The Changing Times of Digital Signage

Everyone knows that a picture is worth a thousand words, and as a result, every moment more images compete to capture the attention of consumers and communicate with them. 8/12/2013 6:14 AM Eastern

The Changing Times of Digital Signage

Aug 12, 2013 10:14 AM, By Loren Bucklin

A Wall of Sound

Everyone knows that a picture is worth a thousand words, and as a result, every moment more images compete to capture the attention of consumers and communicate with them. Advertising bombards morning commuters, whether highway billboards, changing train car signage, or the countless advertisements that line the subway. Retailers and restaurants understand the importance of point of purchase advertising, and more and more industries are coming to understand it as well. Any message faces the battle of trying to stay relevant and visible in this flood of images, and it is important to allow the technology to serve the message rather than getting lost in the potential of delivery without communicating in a meaningful way.

Finding The Right Technology for the Job

From consumer camcorders and cameras to the movie theaters advances in technology have become an important way to hold on to an audience. Resolution and image size, refresh rates, and even 3D technology have all become selling points in home and professional electronics as well as entertainment. A sharper image, with more vibrancy and motion, true colors and even visually discernibly textures, all of these help messages stand out. Grabbing hold of an audience with this technology can help your brand or message stay in their minds, both consciously and unconsciously.

Often a popular commercial stands out in people’s memories, but too often the commercial is remembered and not its message. Clever punch lines or payoffs, controversial content, or innovative approaches, these are just a few of the tools that can help hook an audience. But hooking an audience without delivering a message is no better than disappearing amid the wall of sound.

While commercials have time to connect with an audience with humor, character, or story, a sign stands alone. First glance may be all your sign has to forge a connection to your audience. Celebrities, bold statements, or something as simple as bright colors can help, but with the number of images competing for focus it’s important to stay at the head of the pack with connective technology.

The Future of 3D Technology?

In many ways, advertising comes down to two things: an eye-grabbing message or image and a solid branding message that stays with the audience and impacts their purchase in the future. Practical 3D is becoming increasingly popular, that is to say actual three-dimensional approaches to signage rather than 3D perspective illusion. Whether engaging an audience by way of a character, or making a true hero shot of a product by creating it larger than life while in all its three-dimensional glory, advertisers have realized that simply perspective 3D needs to evolve.

3D views on a two-dimensional field are no longer as exciting to an audience. 3D has given way to truly three-dimensional signage, while billboards have shifted to rotated campaigns on one board. Rotating images have long been common in center courts and street advertisements, and are becoming increasingly common on trains, highway billboards and similar signage opportunity points. These two trends are diametrically opposed, but are focused on the same issue: consumer attention spans.

While rotating signage opportunities increase revenues by compounding advertiser real estate, the motion of changing advertisements also helps grab eyes. Truly three-dimensional signs work even harder to grab attention, but this approach may ultimately be less of a return on investment, as they are costlier not only in design but in execution. A new approach is necessary. As 3D has allowed an image to “jump out” at an audience the next wave of technology may be able to “pull in” an audience.

The natural extension of the current 3D technology would be to create signage that creates the illusion of greater depth than two dimensions could ever offer before. 3D fulfills the eye-grabbing necessity, but the next level of connective imagery could draw the audience in, allowing for a message to take deeper root. Additionally, it would exist within the two dimensions, allowing both advertisers and advertisement real estate owners to benefit from the advantages of rotating messages.

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