Grand Central, New York, Friday night. 9 o'clock. The Main Concourse of the commuter train station is clean, slightly crowded. No posters at all on the walls, or hanging from the ceiling. No brand logos. No advertising scattered all over the place There is a feeling of luxury, order and beauty.
No, however.... Just a few screens (four), elegantly framed like paintings. All on the same side of the Main Concourse. There is also an Apple Store which opened in 2011 (East Balcony). Just as clean, just as elegantly organized. Modernity of the computer and iPad screens mix with the old architecture of the building. Store without walls, open space. All in all, three kinds of visitors for this site: commuters, Apple customers and tourists.
|One of the screens in the main concourse|
Two ways to use the screens in public places
- In Grand Central, digital screens made it possible to eliminate the posters which so often clutter public places ("dedensification", as French advertising sales rep like to euphemize it). In such a case, it is impossible for the public to miss the screens, they stand out (Gestalt). Since there are only a few screens, advertising displayed on them is very efficient. The rate card is simple (dayparts); the loop is short (4 or 5 messages 15 s), with very few words in the messages .
- In many public places (stations, malls, supermarkets, airports, etc.) screens are scattered in the middle of posters, adding to the clutter. Consequently, the rate card is complex, not to mention the measurement: one for screens, one for posters.
DOOH is not something you add in a public area just because room is available. Screens should be installed as a main means of communication to a target public, and not just simply to passers-by. Most of the time, DOOH would be more efficient if planned upfront: design and elegance are a major part of the communication strategy. The media is always an important part of the message.