• Retail Electronic Signage is the New Poster Boy of AdvertisingYour Place:HOme - Light news
  • Auhtor:    Time:3/22/2015   Hits:668
  • As for sign makers becoming involved in electronic signage, it is a different ballgame than conventional print media. Sign designers are evolving from just being printers to becoming multimedia producers where the sign's creative content is conjured as much from pixels and video monitors as it is from printing ink. In this new media age, what used to be a poster display case with a backlit or front-lit poster is now a rather large LCD or plasma video screen. As sign design adapts to electronic signage, it's become a paradigm shift for sign makers.

    In this new era of electronic displays, digital sign makers have become 'full service' integrators combining audio visual skills (producing client advertising content via video or animated graphics) with the electronic distribution (via narrow casting) of the final messages through a single or a series of video screens strategically placed in varying locations (this part is not that much different from the old print medium) including internally within merchandise area, in the store front window or on a wall within the store.

    However, the introduction of video monitors as a replacement for print posters is only the beginning of what digital signage is all about. As a communications medium signage is evolving and this is more a transition from analog (print) where previously a sign did only one thing (make an announcement) to digital where a sign now does many things in succession (as a news report) as dictated by its customer requirements. Properly used, a digital sign is interactive and allows sign content to change on a continuing basis, its content can be transmitted electronically and functions in real-time when needed. It also provides full motion video or graphic animations.

    Beyond using digital signage as a hardware solution, it is also useful for its implied messages. Here content is king! Sales promotion announcements, product info, MTV-retail spots and brand loyalty have all become messages for the retailer allowing them to more easily represent themselves in providing up-to-the minute contact with their customers on a day-to-day basis.

    To understand the potential of electronic signage and how the current sign design community is transforming itself into the next niche of sign design's evolution, two dramatically different hardware providers of digital signage discuss how their products and companies offer electronic signage in the new era of digital communications.

    ActiveLight, located outside of Seattle, Washington is a value-added distributor of electronic advanced display products primarily with plasma and LCD monitors for electronic signage situations. Company President, Brad Gleeson, discussed their involvement with these activities. "The implementation of these video monitors is mostly for digital dynamic signage. In our efforts of introducing digital signage, we began by partnering with trade show exhibitors, museum and traveling show exhibitors and eventually expanded our contacts into advertising and transportation companies", says

    "Five years ago (before 1998) digital signage didn't really exist. When we first started, we would hear from people on a regular basis who had project quotes for 300 - 500 unit video displays. These were usually for networked situations of multiple display sites controlled from a central source, and we sold and installed many of those projects." Now, five years later says Gleeson, "we're receiving requests for quotations in the 3000 to 5000 unit range." This obviously suggests that the major corporations making these bids have a greater understanding of digital signage and ways of using it to differentiate their businesses with video as a competitive sign medium.

    A Sign is a Sign is a Sign
    The introduction of electronic signage is a case of something old and something new. What's old is that signage's intent hasn't changed since the days they were hand painted on wood. "The core issues of digital signage are the same as always," says Gleeson. "What is it we're trying to do with the sign? Why is it there? And how do we keep making it effective and relevant to the people facing towards it at any time?" What's new is that instead of print on paper, it's pixels on a video monitor. Gleeson highlighted how far digital signage has evolved by noting that content delivery to the plasma or LCD monitors can now be transmitted in either a WiFi (wireless) format or via broadband and the Internet by using streaming video to present real time content as required in a sign application.

    Audio Video Innovations
    North of the American border in Ontario, Canada is AVI (Audio Video Innovations), a private multimedia research and design company founded in 1997 that has developed an innovative digital video sign product with a seven-inch display screen that is casting a gigantic shadow with its potential as a point of purchase retail display device. The product is the Digital Associate, invented says AVI National Sales Manager, John Thompson, "because in listening to the retail industry marketplace, we became sensitive to their interests in using new video formats for point of purchase interactions with their customers. That is also combined with the fact there is a new generation of consumers that when forced with making a buying decision wants product information on demand now."

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