Office lobby network tests well with audiences: Arbitron

Large screens parked in the lobbies of busy office towers go over well with the people who work in those buildings, according to an Arbitron study done for The Wall Street Journal Office Network.

The study of some 1,100 business professionals found more than 9 out of 10 people looked at the WSJ Office Network screens in their building lobbies, and of those, 88% found the programming valuable.

The network was launched last year by the start-up Office Media Network in partnership with Dow Jones and Company, which owns the national business newspaper. They put screens in the lobbies and high traffic areas and are so far, they say, in 15 markets. As someone who rolled out screens in the elevators of scores of buildings, and tested the audience response, I can say the numbers are pretty consistent with what we saw.

Monday’s press release rattles off a bunch of numbers and, understandably, cherry-picks the ones with the most favorable figures.

— More than 75% of those who noticed The WSJ Office Network screens said that they impacted some level of corporate spending in the last 12 months.

— Nearly every person (93%) exposed to the WSJ Office Network in an office building lobby recalled seeing the screens.

— A typical viewer is exposed to the network an average of five times per day, generating cumulative viewership of 3.3 minutes.

— 61% percent of top level executives believe they were more likely to watch content from The Wall Street Journal compared with other news sources.

— The WSJ Office Network viewer is primarily highly affluent: average household income is $159,000 and 48% earn an annual household income of $100,000 or more.

Interestingly, aided or unaided advertising recall is not among the numbers touted in the release. Instead, OMN says:

At a time when consumers are being deluged with advertising in virtually every medium, a surprising 68% of the respondents agreed that the advertising messages on the WSJ Office Network, including those from GM’s Cadillac division and other leading companies, are relevant to them.

Recall was always high in elevators, but there’s a very different dynamic happening inside a steel box. What else is there to look at?

The office lobby screens have the double whammy of people who are on the move and screens, because of the partner relationship with the WSJ, that are loaded with high value content that’s probably more interesting than the ads. While there’s a great audience profile and high numbers, there is still a real challenge in being much more than “glance media” for most of the harried power suits and dresses filling those towers.

Interestingly, the network recently announced plans to start doing elevators.

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