Why restaurants and bars are 'Chiving On'
"Keep calm and chive on" bumper stickers aren't referring to actual chives or the Queen's advice to England during World War II. They are, instead, referencing a massive website phenomenon called The Chive. It draws in millions of viewers — mostly millennial men — with funny memes, references to "Game of Thrones" and pictures of "sexy Chivers" and cuddly animals (although not necessarily in that order).
Resignation Media, the company behind The Chive, recently saw another use for its content — restaurant bars. In a crowded busy marketplace, it can be difficult to engage or even entertain customers, especially with smart phones competing for customer's attention. Restaurants have traditionally shown sports on various types of displays as a way to entertain guests. But what about guests who aren't interested in sports or ones that simply want different content?
Resignation Media attempted to address this market with a The Chive's OOH media solution — Chive TV — to stream some of its freshest content to restaurant displays.
A barstool solution
ChiveTV uses Roku or Apple TV to stream viral videos from The Chive directly to restaurant displays. Restaurants can get the solution along with a Roku device for free. The company developed the solution with bars in mind.
"A few years ago, my brother, John, and I were sitting at a bar and asked ourselves, 'What are people watching at bars when they're not watching sports?'" Leo Resig, CEO and co-founder of Resignation Media, said in an email. "There wasn't an entertainment-first solution for bar and restaurant owners to utilize while sports weren't on-air. ChiveTV provides an entertainment channel that keeps butts in barstools."
Enter the Chive.
ChiveTV offers five-hour content loops for restaurants. It gathers the content on its website through licensing deals with various providers. None of the viral videos require audio, so restaurants can simply loop the content without worrying about loud videos annoying customers. Since the solution is free, Resignation Media is currently looking at integrating soundless advertisements from sponsors to create revenue.
Currently, more than 1,500 bars and restaurants are using Chive TV. Buffalo Wild Wings, Quaker Steak & Lube, Dicky's BBQ are currently running a test program of Chive TV.
"One of the most difficult things bar and restaurant operators run into is how to retain their customer base. ChiveTV provides entertaining and addictive content that keeps people in venues — all for free with no strings attached. We update our programming constantly through each establishment's internet connection," Resig said. "Besides keeping patrons entertained and staying longer, bars with ChiveTV have something the bar next door doesn't have so we offer a competitive advantage to bars."
Unlike some of the content found on the Chive app or website, ChiveTV also only showcases 'family friendly' videos so parents can bring their kids with them to their favorite grill and bar.
Analytics and audience
This type of solution can work in other verticals as well. Gas stations, for example, are beginning to display digital signage at the pump point-of-sale to offer both entertainment and promotions. When a company has a captive audience, such as a hospital waiting room, a gas pump or a restaurant bar, it has a unique opportunity to entertain and inform. However, if the content is not appropriate to the audience, annoying, repetitive or uninteresting, it will drive customers away.
Many companies use analytics to improve overall content offerings, but Resig has a different perspective.
"We use analytics to offer crucial insights to all advertising partners but we don't use analytics to improve content offerings, nor will we ever. Too many companies these days are data driven -we are data conscious. We go with our gut," Resig said. "We ask bartenders and bar owners for feedback. Keep it human. We choose content we think is funny as we've gotten really good at it. There are certain tasks we won't allow the machines to take over."
Image via Resignation Media
Bradley Cooper is a Technology Editor for DigitalSignageToday.com. His background is in information technology, advertising, and writing.www