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Digital signs in malls : a growing trend

 Digital signage has evolved in a highly efficient and appealing means of providing multimedia content among business owners, brand marketers, and advertising agencies, who realise its benefits of informing, promoting, and entertaining specifically targeted customers. When implemented effectively, digital signage attracts, educates, maintains the intended audience’s attention, and ultimately increases the chances of maximising one’s ROI (return on investment). vJive, a part of Digital Music India Pvt Ltd (DMI), is dedicated to in-store audio/video advertising. vJive is uniquely effective as a marketing communications tool because it presents the brand message at precisely the right moment – when the consumer is in the store, actively engaged in the process (both mentally and physically) of purchasing a product. Founded in 2004, Digital Music India has developed exclusive and customised technology to address the digital signage space in the Indian retail environment.

vJive has recently received an initial tranche of Rs 20 crore from Matrix Partners India (MPI) as part of an overall Rs100 crore investment plan. MPI is India’s first consumer services risk capital fund and focuses on early to growth stage businesses in the internet, mobile, financial services, media and entertainment, food and beverage, hospitality, healthcare, travel and leisure sectors. Rajesh Jog (RJ), co-founder and CEO, vJive, tells more about their ongoing project of deploying 2000 digital screens all over India, in conversation with Varsha Verma of Sign & Graphics.

S&G : What are your plans with this significant investment?

RJ : We are currently deploying 2,000 digital screens as part of our network and will be scaling this network to 100,000 screens in the next few years. We have invested significantly over the last 2 years in building the best, cheapest and most scalable technology for this network and our roster of top tier advertising clients and distribution partners speaks for itself.

S&G : Which all cities will be covered in the initial stages?

RJ : The roll-out of the digital screens has already begun and we are targeting the metros first. By the end of this year, we would have installed all the 2000 digital screens at prominent sites. These screens can be controlled through broadband connections from the main server located in the control room and each screen can be customised for content.

S&G : Who are your major clients?

RJ : Our major clients include malls, multiplexes and retail outlets. For example, we have an arrangement with Vishal Mega Mart to supply digital screen all across the country. In Delhi, we digital screens all over India, in conversation with Varsha Verma of Sign & Graphics.

S&G : What are your plans with this significant investment?

RJ : We are currently deploying Rajesh Jog have already installed a digital screen at the Mathura Road outlet of Vishal Mega Mart.

S&G : Will these screens carry ads of the brands available there or will it be any brand?

RJ : Principally, the screens would feature ads of those brands which are available there but they would be open to other brands as well. Mainly companies from financial services sector are also advertising on these screens.

S&G : Will the screens have audio output too?

RJ : Most of the digital screens we use audio output, which is upto a certain ambient level so as not to disturb the shopping experience.

S&G : Which technology would be applied for real time uploading of ads?

RJ : We will use broadband via IP Internet Protocol. The content will be uploaded to the local site server. Each screen has its own playlist and content, which will be scheduled as per the requirements at that site. Because the network is web-based, we have the ability to create dynamic messages that can be posted to a screen in a matter of seconds – a message change that would have taken weeks with print signage. Changes can be everything from significant to monumental.

S&G : What would be the pricing of these ads on screens?

RJ : Since these are dynamic signages, the ads would keep on changing. We have priced them according to the time slot, the time to be telecasted and the days on which they would be telecasted. For example, the rates are higher for ads displayed at peak hours and weekends. However, the peak hours of each outlet differs and hence the rates differ at each outlet.

S&G : Tell us something about the pilot project done at 3 Fame Cinemas in Mumbai?

RJ : It was a private project at the Raghu Leela Mall and Orbit Mall. We had put up screens at the box office windows and concession area. The content was compelling enough to attract onlookers and being the only dynamic signage in the whole area, it gathered a lot of eyeballs. The content was a combination of movie promos, ads and music promos. We got very good response from the viewers who had a good recall.

S&G : Will you be planning some bluecasting at the screen locations for better ROI for advertisers?

RJ : We have experimented with bluecasting but we have not incorporated or deployed it. However, we may use it in future stages.

 S&G : What is the future of digital signages in India?

RJ : A lot of domestic and international chains are coming up in retail sector. And scores of people shop in-store and advertisers need to spread their message across, here lies the use of digital signages which communicates to the shoppers in a better way than static ones. Thus, they add value to the shopping experience and also help retailers to get more advertising revenue.

With 2,000 screens currently under deployment in retail outlets, malls and public places, vJive is gearing to go in a major expansion mode to build on its lead as the largest digital broadband OOH network. vJive’s network of distribution partners, coupled with its best-of-breed technology, provides a potent marketing solution for advertisers looking to target the right audience with precision.

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