Archive for March 2008

Coxcom moving to Milton, getting under one roof

March 31, 2008

Toronto-area satellite and DS rollout specialist Coxcom has announced it is consolidating its operations under one roof in Milton, Ontario — about 20 minutes up the road from itts current cluster of buildings on the Oakville-Mississauga border.

“With the sustained growth of our satellite services division, and the rapid growth of our digital signage and technology deployment division, we not only needed more space, but we needed to consolidate that space under one roof,” said Steve Cockell, President and CEO, in a press release.

The new facility will allow Coxcom to increase its warehouse and project staging capability, maintain service levels due to the strategic geographical location in Milton, and provide additional space for forecasted growth over the next several years.

Coxcom, among other projects, has been working on the ShopCast rollout in Wal-Mart Canada, as well as Blast Media’s continuing rollout of the Bar Channel.

Zoom gets high ad recall despite state of viewers

March 29, 2008

I always thought Zoom Media, New Ad and other companies focused on poster advertising in bars and restaurants had a great target audience, but wondered a little what recall would be like given said audience was in there pounding back Jello shots and Irish Car Bombs.

Would they remember their names, never mind ads???

Turns out they do. According to a Reuters blog post (I did not know Reuters had blogs), nearly 80 percent of people surveyed in a recent study recalled at least one of four advertisements running on digital billboard screens at bars where they were partying. That’s not a bad number considering the audience surveyed by Arbitron and Zoom Media & Marketing — 500 people aged 21 to 34.  That’s a demographic that advertisers love.

It shouldn’t be overlooked that Zoom Media is an advertising company with a big digital presence in bars and nightclubs. Still, the survey suggest that digital billboards really are getting eyeballs.

Another finding from the survey: “Consumers who were exposed to the advertising were much more likely to consider certain brands as category leaders. For example, when asked what they thought the top new video games were, twice as many people were likely to answer Assassin’s Creed — which was one of the commercials used in the survey — compared to those not exposed to the ad.”

(Note: Zoom Media US is a client of my masters)

Clear Channel LED boards hacked by graffiti artist

March 26, 2008

UPDATE: See the comments. ClearChannel says this was a paid ad. “The skull phone digital display was a paid advertisement that represented themselves as advertising for an art display. The claim that anyone allegedly “hacked into” the display through the internet or by entering the physical location is totally false.”

The plot thickens … I know the economy in Southern California isn’t humming along, but would it not cost a decent chunk of change to buy billboard time, particularly time on 10 boards in an A market???

A post on Wired’s blog suggested $7,000 or so – which I know my teenaged kids don’t have to blow on outdoor advertising.

All very strange.

From the SuperTouch blog, via MIT Advertising Lab.

Some guy, reportedly an 18-year-old, managed to hack his way into the PCs driving 10 LED boards operated by Clear Channel around L.A.

One of the images suggests he may have done so by climbing up to the billboard towers and plugging in directly, as opposed to getting at the players via an Internet connection.

More evidence the money is moving

March 26, 2008

Media research house PQ Media has released a report and forecast on alternative media spending in the US, and identifies digital out of home as one of the hot growth areas.

Spending on alternative media, says a company press release, jumped 22.0% to $73.43 billion in 2007 and is expected to continue its rapid ascension in 2008 despite a slowing economy, as brand marketers scramble to stay in step with a rapidly changing media landscape, according to research released today by PQ Media, the leading provider of media econometrics.

Alternative media spending grew at a compound annual rate of 21.7% from 2002 to 2007, as brand marketers increasingly turned to alternative advertising and marketing strategies to offset challenges posed by new technology, changing consumer behaviors, media fragmentation and multitasking, and growing demand for improved return-on-investment metrics, according to the PQ Media Alternative Media Forecast: 2008-2012. Alternative media, including 18 digital and non-traditional media segments, accounted for 16.1% of total advertising and marketing spending in 2007, up from only 7.9% in 2002.

PQ Media expects the momentum to continue in 2008 and through the rest of the decade as brand marketers seek new ways to deal with the evolving media landscape. Total spending on alternative media is forecast to grow 20.2% to $88.24 billion in 2008 and post compound annual growth of 17.0% in the 2007-2012 period, reaching $160.82 billion, according to the PQ Media Alternative Media Forecast: 2008-2012, the first source ever to define, structure, size and forecast the direction of the comprehensive digital and alternative media sector. Alternative media is forecast to represent 26.6% of total U.S. advertising and marketing spending in 2012.

“By 2012, we anticipate one out of every four dollars spent on advertising and marketing will be earmarked for alternative media,” said Patrick Quinn, President and CEO of PQ Media. “Alternative advertising and marketing media are driving a new media order that presents vast opportunities for industry stakeholders, but also key challenges for some of the fastest-growing digital media segments. Technological advances have led to critical changes in consumer behaviors and media usage patterns, which have pushed the advertising and marketing ecosystems into a seminal period of transition. Driven by these market forces, brand marketers are seeking new strategies to connect with consumers through engaging means in captive locations, while at the same time providing proof-of-performance metrics. This confluence of trends is fueling the migration of dollars to alternative media.”

The reports lumps digital out of home in with local pay TV, video-on-demand (VOD), interactive TV (ITV), digital video recorder (DVR) advertising, video game & home video advertising, and satellite radio advertising, so there are no breakout numbers at least in the press release.

There may be those numbers in the full report, so if you have $1,295 burning a hole in your pocket, find out and let me know.

Content strategy – it’s now about price

March 25, 2008

The wobbly economy is changing consumer attititudes, and that could have a role in the angle network operators take with their in-store marketing content.

Latest research suggests it’s not about quality these days in places like groceries, it’s about price and convenience.

A new study from Vertis Communications, reports MediaPost,  finds that just 1% of adults say overall food quality is the reason they choose a supermarket, while the perception of low prices and convenience–especially how close the store is to either work or home–is far more important.

“Economic factors, such as gas prices and the housing market, are changing shoppers’ habits drastically,” says Scott Marden, director of marketing research at the Baltimore-based Vertis. “More than 90% are affected, and many are shopping closer to home, stocking up more and combining shopping trips.”

Other interesting bits:

More people are judging stores by their parts, like a good organic foods section. What it means, he says, is that shoppers are increasingly looking to make fewer trips to the store, and to do one-stop shopping.

More people are using newspaper inserts and the Internet to decide where they go to shop, which means reinforcing those price offers on the screens in store may be a potent tool.

And not all that surprisingly, women pay more attention to low everyday prices, advertised specials and coupons, while men make their choices based on what’s easy.

Not that many grocers or big box stores have screen networks in place, and when I have seen them, they have rarely been  price promotions.

Buy your DS stuff on eBay … no really

March 24, 2008

So I was doing my regular cruise of eBay watch items, ever on the hunt for rare, gilded Tammy Faye Bakker make-up trowels (bless her soul), when I stumbled across something I didn’t actually expect to see on the auction site’s hallowed pages – digital signage stuff.

Behold — a digital signage player from a Seattle company called Local Vision, which has made the interesting market positioning decision to sell their stuff on eBay.

I’m not sure what that tells potential customers, but it’s a big market and not everybody’s selling to the Fortune 500 and media conglomerates.

Root around and you can find actual products from other companies (you get the sense these are leftovers somebody back in a company’s IT ghetto is trying to peddle for beer money) and some items with only the most tenuous association to digital signage.

Wimax termed a disaster by Aussie broadband network

March 24, 2008

Lots of news stories and blog posts out there today about a presentation last week by the guy running an Aussie IP connectivity start-up that was using Wimax.

He started his routine by saying the technology may not work, and it apparently spiraled down from there, citing poor performance and big latency problems. However, another Aussie provider, at the same Bangkok conference, indicated happiness – through they were doing things differently.

Broadwire wireless using microwave towers, giving you plug and play connectivity without all the grief associated with setting up DSL or cable, is awfully attractive to some network operators. One bad review doesn’t mean the whole thing stinks, but I am sure people will be cranking up their hype filters to HIGH as they weigh Wimax among their connectivity choices.

I have a client in Canada using the Wimax offer via Rogers, and he’s very happy so far.