Digital Signage Advertising to Captive Audiences

TinersTakeDS-featuredOver the past few months, I have spent a lot of times in hotels. Because of this time in hotels, I have also spent time in elevators and public restrooms. Both of these have begun to strike me as potentially brilliant places for digital signage.

I know that the elevator signage is not a brand new concept that I just dreamed up. Yet, it is also not one that you see very often. One of the places that I have spent a lot of time in is Portsmouth, NH. Portsmouth is a very fun town, with a pretty busy downtown nightlife. The hotel that I stay at is within walking distance of several fun places to spend an evening (even for an old guy like me). But it’s still rather haphazard how we pick the places to go. In reality, we just walk down the street until we hit a place that we think looks good.

As I was standing in the elevator after a tiring day, I was thinking about how cool it would be to have a display in the elevator telling me about the nightlife in the city. Where is the karaoke tonight? Who has a really cool band? Do any restaurants have special plates that evening? Each one of these could easily be advertised for people who were standing around in the elevator. Even better, these advertising slots could be sold. This could be extra income for the hotel or for a vendor who made a deal with the hotel to sell the advertisements. Also, it would be an extra service for the customer. The truth is, I have seen many touch screen interactive digital signs in the lobbies of hotels, but I very rarely see people using them anymore. I think the novelty has worn off. Also, with mobile devices people can find specific things they are looking for on their own. What is more difficult to find are those things you did not know you were looking for. This is what the advertisements could do for you.

Public restrooms are a very similar issue. You have a captive audience for a specific amount of time. Interestingly, the restroom is a place where you may also be able to tie in audio to your advertising. Of particular interest in the restroom is that as an advertiser, you know whether your audience is male or female and you can target them directly. Hotels also give you the advantage of knowing that people are likely from out of town and unfamiliar with the city they are in. So, during Valentines day, your fancy restaurants can advertise the romantic dinner. On St. Patrick’s day your Irish Pubs can advertise the green beer special. During March Madness, your sports bar can advertise their beer and wings specials.

Additionally, hotels are favorite spots for wedding and conferences. Why not pick the elevator or restroom closest to your conference and ballrooms and advertise for yourself. The people who are attending the events may decide it is a good place to hold their own. The key to this type of deployment is active content and active selling of advertisements. Ideally, you would sell a monthly subscription to your customers, and they would log in and update the advertisements all on their own. You would simply have to configure how long each advertisement could run for, and how many each customer could put up. After that, all you need to do is collect the revenue.

I have to admit that writing about putting monitors in bathrooms does make want to wash my hands, but the concept makes a lot of sense. What are some of the strangest (but effective) places that you have seen digital signage?