Once, integrating online with digital out-of-home meant putting an RSS ticker – or, if you were with-it and brave in equal measure, a Twitter feed – on your public screens.
But network operators and brands alike have moved far beyond those tentative experiments, devising ever more innovative ways to link the worlds of the Internet and the DOOH display.
Kraft Foods’ Jell-O, for example, has placed a digital billboard at West Broadway and Grand in New York City not just to show a few tweets, but to reflect the mood of the Twitterverse as a whole.
Depending on the ratio of smiley to sad-face emoticons in current tweets, the face on the billboard either grins or frowns – and when it’s downcast, free product samples are handed out to passers-by to cheer them up.
The promotion was created by agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky.
In Australia, meanwhile, digital-signage firm Crystal Display is enabling its clients in real estate agencies to integrate their screen content with Facebook company pages, through a property-listing app.
“Facebook property listings is now an integrated feature of our real estate digital-signage platform,” said Ben Fisher, Crystal Display’s founder and MD.
“The information published on our client’s digital real estate displays can now be published on their Facebook page so there is no need to manage separate systems. When the client makes a change to their property listings on their display screens the information is automatically updated on their Facebook page also.”
U.S. digital out-of-home operator RMG Networks is embracing not only the Net as a complementary medium, but also its affiliate business model, in one recent campaign.
The branded screens it operates for The New York Times show daily deals from Groupon, the discount Website. Consumers can input a short code into their mobile phones to bring up a Groupon Web page and buy a discount voucher.
But what’s really novel here is that RMG is not charging Groupon for advertising airtime – instead, it’s acting as a Groupon affiliate and being paid according to the number of sales it generates. Each location showing the Groupon promotion is producing around 3-400 sales monthly, says RMG.
Of course, there’s still room to exploit online content on DOOH, too. U.S. aggregator SeeSaw Networks, for example, is now taking material from AOL’s Patch service, which provides hyperlocal news and information for some 800 localities.
“Branded content is a core part of our strategy,” said Monte Zweben, founder and chairman of SeeSaw, which represents 50,000 venues. “By adding the highly relevant and unique Patch content, SeeSaw’s viewing audience will be more engaged, boosting our network’s advertising effectiveness. Relevant hyperlocal news is the perfect addition to SeeSaw’s places.”
Worth a smiley tweet, perhaps?