Bright lights, billboards and multiple digital displays can be seen almost everywhere at New York City’s Times Square. Dubbed the crossroads of the world, Times Square is a major commercial intersection, tourist destination, entertainment centre and neighbourhood in the Midtown Manhantten section of New York City at the junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue. Photo Credit: ISTOCK BY GETTY IMAGES

The infinite use of digital signage

In places such as corporate organisations, airports, sports venues and even along roadsides, digital signage provides accurate and informative messages to targeted audiences. Josephine Tan elaborates on how these electronic displays can be used to deliver customised live sports action beyond sports broadcasting, or as an advertising and marketing method in reaching out to the general public.

Awareness, consciousness and recognition are some of the key elements that can attribute to the success of a marketing campaign.

Due to the advancements technologies has brought forth, companies are now able to obtain and utilise metadata to better strategise and market their products and services. By leveraging data analytics and digital technologies, these companies will be able to deliver personalised messages and product offerings directly to their targeted audiences.

However, in reaching out to mass audiences, the approach of using digital signage is one effective communication medium to empower companies to build their brand awareness and convey the brand’s message. Using these electronic displays as an advertising tool, companies not only reach out to its niche targeted audiences, but also to the general public.

For instance, Burger King Singapore, a fast-food hamburger chain, has collaborated with Mediacorp OOH Media, the outdoor advertising arm of Singapore terrestrial broadcaster Mediacorp, to launch a marketing campaign promoting Burger King Stackers.

The concept of Burger King Stackers is to fulfil consumers’ dream of stacking a burger as high as they wish by adding extra patties or cheese. By keeping the cost of patties to a minimum, Burger King Singapore aims to provide food lovers with the opportunity to create a burger they have always desired for.

As part of Burger King Singapore’s BK Stackers campaign, one of OOH Media’s six-sheet creative panel was redesigned to feature a towering stack of patties within a burger.

By incorporating a built-in game, the panel is intended to encourage engagement from commuters. The column of lights on the left of the panel will light up in series from bottom up and vice versa. The aim of the game is for commuters to hit the button when the light reaches the top of the light bar.

Upon each successful try, the winner will be awarded with a voucher that will be dispensed from the panel. The voucher consists of free additional patties and slices of cheese upon any purchase of a BK Stacker, which serves to drive commuters to Burger King outlets.

Kym Lee, marketing manager, Burger King Singapore, says: “Out-of-home engagement is vital in this campaign due to the Instagram-able, engaging and fun nature of the stackers. The line-by-line installation plays with hitting the target at the top of the burger, driving sublime desire for height.”

The campaign took place throughout last month, with the panel located at Midpoint Orchard, reaching out to the masses along Orchard Road, which is one of Singapore’s busiest shopping districts. Besides, the panel was also situated near to the outlets to create path-to-purchase, thus urging top-of-mind recall for the brand.

As part of Burger King Singapore’s BK Stacker marketing campaign, one of Mediacorp OOH Media’s six-sheet creative panel was redesigned to feature a towering stack of patties within a burger.

Henry Goh, head of OOH Media, adds: “Fun interactive executions such as this demonstrates to advertisers the flexibility of outdoor media, and its ability to create engaging experiences that leave a deep impression on the audiences.

“In the case of BK Stackers, our panels turned into a simple yet hands-on game for commuters, bringing the brand and the burger stacking experience closer to the audiences.”

While traditional digital sign­age systems display simple, static text- and graphic-based information, there is an increasing number of advertisers demanding more engaging content, such as animations, live TV and video, and scrolling of news feeds, Jamie Hind, regional director, Asia at Exterity, points out.

He tells APB: “In today’s highly interactive world, being able to deliver content faster and in a more immersive way is fundamental, and digital signage provides benefits to a variety of industries looking to offer next-generation advertising that resonate with specific target audiences at the right time and place.

“The latest [digital signage] trend we are seeing is the requirement for HTML pages and social media integration, which provides a more engaging experience. In addition, digital signage systems are enhanced further by the use of higher definition screens — up to 4K/Ultra HD (UHD) — which are able to display full motion video along with stereo sound, to better capture the attention of commuters, thus providing an immersive experience.”

Beyond advertising usage, Hind suggests that the possibilities of digital signage are “virtually endless”, as the tool can be applied in a number of industries that include corporate and finance, education, hospitality, as well as at stadiums and venues.

For corporate and financial industries, digital signage can be customised to ensure the content is being displayed on the selected screens for the targeted audience. For example, screens in break-out areas can be used to keep staff updated with the latest training courses and company’s news, while reception screens can display welcome messages by the relevant department for improved accuracy, access control and team involvement in an organisation.

As for the hospitality sectors, Hind explains that the growth in the global air passenger traffic has resulted in benefits to the hospitality industry. He elaborates: “With more travellers having more options for accommodation than ever before, hotels are recognising that they need to offer more dynamic and timely information, and entertainment services, in order to continue attracting guests.

“Increasingly, hotels are using a combination of digital signage and IP video to achieve this, and are turning a wide range of connected devices into communication mediums while centrally controlling the time, location and target audience, to display signage with TV, video and guest-focused content in reception areas, bars, restaurants, lounges and meeting rooms.”

For stadium and venue appli­cations, Exterity was tasked to provide its IPTV technology to several stadiums during the UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament held in France. Four of the 10 hosting stadiums deployed Exterity’s solution, facilitating the distribution of content to TV displays in the hospitality and VIP suites, as well as the pressroom.

In addition to the live footage shot during the game, the Exterity system features built-in content protection capabilities to enable the venues to offer encrypted football-related content from various TV channels.

Stade Pierre-Mauroy in Lille, France, one of the new stadiums built to run the UEFA Euro 2016, has also installed the Exterity solution.

A representative of Stade Pierre-Mauroy explains: “Stade Pierre-Mauroy is a brand-new stadium, and as such, we wanted to ensure that we provided state-of-the-art experiences. To achieve this, we produce and deliver tailored content to nearly 400 screens around the stadium, and we wanted a system that would help us offer the best experience to all our visitors.
“By combining high quality with centralised management, the Exterity system enables us to easily distribute the right content to the right audience, and even facilitate the delivery of multiple live event feeds during busy times.”

According to Exterity, the company’s systems were deployed for use at more than 20 games during Euro 2016, and experienced by over one million football fans from around the world. The IP video system enabled fans to watch matches up-close, regardless of their location within the venue, while ensuring that the media can also receive relevant footage to prepare their commentary.

Similarly, at Philips Stadium, home to Philips Sports Vereniging (PSV) Eindhoven, one of the biggest football clubs in The Nether­lands, the venue is equipped with Exterity’s IP video system throughout the premises to provide visitors, fans and club staff a “comprehensive in-stadium experience”. The deployment encompassed TV delivery to the Philips Stadium, alongside training footage to the club and coaching staff.

The Leyard TWS Series LED video wall display will be deployed by NBC Olympics, a division of the NBC Sports Group, for the production of the 2018 Winter Olympics, which will take place in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Roy Smits, ICT manager at Philips Stadium, says: “PSV Eindhoven is one of the biggest clubs in The Netherlands. To keep our place at the top table of European football, we must have world-class infrastructure, and that includes our A/V coverage of the action on the pitch.

“As part of our ongoing desire to offer premium services to our fans, staff and international visitors, we have worked with Exterity, Intronics and Axians to deploy the first large-scale IP video installation in a stadium in The Netherlands.”

The deployment delivers TV content to 200 end-points around the stadium via the existing IP network. Exterity’s AvediaStream encoders are used to encode footage from the stadium’s internal media studio, as well as live match footage from outside broadcast (OB) vans. In addition, Exterity’s AvediaPlayer receivers are installed to connect any TV screen to the existing IP network.

Control of the system is managed by the Exterity AvediaServer, an IP video management system that also operates as the platform upon which customised channels can be created and tailored for delivery to different end-points in the venue. AvediaServer also offers a video-on-demand (VoD) catalogue that enables assets to be played via custom-created channels, which can include graphics from the media room.

Artio, Exterity’s IP video middle­ware platform, is also employed to customise the viewing experience in each business lounge around the stadium, enabling personalisation of the corporate guests’ environment.

The flexibility of the system was key in modernising the video facilities across the stadium, Smits claims. “It enables our stadium to control each screen individually from one central point, ensuring that each piece of content is delivered to the right end-point, enabling staff, visitors or business clients to watch the action that is most relevant to them.

“The ability to access and control all content centrally has streamlined our video capabilities, and the addition of the solution means that we can now cater for the modern-day football fan.”

Colin Farquhar, CEO at Exterity, concludes: “The deployment means that the Philip Stadium can now offer personalised content to different areas throughout the stadium, and even to the training facilities, enabling players and coaches to improve their skills and tactics. The scalability and robustness of the Exterity solutions also ensure that future deployments will be easily catered for, without impacting the current deployment, thus enabling PSV Eindhoven to continue to excel among Europe’s footballing elite.”

Another LED video wall solutions provider, Leyard, has been selected by NBC Olympics, a divi­sion of the NBC Sports Group, to provide LED video walls for its production of the 2018 Winter Olympics, which will take place in PyeongChang, South Korea, from February 9-25.

Michael Sheehan, coordinating director, NBC Olympics, comments: “We are excited about the Leyard technology we will be using for our coverage of the PyeongChang Games. As was the case with NBC Olympics’ coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympics, Leyard’s displays will help us take our scenic design to a higher level, both visually and artistically.”

For the 2018 Winter Olympics, Leyard will provide multiple TWS Series LED video wall displays for NBC’s broadcast sets.

Featuring a 27-inch diagonal size, the Leyard TWS Series is capable of delivering 16:9 aspect ratio while supporting HD, 4K/UHD and 8K resolutions. The Leyard TWS Series can be fitted in a broad range of fine pitch broadcast environments, including convex curved or traditional video wall in large or small spaces.

Adam Schmidt, executive vice-president of sales and marketing, Leyard, concludes: “We are thrilled to be selected by NBC Olympics for its coverage of the 2018 Winter Games. Leyard video walls will provide a dynamic visual backdrop to NBC’s coverage.”

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