Is Your Digital Signage Boring?

BoringContent-0913The focus of this series “Power of Content” is to help people with content strategies and how they relate to digital screen media/

Well is it? Your viewers might think so.

Boredom — It’s the moment in time that drives us to do something better. Hopefully not better than watch your screens!

Content is king and to the viewer that content better be great – or you risk having a bored viewer. The bored viewer is a brand nightmare.

The funny thing is boys tend to be bored more often than girls, says Stephen Vodanovich, a professor of psychology at the University of West Florida, especially when it comes needing more, and a variety of, external stimulation.
“Boredom is the brain’s way to tell you: You should be doing something else,” says Gary Marcus, a professor of psychology at N.Y.U.

Jennifer Schuessler wrote about boredom in an essay in 2010 and said, “Boredom may itself be a highly useful human capacity… as an important source of creativity, well-being and our very sense of self.”

On the other hand, Anne Gosling wrote, “People who are often bored are at greater risk of developing anxiety, depression and drug or alcohol addiction, display anger, aggressive behavior and lack of interpersonal skills.”
When it comes to feeling bored frequently, it may be ones physiology… individuals with fewer dopamine receptors need more excitement to stay stimulated.

Brands want a positive emotional response to their images even on DOOH and digital signage — and boring content does just the opposite.

wheel-of-emotion-0913Robert Plutchik created a wheel of emotions. He believed there were eight primary/bipolar emotions: joy versus sadness; anger versus fear; trust versus disgust; and surprise versus anticipation. His model also connects the idea of an emotion circle and a color wheel (see Emotional Color Wheel illustration). The primary emotions can be expressed just like colors at different intensities and you can mix with one with the other to form different emotions.

In Plutchik’s color wheel, positive feelings such as optimism, love and submission are the results of feelings that are interest and anticipation; serenity and joy; and acceptance and trust. As a brand, one would want content that is cool, exciting, fun that brings out positive emotions like optimism, love, submission and awe that ultimately bring on feelings that are positive to the brand. These are feelings that we strive for in creating great content.

On the opposite side of the wheel is boredom, which is on the way to disgust and loathing… just the feeling of what bad and mediocre content will impart to the viewer.

In my travels, I have seen many really bad pieces of content so, I’m going to vent here:

Ask yourself: Is my content boring? If it is, then you are hurting your brand and the brands you have on your network. PowerPoint does not equate to good content — it’s boring! If you are not putting up great content, then take the screen down. I’m not suggestion that you spend $250K on creating content, but for goodness sake recognize your limits and bring in the pros for some help or find out how to create great content. Digital signage is its own medium and it’s unlike any other. Content must be created specifically for it.

How do you create great content? Follow a few tried and true rules — see them coming up in part 2.