Progressive Enterprises Ltd terminated the DMN agreement in October 2007, citing
"a 20% increase in sales is not enough"
DMN is continuing it's commitment to being
The Best Digital Signage Specialist in New Zealand
DMN has completed the installation of a solution for the Accor Group in the Novotel Tainui Hamilton.
The solution provided is unique and possibly a "world-first". The reason we say this is that we have installed a solution which is providing 7 different, unique channels from one Scala player. Further, 2 of the channels are split in two and have a "main" part and "ticker" running acorss the bottom of the screen.
When we spoke to the local Scala agent, it was very much a "hmmm ... I don't think that you can do that" however, which much gnashing of teeth, we got it working successfully and installed.
The client, Novotel Tainui Hamilton, is very happy with the solution.
After Trials Boost Sales, Wal-Mart Changes Screen Positions, Locations, Content
25 Oct 2006
"A seismic shift" is how Genet Garamendi, VP of corporate communications at PRN, describes the changes his company is making to Wal-Mart's in-store digital network in the U.S..
Until now, Wal-Mart TV has featured the same content on all screens throughout each store - but the reconfigured network of more than 100,000 screens will allow a more segmented, targeted approach.
Advertisements will be tailored to individual departments and even individual aisles, a change that PRN hopes will not only increase advertising sales but also allow Wal-Mart to promote products while they are physically very close to the customer.
A summer of testing the new concept involved ten stores following the new strategy while a control group of ten others stayed with the existing network structure. With both groups of stores promoting the same products, sales in the stores with the new-style network were ten percent higher than in the control group.
Or make that at least ten percent higher: Pfizer saw sales of a new pre-brush oral rinse promoted by the revamped network reach almost twice the levels of the control stores. Said Kaki Hinton, VP of advertising for Pfizer Consumer Healthcare: "The fact that your executions will air only in the aisle where your product is sold makes all the sense in the world - it's relevant , targeted and eliminates waste."
The new Wal-Mart/PRN strategy will also see the elimination of overhead screens and their redistribution to eye-level positions, while end-cap displays will have smaller screens integrated into the shelving units. It is believed that these will be paid for by the brands which buy the end-cap displays.
And the new deployment will see a shift in the nature of the content. Advertisements will be shorter in duration and as a result higher in frequency. Balancing the content so that the greater number of impressions does not result in message fatigue will also be a new challenge for the network operators.
Facilitating the changes will be a move away from satellite delivery to IPTV.
The rollout will be phased in over 2007 and is expected to be completed by 2008.
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IKEA Prepares To Go Live, Assigns Content Work To Existing Publishing Agency
13 Feb 2007
LONDON - Publishing agency August Media has been selected by IKEA to produce the content for its new Europe-wide in-store TV service, set up to help promote the furniture retailer's IKEA Family loyalty club.
The network is set to go live this month at all 15 UK sites, plus a further 50 outlets across ten other European countries, and will primarily focus on showcasing to customers the benefits of joining the loyalty scheme.
These include exclusive discounts, products and in-store seminars, as well as access to the IKEA Family Live magazine and Website, which are both also produced by August Media. The magazine has a print run of more than 16m, in 14 languages.
The two-to-three-minute programming loop will also include content originally developed for the magazine, such as segments showing real customers enjoying homes furnished with IKEA products.
Content will generally be updated quarterly to match the frequency of the print material, and mostly delivered to the flat-screen displays via DVD, though this varies by territory.
The screens themselves are placed in the IKEA Family store area, a concession-style section within the main store, offering discounts and special products to members of the IKEA Family scheme.
Mark Lonergan, managing director at London-based August Media, said: "The in-store TV service, like the IKEA Family Live magazine and Website, will encourage customers to sign up to the loyalty scheme by entertaining, inspiring and energising people to make the most of their homes."
In the UK, IKEA also has an in-store radio service called IKEA Live, which is operated by Immedia Broadcasting and provides information for both customers and employees.
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Canal Selectour Will Reach 550 Travel Agencies Across France
25 Nov 2005
French digital-media specialist Carlipa has created an in-store TV channel for Selectour, the country's leading travel agency. The network, called Canal Selectour, is already in operation in 15 branches, with the chain's remaining 535 sites set to be equipped by the end of January 2006.
Selectour, which funds the network, is hoping it can provide commercial advantage in a highly competitive industry, particularly through the use of real-time updating of offers and rates, traditionally a strength of online rivals.
The company's marketing project leader, Maxime Pollet, says: "Canal Selectour makes it possible for our partners and suppliers to reinforce their visibility in our agencies, and to directly address our 100,000 weekly visitors. It also allows them to grow their brand awareness, and to highlight the benefits of their services and products in this very competitive market."
Each location houses a 42-inch plasma screen, which delivers a mixture of Selectour promotional information, supplier advertising and entertainment to would-be holiday-makers. The system also doubles up as an out-of-hours facility for e-learning, providing sales agents with training tips and updates.
Project nominated for POPAI award
The network operates using Carlipa's own NMG (Next Marketing Generation) software suite, which has site-profiling capabilities as well as indexed content, allowing for a high level of automation of programming and broadcasting. Indeed, the project has seen Carlipa nominated for the 2005 POPAI Europe Digital Media award.
Canal Selectour also takes an original approach to content, as Carlipa's president, Robert Louvignes, explains: "Information, promotions and ambient content are developed and organised thematically. For example, some programmes and offers fit into the Wellbeing theme, others as part of the Travel Far or Last Minute themes. The channel's graphic design makes this structure visible and establishes an overall visual coherence to the whole programme."
Although most content is refreshed weekly via DSL, the system can update promotions and site-specific offers in real time if required. Sound is not currently used on the customer-facing network, though it is for out-of-hours staff training.
Advertising will cost an average of €0.70 (US$0.83) per second on the nationwide network of 550 sites, and will reach an estimated audience of around 100,000 customers each week. Airtime is being sold by Carlipa's sales partner Brandcorp, working closely alongside Selectour's marketing department.
Early advertisers include ClubMed, EuroDisney, Air France
According to Selectour, a number of major advertisers are already on board, including tour operators and destinations such as Club Med, Jet Tours, Vacances Transat and Disneyland Resort Paris, as well as car-rental companies AVIS and Europcar, airlines Air France and Iberia, SNCF (the French national rail company), and several regional tourism offices.
"Canal Selectour illustrates the global orientation of Selectour's marketing strategy, based upon the redefinition of partnerships with both independent agencies and existing commercial partners, in order to develop an environment of creativity and reactivity in and around the tourism marketplace," says Brandcorp's director, Jean-François Schmidt. "This requires involvement not only from advertisers, but also from agencies, to be a success."
As part of the sales service, each advertiser is provided with a quarterly campaign report, automatically generated by the NMG software, while the commercial impact is reported in the form of permanent and comparative sales analyses.
However, Schmidt adds that it's too early yet to attempt any serious evaluation of sales uplift. "Canal Selectour, on its own, can positively influence customer behaviour," he says, "but we are convinced that the most significant success will be the result of a new global dynamic, in which the network is the visible part."
Carlipa, based just west of Paris, also operate screen networks for La Criée themed restaurants, luxury fashion brand Louis Vuitton and cosmetics retailer Sephora.
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Argentina's Visual Factory Smells Opportunities In New Networks
25 Nov 2005
Argentine network operator Visual Factory plans to extend its coverage to 35 sites in a variety of sectors by the end of this year, following the installation of digital signage in seven La Parfumerie stores in Buenos Aires and similar projects on behalf of car dealerships and hotels.
Visual Factory also has big plans for 2006 and beyond, with projects in Brazil and Spain in the pipeline, and expansion in existing and new markets in Argentina expected as well.
"Digital signage is new in Argentina," says Visual Factory's director of new business development Pablo Navarro. "We are proud to be one of the first companies that detected this market need, but we are not alone - a couple of competitors do have networks, as big as ours. At the moment, digital signage in Argentina is growing up slowly, due to high prices in hardware, but as soon as prices start to go down, the number of networks will increase."
The perfumery network, known as VFnet, began operating in April this year and delivers a three-minute, weekly-updated loop, consisting of 60 percent advertising and 40 percent store information, aimed at a high-income demographic seeking the "fragrance of the moment".
But as Navarro explains, the scheduling strategy has evolved since the network's early days.
"In the beginning, the screens displayed several videos of different perfume brands, at every location," says Navarro. "After evaluating the alternatives and analysing perfume sales, we decided to display only one brand per week per location to create market segmentation."
Content is centrally controlled from Visual Factory's main server via a DSL connection, using the company's own proprietary systems, and a content-production facility is also available to advertisers and retailers if the need arises.
Each location currently hosts two to four 19-inch LCDs, while some also employ a 42-inch plasma to increase the visibility of the brands being promoted. And if the research data from initial trials is accurate, the screens are having the desired effects.
"Before rolling out the full chain, we first equipped one location with the solution in order to analyse the footfall before and after installation," explains Navarro. "We noticed that footfall increased almost 30 percent and sales went up eight percent. In addition, 63 percent of people exiting the stores said they had seen the screens and remembered the commercial content."
Navarro's company funds, owns and operates the network, charging retailers a monthly fee ranging from US$300 up to US$1000 for the equipment and service. Retailers then resell much of the airtime to suppliers and sponsors, with a weekly fee for advertising spots up to 45 seconds in length.
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PRN's Latest Content Deal Gives Shoppers Viewing Tips For Cable And On-Demand TV
7 Nov 2005
Premier Retail Networks (PRN) has partnered with TV Guide Channel and TV Guide SPOT - a network developed specifically for the on-demand television environment - to provide content to PRN's in-store digital-signage networks at major grocery and electronics chains across the United States.
TV Guide's programming, which includes daily "Watch This" segments highlighting the best of primetime television, will reach over 57m viewers nationwide in over 3000 grocery stores including Albertsons, Best Buy and Circuit City, according to PRN. The TV Guide content will also be made available to PRN's largest retail partner, Wal-Mart. According to a spokesperson for PRN, there has been no provision yet to include the TV Guide programming in the Wal-Mart TV content loop, although it is likely that this will happen.
TV Guide SPOT will provide PRN's consumer electronics retailer network with a monthly segment giving an overview of the best new movies, television premieres and "hidden TV gems". TV Guide SPOT's segments will be presented in high definition to take advantage of the latest HD televisions on display in the stores.
Ryan O'Hara, president of TV Guide Channel, said: "Partnering with PRN to provide our programming on their vast, in-store programming network gives us a great opportunity to showcase original content...in an innovative way while providing PRN Network viewers with entertaining, original content about the best of what to watch on television."
Peter Cullen, general manager of PRN's Home Electronics Network, said that by collaborating with TV Guide to deliver daily TV viewing recommendations to its retailers, PRN was helping to both entertain and inform busy shoppers.
TV Guide Channel, which markets itself as the only network devoted to original programming on the best shows, stars and trends on television, claims to reach nearly 80m U.S. homes.
TV Guide SPOT, developed specifically for the on-demand television environment, is currently available to nearly 20m subscribers across cable, online and to select TiVo subscribers: it gives viewers "bite-size" clips on recommended shows, catch-up segments, and TV-based movies and music. Both channels are owned and operated by Gemstar-TV Guide International.
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Rush To (Super) Market:Top NZ Retailer Commits to A Chain-Wide Rollout
24 Oct 2005
DMN's Rush Retail Media network is being rolled out to Foodtown and Woolworths stores across New Zealand
Following a six-month trial and an even longer period of deliberation, New Zealand's largest supermarket chain, Progressive Enterprises, is to roll out a digital-signage network in up to 93 of its Foodtown and Woolworths stores.
The network, branded Rush Retail Media and operated by Auckland-based Digital Media Networks (DMN), will be installed in ten stores by the end of 2005, with 12 more locations added by April 2006, according to Mark Levene, DMN's director.
While the first roll-out locations will all be in the Auckland area, DMN intends to start expanding to an additional 71 Foodtown and Woolworths supermarkets nationwide in early 2006.
According to Rush Media, the division of DMN responsible for marketing and media sales, each networked store will be divided into two zones: main store and checkout. Each store will host around 12 LCD screens ranging from 19-inch to 42-inch, placed in high-impact locations, determined from shopper feedback and in-store foot-traffic trends.
Programming will feature silent ten-second advertising spots, which - based on Rush Media's ratecard - will be sold at a rate of NZ$3100 (US$2182) per store zone for a two-week campaign across a ten-store network.
Positive research dispels concerns Progressive's decision to install the network chain-wide came after an in-depth trial period at a Foodtown store in the 277 mall in Newmarket, Auckland. According to Levene, this trial generated positive feedback response from customers and advertisers, and - critically - proved to have a significant impact on sales of featured products.
In two case studies, DMN found that its digital-signage displays were responsible for a notable uplift in sales compared to control stores:
A discounted energy drink featured on the network experienced a 146 percent increase in sales at the 277 Foodtown store, compared with a 70 percent uplift of the same product in a comparable store with no screens.
A cereal advertised with a special offer on the pack saw sales increase 224 per cent at the store showing digital signage, compared with a 32 per cent increase at a control store.
DMN also commissioned market-research firm Colmar Brunton to conduct independent exit surveys into customers' attitudes to the Foodtown 277 pilot network. Results from the survey showed that:
Two thirds of shoppers at the checkout recalled specific content brand names and ad executions .
One third of shoppers "loved" the idea of a digital-signage network.
More than half of shoppers noticed the displays.
More than one quarter thought the Rush network was useful and helpful.
Despite these positive results from the trial, which finished in March, Progressive's management was initially wary about a rollout, citing reservations about the commercial viability of the network. But with the commitment to the Foodtown and Woolworths installations, these concerns have now apparently been overcome.
Progressive is a division of Foodland Associated.
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Sainsbury's Experiments With Supermarket AndC-Store Network Formats
2 August 2005
LONDON - Two months into its trial of an in-store TV network, Britain's third-largest supermarket retailer Sainsbury's is cautiously upbeat.
"We're starting to analyse the data and we're having positive signs," says business development manager Rob Crumbie, though a decision on a full rollout will not be made until the trial period finishes toward the end of 2005.
The project, called Fresh TV, is just one of several digital-signage ventures at Sainsbury's, but is distinguished from the others - as well as from many rivals' networks - by the numerous separate channels and high concentration of screens per store.
Fresh TV is being run in conjunction with Sony Retail, providing operational, software and screen expertise, and research specialist Litmus. Branding and publishing consultancy New Crane, which already works on Sainsbury's magazine and other print materials, provides creative and production input.
Units described by Sainsbury's as "electronic information display systems" or EIDS using Sony's Ziris Series digital-signage software have been installed in three stores, in Edinburgh, Ipswich and Nine Elms, London, delivering video and graphics to more than 290 plasma and LCD displays.
The large number of screens employed - nearly 100 per store - is markedly higher than in the stores of competitors Tesco and ASDA, who use around 55 and 21 per store respectively, with reports suggesting this number might even soon be dropping at Tesco.
This high concentration of screens allows Fresh TV to build on existing targeted customer communication, and to send specific messages to specific areas of the store, an ability that Crumbie feels is crucial.
"Our research on customer purchasing behaviour showed that people tend to make decisions on products when they reach the aisle that hosts that particular product," says Crumbie. "Consequently, if an advert or piece of information has no immediate relevancy to shoppers, it's of little use because they will have forgotten it by the time they reach the product."
Multiple channels reduce wastage
A consequence of this research has been the creation of 15 separate channels for Fresh TV, mostly aisle-specific, and each with their own distinct programming schedule and style. The channels are:
Welcome - top-line offers and key brand messages
BWS (beers, wines and spirits)
Crisps, snacks and carbonates
Tea and coffee
Health and beauty
According to Crumbie, this approach means there should be little wastage for the retailer's six brand partners - Heinz, Coca-Cola, Bernard Matthews, Muller, Kingsmill and Goodfellas.
Eric Siereveld, director of retail business for Sony Europe, adds: "Other stores suffer from rigid, inflexible programming that may mean the same adverts and trailers are displayed for weeks. [This] system ensures Sainsbury's is only displaying fresh, relevant and interesting content to customers, which will enhance the shopping experience."
Indeed, although elements such as dwell time and customer purchasing behaviour will be evaluated further as the trial continues, the different channels vary not only in content, but also in style.
"Different factors are important in different areas in the store," says Crumbie. "For example, with cleaning products, the overriding customer issue is price on key lines such as Andrex toilet rolls and Domestos bleach. Sainsbury's price-matches Tesco on these KVIs [known-value items] and the screens support this communication."
By contrast, he says, "in the dairy zone, customers are more concerned with issues such as food provenance, traceability and taste. Fresh TV allows us to give the content a different steer, depending on the area."
Not solely advertiser-focused
Those involved in Fresh TV are quick to stress that, alongside increasing store revenue, the primary role of the screens is to improve customers' shopping experience.
Sony's Siereveld explains: "Sainsbury's is not looking to get a six-month return on investment from just selling advertising space, they are instead pioneering a content-management system. It just does not work if you are a supermarket and then try to be a media powerhouse."
So around 70 percent of the programming is informational or advertorial rather than pure advertising, showcasing short features such as cooking instructions and suggestions. The remaining, more overtly commercial, content focuses on advertising the products of the network's brand partners - with which Sainsbury's will be sharing all relevant data.
However, Fresh TV might not be the only digital-signage experience that informs Sainsbury's decision on whether to make a long-term in-store TV commitment.
Touchscreen trial in entertainment zones
Separately from Fresh TV, eight Sainsbury's locations in the south of England are trialling interactive kiosks placed in their home-entertainment zones, using a network set up by Retec Interface.
The three-month trial, which started at the beginning of June, allows customers to access a range of features through six touchscreens located in stores' entertainment zones, and it is hoped that advertiser brands keen to associate themselves with fashionable entertainment products will be attracted. The screens enable the shopper to:
- Listen to songs from the Top 50 artist and compilation album chart.
- Watch trailers for the Top 60 films.
- View the trailers for the Top 10 PS2 and Xbox computer games.
- Watch interviews with the authors of the Top 20 hardback and Top 20 paperback books.
Three much larger plasma screens are also employed to attract customers to the area, showing relevant supplier advertising and Sainsbury's own entertainment-related promotions. Content for both platforms is updated every Monday.
The project is being run entirely independently of Fresh TV, and a decision on further rollout is not expected until the end of August. Media space is being sold by ATM Media.
C-store network continues to grow
Jackson's, the Sainbury's-owned convenience store chain in the northeast of England, recently made a decision to roll out its in-store network to 100 locations. The screens, operated by Firebrand Media, have proved a success, and Crumbie says that Sainsbury's doesn't rule out the possibility of integrating the Jackson's network with Fresh TV at some point in the future.
On the back of a year-long trial at three Jackson's stores in Hull, Firebrand installed the network into a further 40 stores in the region in March. These stores have proved similarly successful at achieving sales uplift - gaining a 15 to 20 per cent increase when compared against a control group of similar stores.
Music is the key element in programming, and the large selection of music videos available from Firebrand has proved popular with customers. By basing the playlist on the retailer's store segmentation and information from store staff, the content aims to improve the store environment and make shopping experience more enjoyable for customers.
The network is also being used for product advertisements, designed to stimulate top-up and impulse purchases, which between them account for some 75 percent of all convenience-store sales. The EPOS data on the advertised products is monitored to enable marketers to measure ROI. In addition, the network also displays the host retailer's own promotional messages.
The technology driving the system is powered by software from the IQ Group and allows retailer messages to be targeted to the individual outlet, so that each host store can, for example, promote high-margin lines or offers on excess stock. Outside trading hours, the network can also be used to deliver training and other messages to staff.
Firebrand's commercial director Dipo Oyewole explains the slightly different thinking involved in convenience-store networks, compared to supermarket networks, where immediate impact is key: "Shopping missions in convenience stores coupled with the layout of the stores themselves are such that shopper behaviour can be influenced more effectively than in many other environments.
"With a typical customer visiting the store four or five times per week, the messages on our screens trigger purchases during this or the next visit - as far as the consumer is concerned, it's a case of ‘buy now or buy later'."
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Sweden's RTV Rolls Out Supermarket Network With Same Ads As TV
9 Jun 2005
Encouraged by the success of retail media networks in the United Kingdom, Swedish media company RTV has commenced rollout of a four-channel in-store network to around 70 Vi supermarkets in and around Stockholm.
According to Mathias Segelman, RTV's chief executive, VivoTV will be installed in stores contributing two thirds of Vi's total turnover by the end of July.
The rollout comes after a pilot of the network at three Vi locations, which began in early November 2004, and will coincide with RTV's initial installations of a separate network in Sweden's City Gross hypermarket chain.
The Vi chain, which sells third-party branded goods and specializes in high-quality fresh food, serves 1.1m customers per week, a figure which represents a 20 percent market share among Stockholm's supermarkets, according to RTV.
Content on the network is split between 75 percent commercial messaging and 25 percent infotainment - a mix of news and weather, provided by Expressen, the publisher of Sweden's second-biggest tabloid newspaper, and specially-produced programmes about food, cooking and lifestyle. Segelman says that the large amount of such specially-produced infotainment differentiates RTV from other in-store networks.
"We strongly believe that the only way to keep getting customers to watch RTV is to make a good mixture [of] commercials and infotainment," says Segelman, who explains that news content is changed every day, food programmes every week, and ads as often as the media buyers choose.
Audio, which accompanies the visual content, is broadcast only to areas in view of the screens, with the volume level automatically adjusting dependent on ambient noise levels.
Segelman, who has a background in retail management and marketing, says he views the ViVoTV network as "any traditional TV channel", and has accordingly set about recruiting executives from the world of Swedish television, including two hires - head of programme control, and head of content - from Channel Four, the country's biggest commercial TV channel. In addition, he says he has recruited staff from marketing and retail disciplines who can "speak the language" of the supermarket world.
Unmodified TV ads mixed with zoned programming
Unusually, ViVoTV runs advertisements directly from mainstream broadcast and satellite television in their original format. While Segelman says that RTV has the capacity and the intention to make bespoke ads for the network, he explains that so far RTV has had "tremendous success with just showing the short version of the classical TV ads".
The ViVoTV network also has the capability to run scrolling text alongside third-party commercials, to inform customers of special offers related to the featured products.
According to Segelman, each networked Vi store is divided into four zones, showing different content: aisle screens show only commercials; screens in the delicatessen area display food-related programmes; fruit-and-vegetable-related content is played in the produce area, and extended news and weather clips are shown on the screens near the checkouts. As well as the location-specific content, TV commercials are played in all four areas.
Segelman says that there are areas of the Vi stores in which ViVoTV is deliberately not visible, in order to give shoppers a break.
Although reluctant to give details of the technological platform underpinning the ViVoTV network due to concerns about potential competition, Segelman describes the network's infrastructure as a "flexible" solution, which "allows content to be updated in real time". RTV partners with Panasonic and Samsung for the network's plasma displays, and with a local Swedish company for the installation.
Consumers prefer new, unfamiliar ads
To test the impact and effectiveness of the ViVoTV network, RTV conducted some 800 customer interviews following the original launch of the channel.
The results, according to Segelman, showed that the vast majority of the customers found RTV useful in providing inspiration and ideas, as well as enhancing the shopping experience. Significantly, in contrast to the negative reaction to in-home TV commercials, Segelman says that the same ads shown in-store were regarded by customers as a useful service, showcasing what products were available at the point of purchase.
The interviews also found that:
- 80 percent of respondents said they were more likely to buy products viewed on RTV.
- A majority of respondents said that RTV gave them inspiration while shopping.
- 81 percent said they would like RTV to continue
In addition to the one-to-one interviews, RTV conducted a series of focus groups with 26 Vi customers who claimed to visit the store at least once a week. Segelman says that the results of these discussions showed that despite having pre-selected their shopping items, the focus group participants frequently purchased more items than intended due to impulse buying. Other feedback from the focus groups found that:
- 75 percent of respondents said that RTV influenced them to buy more.
- 90 percent of respondents preferred TV commercials on RTV to those on ordinary TV channels.
- All respondents believed that RTV affected their unconscious shopping choices.
As well as qualitative research, RTV compared sales at Vi stores with and without ViVoTV. Although unable to disclose much of the information gleaned from this research due to a confidentiality agreement with Vi, Segelman says that the networked stores showed an overall sales uplift of ten to 700 percent, in comparison with control stores and sales figures for the same week last year.
One significant pattern that this research highlighted was the effect of old ad content on sales figures. Segelman says that brands showing the same TV commercial for longer than three weeks saw a marked decrease in sales after the third week.
"We saw a better effect if the advertiser had a pause in their campaign," he explains "Instead of having four to six weeks in a row it is better to have two weeks then a one-week break."
Segelman says that the Vi network will comprise around 500 screens when it is fully rolled out. In the meantime, RTV is in negotiations with other fast-moving-consumer-goods (FMCG) retail chains, in addition to City Gross hypermarkets, which has already signed up six locations for RTV networks to be installed by autumn this year.
RTV was set up in 2003 by Segelman, who owns the company along with a group of venture funds and private investors.
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Nestlé Puts Its Own Screens In UK Stores
22 Jun 2005
LONDON - Diversified food company Nestlé is expanding its branded network in British cash-and-carry stores - no-frills outlets aimed at bulk purchasers, particularly from the catering business.
The company has trialled screens in five cash-and-carries in the Landmark group and now plans to extend it to other "key accounts" within Landmark, according to Nick Robinson, spokesman for IQ Group, which provided hardware, software, installation and content production and continues to oversee network operation. The timeframe and extent of the rollout could not be confirmed.
"The test depots have considerably outperformed the depots without screens," said Jim Hansen, business manager at Nestlé. "The screens are the ideal way to highlight new products, event activity and brand information in the cash-and-carry environment and we are finding that they substantially increase awareness and sales."
Each store has one large Sharp Aquos screen, either 32-inch or 37-inch, located in a specially-designed gondola-end fixture near the entrance to the confectionery aisle, and supplemented by 19-inch screens next to the company's merchandise in the aisle.
The screens run a one-minute loop highlighting Nestlé promotions - a short duration reflecting cash-and-carry customers' brief presence in the aisle - although new content and audio are also planned. All screens are linked by broadband and controlled by the Acquire content-management platform.
The five outlets in the trial were all in the north and Midlands of England: East End Foods in West Bromwich; Hyperama in Nottingham; and Parfetts in Aintree, Sheffield and Stockport.
Best known in the UK for its Nescafé instant-coffee and Kit Kat chocolate-bar brands, Nestlé also produces a range of lines from breakfast cereals and frankfurters to pet food and nutritional supplements.
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Tesco And ASDA
17 Jun 2005
Two TV networks run by British retailers were recognised at the European Retail Solutions Awards presented last week in Birmingham, England.
The award for Most Innovative Use of In-Store Technology went to supermarket leader Tesco for its Tesco TV network, a project on which it worked with companies including Hughes Network Systems Europe, JCDecaux, Panasonic, Scala, and aka.tv's parent Instrumental Media Group.
Tesco's IT director Colin Cobain was also named Retail IT Professional of the Year.
Tesco's main rival ASDA and Hughes Network Systems were recognised in the award for Best Use of Technology for Employee Development, given for ASDA's 24/7 TV service aimed at its 140,000 staff.
Other winners of the dozen awards included the Jacksons Stores convenience chain, which was named both EPOS Initiative of the Year and European Retail Technology Solution of the Year for its Save@Jacksons mobile-phone-shopping scheme.
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New Zealand Supermarkets Ponder A Network, But Have Reservations
1 Apr 2005
New Zealand supermarket group Progressive Enterprises, which operates 149 Foodtown, Countdown and Woolworths stores across the country, has completed a six-month trial of in-store TV and is now deciding whether to proceed with a rollout, according to an article in The New Zealand Herald.
The trial, which was operated by Auckland-based Digital Media Networks (DMN) at a Foodtown store in Newmarket, Auckland, attracted advertisers including Red Bull, Nestlé, Mainland and Tegel, says the newspaper report. DMN' s Website describes the trial network as consisting of plasma and LCD screens in six high-traffic locations throughout the store.
Richard Umbers, managing director of Progressive - which claims to hold approximately 45 percent of the New Zealand grocery market - told the newspaper that the trial had been popular, but admitted there were still reservations regarding a full-scale rollout.
"A lot of people love it - but just because people are enthusiastic doesn't mean it makes commercial sense," he said. "It has got to be something customers warm to. There's a visual assault in many supermarkets anyway without adding to that noise."
The newspaper quoted DMN director Mark Levene as saying that the Progressive network was being considered only for advertising, not programming.
DMN, a wholly-owned subsidiary company of Technology Infrastructure Ltd., offers a complete retail-media service, including system design, installation and media sales.
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WAL-MART SPREADS THE WORD ON INSTORE TV
23 February 2005
The world's biggest retailer, US-headquartered Wal-Mart, is hooked on TV.
The company, which shows consumer ads, movie trailers and corporate messages, among other offerings, on screens in nearly all its 2,600 stores, claims to be the fifth largest television network in the US and is now planning to upgrade the service.
Last year Nielsen Media Research found shoppers watched Wal-Mart TV an average of seven minutes per store visit, fourty-four percent longer than in a similar study in 2002.
That growth has prompted an overhaul which will include around six hundred 42-inch screens in stores by the end of the year. The programe will eventually roll out across the whole chain.
The company plans to tailor its broadcasts more specifically to areas of its stores and to individual stores, based on regional tastes and situations.
The increase in shoppers' viewing times has also attracted the attention of marketers searching for new ways to send their messages to increasingly elusive consumers.
Says Haston Lewis, vp for soft drinks and snack food giant PepsiCo's Frito-Lay division: "From a marketing standpoint we want to be on the cutting edge of identifing and leveraging the most effective vehicles to capture consumers."
Household goods titan Unilever is also a dedicated Wal-Mart advertiser, and has created a campaign for its Dove brand using Wal-Mart workers as actors.
Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff
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Now for in-store TVCs FMCG
New system allows advertisers to reach customers at the critical point of sale, John Winters reports
One of the perennial problems which affect brand owners of all types of products from apples to Zespri kiwifruit and Apple computers to Zambesi clothing is how to reach consumers at that most crucial point in the decision-making cycle - point of purchase.
Media advertising in all its forms can highlight a product's finer points in isolation from its competitors, but once the consumer reaches the particular shelf or aisle in the supermarket, will they remember the media hype? Or will they be drawn to a competitor's product simply because it's on special or has some other attractive feature?
On trial in the Auckland region is a concept new to supermarkets in New Zealand, which may overcome this critical time delay. The trial, at Foodtown 277 Newmarket, involves a network of thirteen LCD and plasma screens called a Retail Media Network or RMN installed in high customer traffic areas in store and operated from an external ‘control room' the RMN enables brand managers to communicate with their customers at the very moment of purchase.
The trial began last September and is due to finish late March, 2005.
RMNs or Captive Audience Networks, have developed as a new form of media in the UK, the United States and Europe during the last three years. RMNs deliver advertisers a targeted solution at a time when traditional media appears to be more fragmented and less effective.
RMNs are used to screen advertisements both brand and sales promotion for brands stocked in the supermarket or non-competing ‘external' brands.
Digital Media Network Limited (DMN) is the company behind the concept trial and has managed the installation of the RMN at Foodtown 277. DMN is also approaching potential advertisers and managing the advertising content. The system may well become a permanent fixture in key Progressive Enterprises' supermarkets nationally, depending upon the outcome of the trial. Decisions are expected to be made in the coming months once the trial has been completed.
Overseas research shows the concept is more effective than traditional advertising as the commercials are being shown at the point of purchase.
Mark Levene, who has extensive retail knowledge through his involvement with then family owned Levene & Co, is a director of DMN and said the company became aware of the concept towards the end of 2003.
"There is generally at least a 12 to 13-hour delay between the time people watch television commercials and when they make the purchasing decision," he said. "Whereas if we can communicate with customers in store, in the last two minutes prior to them making a purchasing decision that can make all the difference. We are in a better position to influence their decision.
"Overseas trends show that traditional media such as television is becoming more fragmented and therefore less effective, as this happens brand owners are going to have to look outside the square and embrace other technologies and advertising mediums.
"We are moving ahead at a great pace from a technological perspective in our lives in general."
Levene said UK Supermarket Tesco has made a huge commitment to this new form of digital advertising media.
"My understanding is that they have rolled out the concept to 100 of their biggest stores with an average of 50 screens installed per store. And there are lots of other retailers who are undertaking trials and have made commitments to it."
In the UK he said this included such household names as WH Smith, Debenhams and Selfridges."
How does it all work?
Levene explained that each advertisement is 15 seconds long, and advertisers can use existing creative in a range of formats - from ‘point of sale' stills to TVCs to which scrolling or static text can be added. "What appears to be working best for us are ‘flash' animations made from existing creative images telling customers how much and where they can purchase the product in store."
Results of an exit survey conducted in December 2004 by Colmar Brunton Research, shows that customers think the RMN is valuable for delivering information about new products now available, about product specials in store as well as reminding them about a product they need, but have forgotten to put on their shopping list.
Levene says customers are saying "tell us what the product will do for us, how much it is and where they can get, and they want us to do that quickly."
Screens are positioned in store at eye level, although Tesco uses bigger screens positioned higher.
"It all has to be in proportion."
Everything on screen has to go through an approval process with the brand manager or supplier in the same way as would happen with all forms of media advertising and Progressive retains the final right of approval which includes checking product availability, pricing and location in store.
Levene also believes the system provides a great opportunity for private label products.
"One of the most important aspects of this system is to make sure that customers do not find the concept intrusive and that it adds to their supermarket visit," Levene continued, "our research tells us that the majority of customers think the concept is great, and they see it as a positive and helpful addition to their supermarket shopping experience."
"We are working with some of the brands that are participating in the trial and doing some sales analysis on these across different advertising scenarios - measuring the effectiveness of pure brand advertisements and also sales promotions. For DMN and Progressive Enterprises to be able to determine how effective the RMN is, they are measuring sales at Foodtown 277 against sales from control stores which do not have a RMN to be able to come up with meaningful comparisons.
One of the more interesting aspects of this is to see if we can increase the basic spend."
Annette Bennett, of DMN, said they had also done some comparisons against CPM (cost per thousand) rates for prime time TV advertising and women's magazines such as Woman's Day, and the cost of advertising on the RMN at Foodtown 277 compares favourably. Advertisements at Foodtown 277 are currently shown a minimum of 8 times per hour on 13 screens right through out the day.
In addition to featuring traditional advertisers' products on sale in Foodtown, DMN sees an opportunity for non-traditional advertisers such as Lotto, Xtra, Sky and Rialto Cinemas, which is nearby, to participate.
Levene says "The RMN is a great opportunity to drive customers around the store, particularly with cross-merchandising."
The technology used by DMN is all controlled from a central point and so there is rarely a need to go in store except to install or maintain equipment.
"When a client wants a new ad to go up, we deal with it here and deliver it to the player remotely," Levene continued. "We can schedule a play list and start and stop them playing remotely."
The network is driven from the control centre to the store via a broadband Telecom connection although it does not have to be.
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PRN's Checkout Channel Targets Supermarket Shoppers As they Wait
11 Jan 2005
Premier Retail Networks (PRN), the largest operator of in-store media networks in the U.S., has confirmed that it is involved in a nationwide rollout of a network called Your Channel specifically designed for supermarket checkout lanes.
Meanwhile, the main PRN network has reported a 20 percent year-on-year rise in the value of upfront advertising bookings for 2005.
The new checkout network, targeting shoppers as they wait in line, will feature LCD screens with custom programming and directional audio in each lane. The network has been established in three of the top four designated marketing areas (DMAs) across the U.S., according to Genet Garamendi, PRN's VP of corporate communications.
"This is a dynamic media network specifically designed to reach customers in a new way. It allows advertisers to reach a large audience with tremendous spending power and allows our retail partners to message to their shoppers and to build brand loyalty," says Garamendi.
According to PRN, Your Channel is "a rich digital media experience at checkout, enabled by a unique combination of a satellite content-delivery network and proprietary media-management technologies, [which] offers retailers and advertisers the ability to change creative weekly, daily, or by time of day".
Programming on the network incorporates content relevant for household decision-makers, including tips and information on home, family, self and recreation. News headlines and location-specific weather information tailored to each store's zip code also run on the network, and are updated throughout the day.
Garamendi says that initial research results on Your Channel have been "extremely positive". She claims that approximately 84 percent of viewers surveyed said that the network was a good thing to have and that the programming was informative.
Inspiration from Ralphs network?
PRN's confirmation will come as little surprise to close observers of developments in the digital media marketplace. In 2003, PRN acquired all the assets of Los Angeles-based Impli, a company with an established narrowcasting network in the checkout aisles of a large number of Ralphs food stores in the Los Angeles basin. Currently there are 100 Ralphs stores operating the PRN network. Ralphs is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Kroger Company.
Other supermarket chains implementing Your Channel include ShopRite Supermarkets - with a contract for 140 installations in the New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia metro areas - and Pathmark Stores, with 142 stores scheduled for connection in the same northeastern region.
In a December 2004 press release Natalie Egleston, general manager of PRN's supermarket network, commented: "Pathmark has taken a leading role in innovation in the supermarket industry.[The] Network allows advertisers to reach a large audience with tremendous spending power."
Egleston added that the checkout lane network allowed advertisers to connect with consumers via a national message complemented by a local "call to action" which, like news and weather information, can be customized for each store location by zip code.
As documented previously in AKA.TV, the PRN checkout network runs independently of other in-store channels. For example, Pathmark runs an additional in-store channel positioned in the interior of its stores which is operated by the Connecticut-based retail network operator, SignStorey. At the Shop-Rite stores, a similar network located in the interior areas of the stores is operated by Captive Audience of Vernon, New Jersey.
2005 advance sales up 20% year-on-year?
In a separate development, PRN late in December announced that upfront advertising sales revenue for 2005 increased by more than 20 percent year-on-year when selling closed on 30 November, writes aka.tv's Barnaby Page..
Besides returning clients, the sales figure included commitments for 2005 from 21 new sponsors, according to Mark Mitchell, executive VP of advertising sales.
"With strong Nielsen-measured audience viewership and some of the new advertising and programming options we are offering to our advertisers in 2005, we were able to secure our most successful upfront season ever," said Charlie Nooney, chairman and CEO of PRN.
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ADMedia article - December 2004
Sexy beast just gets sexier
Media companies are emerging as owners of several of NZ's bigger out-of-home advertising companies. Shopping malls and transport centres are looking far more pleasant now that someone's hung up some well-executed advertisements. Plasma screens are becoming more realistic in price and are springing up in the supermarket, attempting to sell to us moments before we whip our wallets out. And the opportunities for advertising in the provinces are growing too, according to some. It's outdoor, baby and it's come a long way in the last 10 years. Steven Shaw reports.
The big news in the market has been the arrival of Eye Corp, owned by Australia's Channel Ten. Eye has been in NZ for a while, bringing with it a sophisticated presence in shopping malls. Now Eye's Eye Fly includes advertising rights at Auckland International Airport, previously held by NZ Outdoor Advertising's Look.
Eye Corp's Janine Wood says the industry here is "on the precipice of opportunity". "In New Zealand, like Australia, things are pretty strong for us," she says. "The rollout of our airport industry is going well."
"It's certainly been a tight turnaround," says David Gibbs, general manager media for Eye Group Australia and NZ. "Effectively it was six weeks from getting the tick from Auckland Airport to being up and running, so that's quite a short lead time. In terms of the feedback we've had from the marketplace internationally, it's been very well received. We're delighted and the coverage we've had in media like the NZ Herald has been very good."
Eye's portfolio in NZ may be close to point of sale, but in Australia Eye still operates its Drive portfolio of roadside signage. "That's part of the journey, but it's not all of the journey," says Gibbs. "Where we're trying to position ourselves, we actually have non-conflicting touchpoint opportunities for clients. A lot of clients are trying to go towards imparting information to the customer in different environments. The whole sofa to supermarket or sofa to point-of-purchase concept is where we're going."
Gibbs says their shopping centre business is good at being able to offer that and that the amount of time people spend in retail environments is going up. He also points to the changing nature of airports, saying they have changed dramatically over the last few years. "There's so much more retail space in airports now, and that's partly because dwell-time at international airports went up pretty dramatically after September 11. You've just got to be there that much earlier. And airports are trying to be more involved with them [consumers] during that time."
In Australia, Eye has rolled out a set of LCDs at entry and exit points of airport business lounges, which they call Business First. "Business First is not television," stresses Gibbs, "it's a digital poster using Flash files and connected via a modem in each unit. Because Flash files are very small, we're using mobile phone technology to feed them. This is our first foray into short lead times and more flexibility."
He says that same technology will work its way into NZ shopping centres in anticipation of Christmas 2005.
A smaller company offering another form of digital out-of-home signage is Digital Media Networks. Specialising in what it calls retail media networks (RMNs) or out-of-home TV, Digital Media Networks has a number of plasma and/or LCD screens that can be located in public environments such as supermarkets, shopping centres, airports, and train stations. Advertisements and other content are played on the RMNs, with the scheduling of the content run remotely. In NZ, RMNs are in trial stage. DMN has a six-month trial with Progressive Enterprises at Two Double Seven supermarket in Newmarket. There are still issues that need to be ironed out - playing down TVCs is difficult for example, simply because the talent didn't sign off their rights for this new medium. Research is under way to validate it, and if this trial is a success the concept will be rolled out to more stores in 2005.
Anyone who has driven down Auckland's Fanshawe St in the past couple of months is likely to have spotted a 5m x 4m digital billboard. The LED screen is turned to face morning or afternoon traffic flows and plays seven-second TVCs, with a maximum of 10 ads per rotation. Isite Media is handling the sales and marketing side of this marvellous beast, working with a technology provider called Digital Light Solutionz. Isite's transit portfolio includes the D-Lite smart cars, scooters, taxi advertising and several forms of bus advertising.
Paul Kenny from Isite says that the LED screen, too, is a trial, operating until early next year. Feedback has been positive, he says, although he notes that an article published in the NZ Herald misquoted the LTSA as saying they wouldn't support the sign in the future. If the sign doesn't continue, says Kenny, it'll be more on emotional grounds rather than a logical decision. "Any further signs we roll out will probably be geared to high pedestrian traffic areas, because we think that's where the strength lies."
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