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As screens that consumers can touch catch on in retail, advertisers and agencies have new opportunities to expand their creativity.
The day when shoppers will expect to get help from a holographic sales assistant or make payments using biometric fingerprints may not be far away.
The ARF’s next Emerging Media Council on August 14 will look at some of the trends and technologies that advertisers and agencies need to understand to keep pace. Many of the latest technologies allow brands to reach consumers through their sense of touch.
The ARF spoke with council chair Terri Walter, vice president of advanced marketing solutions at Avenue A-Razorfish, about what to expect at meeting, “The Fourth Screen: Advances in Digital Out of Home.” It is planned for the ARF’s New York City headquarters from 2:30 to 4:30 EST.
ARF: Terri, what issues concern the industry most, when it comes to emerging media?
Terri: Everything is going mobile. The site, sound and motion that we’re used to on the web is starting to pop up in unexpected places. Mobile devices have a tiny screen but digital out of home surfaces are much larger. There’s a huge opportunity to get messages out on the “fourth screen.”
For instance, marketers and ad agencies have a very interesting opportunity make the very flat experience that exists out-of-home right much richer and much more interactive. Whenever you have a group of people in a large space, there are interactive ways to bring people together that can be unified with digital signage. We’re seeing a lot of opportunities for audience games and using text messages that appear on a digital, out-of-home screen, so people can find each other.
ARF: What areas show the most promise?
Terri: The most exciting area of digital out-of-home is retail. When you shop, there are so many pieces of information you need. So many new kinds of technologies will transform the way we shop in the future: interactive storefronts, holographic sales assistants, biometric finger payments. Technologies that seem far off are now in beta.
ARF: Laura Davis-Taylor from Retail Media Consulting will be talking about best practices in digital out of home. Can you give us a preview?
Terri: Laura is going to speak about technologies that are available now in digital out-of-home in the retail space, and how you can use them to embrace the consumer in a new way. She is one of the most active people in the industry on digital out of home, which really is an emerging area. She consults with major retailers on how to leverage digital out of home for connecting with consumers and how many touch points they should have. She is also the co-author of Lighting up the Aisle, a book on the topic that came out early this year, chair of the Digital Signage Expo and an executive member of the POPAI Signage Advocacy Committee.
ARF: Mark Greene, vice president of retail and shopper insights at TNS, will give us a glimpse of the new future of stores. How far ahead will he look?
Terri: His presentation will address shopping innovations in 2013 – very exciting stuff.
ARF: Cameron Burnham will be talking about SeeSaw Networks’ Life Pattern Marketing. What can members expect to learn from the presentation?
Terri: SeeSaw Networks has done a digital out-of-home media awareness and attitude study. The research names 12 life patterns that media buyers and marketers can use to help understand how to intercept people during their daily routines. What they’re able to do is look at how digital signage awareness is different based on your age, your ethnicity, your location, and whether you’re rural or suburban. They bucket people into life patterns, such as affluence, avid moviegoers, families on the go, night lifers, and urban professionals. They look at media consumption across all media. It’s a very good study and it helps you understand how digital signage compares to other media and how best to target consumers in different stages.
ARF: What trends in emerging media should advertisers and agencies look out for?
Terri: Brands are used to connecting to people in an emotional way. They’re doing that through video. There’s a new sense that they are now able to leverage touch. As gesture recognition technologies start to become commonplace – for example, in the Wii – we’re going to start to see them used much more actively in the store and in digital out-of-home installations. It is one additional aspect to work with when expressing a brand. It’s a new kind of interactivity.
As you know the iPhone has a touch interface. A lot of what we’re learning from the iPhone is starting to become applicable in other environments, including the fourth screen in digital out of home.