5 Inspirations for Using Digital Signage In Your New Store

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Using the very latest interactive technology to get customers engaged during your grand opening.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again (and again).  Great grand openings don’t just happen.  You have to carefully plan them from start to finish.  Every aspect needs to be viewed from the perspective of your new customers.  They are your future brand (and store) loyalists.

One great way to get them to literally interact with your grand opening is through the innovative use of digital signage.  And, I’m not talking about mounting an LCD monitor and running a digital slide show.  Your options are much, much greater – and a lot more fun!

It all started so innocently years ago at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.  Companies like Microsoft started demonstrating real-world applications for voice-controlled and gesture recognition software – built for an interactive,“full-immersion” digital world.  Many of us eventually experienced it in our own homes with devices like the Kinect™ sensor for Microsoft’s Xbox 360™.

It didn’t take long for innovative marketers to find ways to take advantage of this cutting edge technology.

The use of touchscreen displays quickly evolved beyond the repurposing of a television monitor into a stand alone kiosk.  Then, the idea of a simple touch screen kiosk gave way to larger, more interactive displays.  And, ever since, the placement of all forms of digital signage has become more and more creative (and immersive).

Today, companies like Inwindow Outdoor in New York City are using technology to transform entire retail storefronts into large-format touch screens, interactive digital displays and more.

So, how can you use these displays for your next grand opening?  Dream big and don’t be afraid to look to others for inspiration. 

Here are 5 innovative digital campaigns that received a great deal of media attention and, more importantly, helped thousands of consumers physically interact with these brands:

1. Grow Financial Federal Credit Union –Virtual Money Machine

When Grow Financial opened its 19th banking center in downtown Tampa, they erected a six-screen HD video wall featuring augmented reality, gesture recognition and a huge touch screen interface that allowed customers to play a game for a chance to win discounts on products and services (e.g., $25 to open a checking account, $100 for a new auto loan, etc.).  Customers had to enter their email address to receive a voucher for their discount.  And so, a new customer database was born.

2. Sprint – Interactive Storescapes™

Launched simultaneously in New York and San Francisco, this outdoor campaign used video, gesture recognition, interactive widgets and real-time data feeds that exposed passersby to some of the features inherent in the cellular company’s network.  And, it also delivered simple, fun entertainment.

3. Beneful® Brand Dog food – Virtual Dog Park

Purina’s Beneful® brand launched five interactive displays across the country, including a 64-foot interactive digital wall in a New York City subway station.  Passersby were immediately recognized by the program, and a virtual dog ran up to the unsuspecting commuter, encouraging them to play a game of fetch.  Users could personalize the dog and even have their photo taken with it at the end of the game – which could be sent to their cell phone.

4. Warner Brothers – “The Hobbit” Digital Signage

In order to promote the release of the motion picture “The Hobbit:  An Unexpected Journey,” Warner Brothers installed a large-scale digital sign package inside the Columbus Circle subway center in New York City.  They created what they referred to as a “unique movie trailer experience” by incorporating video elements from the movie into a 64-foot long video screen.

5. Monterey Bay Aquarium – “Share the Love” Interactive Bus Shelters

A total of 13 digital touch screen bus shelters were installed throughout the San Francisco market.  Passersby were able to take a 150-foot virtual dive and see a variety of ocean life at various depths.  At the end of the experience, users were able to have their photo taken within the virtual marine environment and share it via Facebook or Twitter. Over the course of one month, the program logged over 32,000 unique users and snapped over 43,000 photos.

Not every brand has the grand opening budget to execute an interactive digital signage program as sophisticated as some of these examples.  But, look at your retail space and the surrounding trade area.  Are there opportunities that exist to make your next store opening the one that becomes the standard by which all others are judged?  Maybe.

As Inwindow Outdoor suggests, today’s technology affords you the opportunity to “deliver not just a message, but an experience.”  Why not take full advantage of it with your next grand opening or remodel?  If you and your team can dream it, the technology may already exist to help make it a reality in your new store.

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Scott Kuhn

About Scott Kuhn

Scott is CEO of Sheehy, a regional advertising, marketing and media agency. He has been helping companies plan and execute store grand openings and remodels for more than 20 years.


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