LASAA APPOINTS OUTDOOR REPUBLIC AS OFFICIAL MEDIA PARTNER OF AFRICA SIGN EXPO 2014 AND PUBLISHER, BABS FAGADE AS EVENT ANCHOR.
The Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) in preparation to hosting the first ever and biggest Out-of-Home Advertising Exhibition and Conference has appointed OUTDOOR REPUBLIC, Nigeria’s premiere Out-of-Home Advertising magazine as the official Media Partner.
Following a planning meeting held at LASAA’s office in Lagos with the Managing Director of LASAA George Noah and Publisher of Outdoor Republic Babs Fagade present, the agency was pleased to extend the media partnership opportunity to Outdoor Republic. In as similar development, Babs Fagade the Publisher of Outdoor Republic was appointed as the event anchor.
As the official media partner, Outdoor Republic would cover stories leading to the event, during the 3-day event and post event. The coverage would include monthly printed editions of the magazine and online presence throughwww.outdoorrepublic.org
The Publisher, Babs Fagade expresses satisfaction on the confidence that LASAA has in Outdoor Republic as well as his good self and the long term relationship between both organisations. In addition, he assures the agency of a thorough delivery.
Digital poster is a relatively new medium. It’s not a website, it’s not TV and it’s a digital print. It’s simply the new thing. Operating the digital displays must be static, only enjoying the animation effect of showing multiple messages on a single display face, which allows the audience to see various advertisement campaigns during their travel/journey pass the signage. This is opposed to a static printed poster display with monotonic visibility that would soon become part of the environment if campaigns are not frequently changed. With a mix of part static, part animation, part video the digital poster display have added so much colour and richness to the Outdoor advertising scene. And the best companies producing content for digital signage today have figured out how to seamlessly integrate all three and re-purpose many of the media assets already available.
Let’s look at creating contents for this unprecedented growing platform. For the creative director and his team accustomed to making 30 second a spot for TV, there is obviously a need for new thinking and paradigm. In many instances, 30- second spots don’t work, because the average dwell time (the time available for a driver or motorist viewing the screen) is only a couple of seconds, if you are lucky it can run to few minutes with Lagos erratic traffic. However, if it’s for a destination or indoor digital network the TV spot norm may apply. Perhaps in a doctor’s waiting room, where your dwell time is a half hour or more, you can plan for a more traditional long form programming with traditional commercials. So the first step you’ll need to do is to figure out the dwell time for the different areas or zones in the network.
As a “TV creative guy,” you’ll also need to follow the KISS principal if you want your average audience to “get it.” Don’t promote everything at the same time. You’ll just confuse your audience in the process. For digital OOH platforms think about what you want him to do “RIGHT NOW”? That’s what your message should be communicating. Have a call to action especially at destination network of digital screens. Make the customer an offer. (e.g.: Buy me now! Special price today!) Make it “in your face” and unmistakable. And the closer that message on-screen is to the product on display, the better your chance of “closing the deal” with the customer and getting him to say, “Yes! I’ll buy that today!” Many people still get this wrong today.
Apparently, traditional television product methods are not the best for digital signage, but you “print guys” are not getting off the hook so easy here either. Just throwing some Photoshop files over the wall to the guys running your digital signage network is not going to cut it either. You had better get your creative director up to speed on what you’ll need, so that when raw assets are created, you’re not groaning, after receiving “his masterpiece” from your agency that doesn’t take advantage of the new platform. You’ll need to have a plan to integrate static graphics as well as video and animation to make this all work.
Here are some tips I stumbled on for your “print guys” to think about when creating content for a digital poster network.
Digital signage graphics are not 300 dpi. Think pixels, not DPI. Most 42-inch plasma screens are 852×480. Most 40-inch LCD screens are 1280×768. Most 42-inch LCDs and 50-inch and higher plasmas are 1366×768. You need to make your graphics approximately the correct size for those resolutions. I would avoid so called “high definition” 42-inch plasma screens. These screens have a native resolution of 1024×768, but yet have a physical aspect ratio of 16×9. You guessed it, rectangular pixels. When creating graphics for these types of screens, you need to compress your graphics horizontally, so that when the screen displays it, they’ll stretch back out, and circles will look like circles again. Videos should be encoded anamorphically, basically squeezing a 16×9 video into a 4×3 ratio, so that when the screen stretches them back to 16×9, your circles will be round, and faces will look normal. If you want “high def,” don’t let the screen guy sell you a bill of goods at 1024×768. Go for 1366×768. There are only a few LCDs that support this today, and they are very pricey.
At the top end of the price range is LED, which work well in outdoor or high ambient light indoor environments or destinations (like shopping malls), but these resolutions are generally much lower. The lower resolution is acceptable since your viewing distance to the LED screen is usually much farther than with LCD or Plasma. It is not unusual for a 150-inch diameter indoor LED screen to have a resolution of only 308×220. Again, you’ll need to design your graphical elements accordingly based on pixels, not DPI.
Use a tool like ArsMedia Photoshop® to Scala® Script Exporter. You’re probably in Photoshop already designing much of your graphics. This tool makes is very simple to export a fully layered Scala Script where each of the individual elements are PNGs including any alpha channel transparency (such as a drop shadow). Now bring the video elements, overlay the text elements, in InfoChannel® Designer and you’re nearly done. 95% of people that try this utility can’t imagine living without it. This is a big time saver.
Don’t make things static. Your product needs to jump out of the screen and say, “Pick Me! Pick Me!” This is especially true is your using a plasma screen. No matter what people tell you, plasma can burn, so by providing animations and mixing things up, you’ll prevent burn in. Don’t forget things like “bugs” (logos in the corner of the screen) if they are present on all screens, will burn that corner of the screen. Turn off your screens when not in use. Most software systems allow you to do this remotely and on a predefined schedule. If it’s not possible, at least put up a black JPEG during the “off periods.”
Have a call to action. Your message should be “RIGHT NOW,” and not just “THIS MONTH.” Don’t be afraid to call attention to a specific offer or price promotion. Failure to have a call to action will mean that you won’t see an impact on sales. Consumers are not mind readers; they are lemmings. Tell them what to do, and there’s a good chance they’ll do it. At least some of them will. Else your lovely new screen might just as well be expensive wallpaper!
In print, you’re normally thinking about monthly or weekly specials. In digital poster, you need to think about day parts. What sorts of people are driving the zone or walking in my store in the mornings? Lunch time? After school? Evenings? Weekends? Tailor your message to target exactly your audience. You probably have a good sense of this already. Factor that in. Use that knowledge to schedule in advance the content for the different times of the day or days of the week. With a little extra effort, you might consider connecting your digital signage network to your CRM system. Now the media on display can be even more personal and relevant, whether you’re standing at the pump or at the checkout or drive thru. It’s a bit like the movie Minority Report, as Tom Cruise is walking into The Gap. Maybe we don’t scan a person’s retina as they walk into a store (yet), but you already keep track of the motorist or regular shoppers in other ways today (loyalty cards, POS records).
Integrate video into your graphics, but don’t put text in the video. Overlay the text separately. This will make it easy to change the price or message (or language) without the expense of re-encoding the video. The video doesn’t have to be full screen to be effective. In many cases, the videos you will be given will be on BetaSP or other videotape format. These are generally pretty low resolution. When blown up on a big screen, they’re going to look fuzzy. By using a picture-in-picture layout, you might solve this problem nicely. The video plays in its smaller natural resolution (which looks sharper), and allows for ancillary information on the side to help make the sale.
Digital signage content needs to be entertaining, not just advertising. Of course, it helps if the ads are entertaining as well, but you need a reason for people to look at the screen. Perhaps they need to check if their ticket has been called at the deli. You gotta have a hook. If there is no reason for people to look at the screen, or if the screen is un-naturally mounted high up in the ceiling or above eye-level of motorist, people won’t look at the screen, and therefore the effectiveness of your network will be minimal.
Match the loop time of your content with the dwell time of your audience. A half hour loop located in a place that has a 2- minute dwell is major mismatch. Either pick a better location with longer dwell or shorten the loop time, or both. Don’t use shovel-ware. In most venues, a standard 30-second TV spot will not work. It needs to be 10 or 15 seconds tops. Digital poster is not a billboard, it’s not TV, and it’s not the web. If it’s not relevant to what I’m doing RIGHT NOW, the audience doesn’t want to see it.
By BABS Fagade
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