Stumbling across iSign’s busy screen

I am in Calgary, meeting with clients and marvelling how clogged this place has become in the seven years since I packed up and moved east. A LOT of traffic and, when you stay downtown, a lot of people who appear to have come west seeking riches but instead finding nothing but service sector wages that can’t hope to cover apartment rental costs.

I was walking over to the Eau Claire Market – an attempt at a quaint urban market that just never worked – when I noticed a screen in portrait mode playing inside one of those one-off coffee shops that populate the Plus 15 covered walkway system downtown.

It caught my eye because the presentation is in some respects really well done, but in other ways a great testament to what not to do in ad-driven digital signage networks.

The operator — Vancouver-based iSign Media Corp. — does a great job with the news, weather and soft content. There are nice, crisp and simple motion graphics in fonts you can read from a distance. Some of the Flash content has really nicely integrated sponsors, with beauty shots of the product. And the company effectively brands itself and lays out its contact info right at the top of the screen.

But then there’s a stock market ticker scrolling across the bottom, and then ANOTHER ticker in type that equates to the bottom lines of an eye chart, promoting Coke and the Flight Centre travel agency.


I suppose it’s a lesson every new company in this space has to learn, so guys …

If you are in the business of selling ads, don’t carve up the screens and slap on all kinds of extras that all but ensure no one will notice the ads, and also all but ensure few if any media buyers will sign on.

It’s an uphill battle getting ads sold on these networks even with killer locations and mass audiences. I don’t know the iSign people but they could make it a lot easier on themselves by calming down the screen and making the ads the absolute focal point. 

Explore posts in the same categories: Opinion, Sightings

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