by Keith Kelsen
Author of "Unleashing the Power of Digital Signage"
When the Digital Screenmedia Association decided to create the Crown Awards, I thought to myself, "How is this different from any other content awards competition? And who determines who gets to be king?"
Building a competition on integrity is the first building block. So who are the judges? DSA has rounded up the greatest minds around content creation that one could find in the industry. The best of the best. People who know and understand the nuances of great content. They have been there done that. These are not only experts in the DOOH industry but also experts in content creation. These two combinations are rare in a new medium.
The judges include Michael Chase of St. Joseph Content, Paul Flanigan of Rise Vision, Pat Hellberg of The Preset Group and Anne White of PRN. (And me.)
The second thought that comes to mind is how does one separate the objective point of view, from the subjective point of view?
DSA set out to create a judging process that is significantly objective with some subjective in a weighted format that truly determines who is king. Here is the way it is laid out for the competition:
1. Did the content meet the objectives? (50 percent)
2. Was the content engaging? (30 percent)
3. Did the content fit the environment? (10 percent)
4. Did the content fit the audience? (10 percent)
Let's look at these one by one.
Did the content meet the objectives? The objectives are what the client put forth to accomplish its goals and purpose. Did the content meet the goals of the project? DSA weighted this as an objective point of view with 50 points out of 100.
Was the content engaging? This is a combination of objective and subjective points of view relying upon the expert's reaction to the piece and potentially measured results providing the objective side of the equation. This is worth 30 points of the total 100 points.
Did the content fit the environment? This is objective in that the criteria for judging is based on the relevance of the content to the venue. This is worth 10 points of the total 100 points
Did the content fit the audience? Again, this is objective in that the criteria for judging is based on the relevance of the content to the audience. Does it fit the demographic based on purpose and objectives and goals? This is worth 10 points of the total 100 points.
The third question is how does one categorize content based on the many types of networks in the marketplace?
DSA took three categories that have sub-categories underneath them. This was done based on what attributes content has relative to the type of viewer and the mindset they are in. This brings similar content competing with similar content in the competition.
A Point of Sale (POS) network is what you might expect: digital signage that consumers encounter close to a product or service for sale. These screens are usually comprised of in-store or retail digital signs. Sometimes, they include screens placed on the end of an aisle, or endcap, near the deli in a grocery store. These viewers are considered shoppers or patrons. The power of this type of network is that the call to action is immediate; the screens are placed where consumers make their buying decisions. The content is attention grabbing, relevant to product and brand, while the consumer is focused on buying.
- Bars (music sales)
- Quick-service restaurant (QSR) menu boards
- Restaurant promotional boards
Digital billboards, along with screens associated with transit hubs and store windows comprise the second type of installation, Point of Transit (POT) networks. These are arguably the "live poster" of the industry. They work by grabbing the attention of passing consumers for a brief period of time. The consumers here are "on the go" viewers. These screens are mostly focused on establishing brand identity or value, and parcel out visually attractive or active content in short bursts. Many consumers are already familiar with these types of POT networks. Even an exterior screen on a taxi which functions as a moving billboard is considered a POT.
- Bus stations
- Digital billboards
- Subway stations
- Train stations
The third type is known as the Point of Wait (POW) network — one targeted to consumers waiting for a product or service. Usually we encounter these in retail lines, healthcare, and hospitality locations, as well as corporate lobbies. The consumers watching these screens are "dwell time" viewers. A typical POW network is found in retail banking, where consumers are entertained in queue while also exposed to advertising and general feel-good content. Good content, usually lengthier, results in a happy customer for the teller. It is all about perceived wait time. The digital screens installed inside elevators that present a quick news bite, an ad, and perhaps a weather forecast during the short trip from one floor to the next that enable the advertisers to reach the viewer during this dwell time.
In the work place corporate communications screens are putting everyone on the same page. Simply put, one cannot avoid the messages in a corporate environment. Some of these networks are interactive, such as screens facing passengers riding inside taxis. In those cases, the viewer has more "dwell time" and can take in a longer message or series of messages. The common thread is that consumers viewing a POW network screen are both receptive and have sufficient time exposure to allow for longer messages and several repetitions.
- Casual dining (waiting for a table)
- Enterprise operations
- Health care
- In subways, trains, buses
- In taxis
- Internal Communications
- Office buildings
- Quick-service restaurant (QSR) dining area
- Waiting in line (retail, banking, etc.)
So the last question remains ... Who is going to be King of Content for 2011?
To submit your piece of content, click here. The deadline is October 3, 2011.
An earlier version of this commentary appeared in Kelsen's blog on the DSA website.
For more on digital signage content, visit our Content research center.