cars playing the radio ad drove past the billboards, the billboards switch to ads for the brand on the radio spot. Not only do people recall these ads, it is reported they are more inclined to consider purchases because of them.
The potential uses for digital signs are really only limited by the imagination, with brands and tech vendors continually thinking of innovative places and methods for using digital advertising. If you have thought of a novel place for digital signage advertising, chances are someone has found a way to accomplish it, or is working on it. Digital signs offer much more than static displays, delighting the eye and allowing people to interact in convenient, helpful, and entertaining ways as they go about their everyday lives.