Wednesday, November 30, 2011

COMB releases new COMBNavigator for better media planning

The Canadian Out-of-Home Measurement Bureau, or COMB, just released COMBNavigator® 2012, a new software version used by outdoor advertising planners, buyers and sellers for campaign planning and reach-frequency analysis.

"“Over two years in development, the new COMBNavigator® tool is a quantum leap forward"”, says Karen Best, President of the Canadian Out-of-Home Measurement Bureau (COMB). “"Agency and outdoor-media-company users will save time, increase their productivity and add a new level of precision to reach-frequency analysis."

The planning tool offers outdoor advertising options in nineteen Canadian markets from leading OOH media companies Astral Out-of-Home, CBS Outdoor and Pattison Outdoor.

Extensive consumer profile data from BBM Analytics’ RTS has been integrated so campaign planners can confidently determine reach, frequency and impressions-delivery for hundreds of custom target groups – from women 25-54 who shop online department stores to men 18-34 who regularly participate in adventure sports. 

The reach-frequency model was developed by Richard Jean of RJA, a long-time Canadian media modelling expert. Noteworthy is the first-time inclusion of real-world travel pattern data which adjusts the mathematical probability model (the typical means of building reach-frequency curves) to reflect how Canadians travel within their cities and are exposed to outdoor advertising.

Using GPS technology, COMB studied Canadians'’ driving patterns over a seven year period in five Canadian markets. In total, over 265,000 kilometres were tracked, generating 980,000 exposures to COMB outdoor advertising. "“The hybrid design which incorporates both statistical probability and empirical GPS data, is a first to be offered to the marketplace"”, states Jean “"and that offers a new level of reliability to OOH media planners”".

Jeremy Stick, Project Director for COMBNavigator® asserts that "“the software functionality is efficient, intuitive and will surprise planners with its flexibility and speed.” “At-a-glance views of the COMB Data Report, now integrated into the tool for the first time, put more outdoor quantitative data in planners’ hands all in one easily-accessible tool."

January will see the addition of a flighting module and reach-frequency results in visual graph form. These and future data and software enhancements will be automatic upon launching the application from planners’ desktops.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

i-design secures first contract in Canada

Dundee, Scotland-based firm i-design, a provider of customer engagement software and interface design solutions for the self-service channel, has announced that they have signed a multi-year agreement with a large Canadian bank for its targeted marketing software joono to be integrated in their ATM's.

This latest deal was secured via i-design's channel partner in Canada, IBM Canada Limited, and is the Scottish firm's first win via IBM.

"This contract expands our presence in North America significantly, taking i-design's software into Canada for the first time. We are also delighted that this is the first contract win secured via our channel partner, IBM Canada Limited, and look forward to working together on future opportunities," said Ana Stewart, CEO of i-design.

"We believe that joono represents an unrivalled digital marketing proposition for banks and we continue to see exciting opportunities both in the UK and internationally for our software."

joono replaces i-design’s market leading solution, atmAd, and has been designed to offer customers greater functionality and range. The solution enables banks to communicate with their customers through a larger number of channels, including mobile phones and LCD screens, in addition to ATMs and self-service machines.

Shares in i-design rose 4% after the Scottish cash machine technology specialist announced it had won its first contract in Canada.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Penningtons mirrors surprise shoppers with firemen

Penningtons Plus, a Canadian women's plus-size apparel retailer, ran an interesting campaign, called Styled to Surprise, where they recorded shoppers' reactions to a magic mirror they installed in one of their stores.

In order to fulfill their mission to "give plus size fashion a makeover", Penningtons surprised shoppers trying on clothes at a large mirror by virtually displaying a pair of firemen that slide down pools and proceed to court the very fashionable buyer.

Very original.

Stream the video below.

(via @sixteennine)

Clear Channel Expands Toronto Airport Digital Network

Clear Channel Outdoor Canada has launched the Digital Advertising and Wayfinding Network at Toronto Pearson Airport. What started as a single wayfinding and advertising module in Terminal 1 back in February, has expanded to 18 units in Terminals 1 and 3.

The spectacular display they piloted in February features an advertising module that incorporates two 103” vertically-oriented 1080P HD plasma displays and a retail promotional wayfinding module with two interactive touch screen displays.

The units will guide Toronto Pearson’s guests to departure gates, airport amenities, and dining and shopping offerings.

The Greater Toronto Airport Authority worked closely with network manager Clear Channel Canada to bring the new advertising units to Pearson. Additional consulting was provided by Arium Design, Gridcast Digital, and Jibestream Interactive.

Wayfinding is powered by Jibestream’s ‘NovoMap’ platform which incorporates a 3D engine that allows users to shift the map while maintaining a clear perspective of their current position.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

RFP Alert: Digital Signage and Emergency Messaging at McMaster University

A Canadian public tender was published November 8th for a digital signage and emergency messaging system at McMaster University. The chosen supplier will need to design and install the emergency system and maintain the digital signage on an ongoing basis.

Although emergency messaging is the focus, a general digital signage communication platform needs to be implemented given the infrequent nature of alerts.

McMaster University is located in Hamilton, Ontario, and is one of only four Canadian universities to be listed in the World’s Top 100 universities. The University has a student population of close to 25,000.

The RFP closing date is December 20th, 2011 at 1:00pm EDT. To obtain the details of the RFP, visit MERX.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

iSIGN switching to BroadSign for Couche-Tard digital signage

iSIGN Media Solutions Inc. has signed an agreement with BroadSign International, Montreal-based developer of SaaS digital signage, to manage networked digital displays in Couche-Tard's convenience stores.

iSIGN, through its subsidiary Pinpoint Media Group, operates the network of advertising and promotional screens within the Couche-Tard chain of approximately 1,400 convenience stores in Canada. This network is the largest owner/operator network of in-store digital media in Canada. Once the installation of our Interactive Massaging Solutions ("IMS") software is completed, this network will be the world's largest fully interactive digital signage network.

Each convenience store has 2 to 3 screens installed at the point of sale, running brand loyalty programs, public service announcements and in-store promotions. BroadSign's digital signage software allows iSIGN to schedule and playback content on each screen, manage updates and monitor network health - doing all this from one central location, with minimal staff.

"Our engineering and technical staff worked for weeks to qualify and confirm BroadSign as the management system for all of our future network and Interactive Massaging Solutions ("IMS") applications scheduled for installation," states Alex Romanov, iSIGN's Chief Executive Officer.

"BroadSign's software has proven its ability to run some of the world's most sizable, complex and commercially successful digital signage networks," added Mr. Romanov. "This software-as-a-service platform is second to none in the industry and is an indispensable tool for us as a digital signage network operator."

The deployment of BroadSign's software is scheduled to be completed in early 2012.

"Less than twelve months ago we started a pure technology integration partnership with iSIGN that enhanced our digital signage platform with a mobile advertising solution. Today, following their acquisition of Pinpoint Media and the Couche-Tard network operation, we have expanded our relationship, and iSIGN has become our biggest Canadian client networks," said Brian Dusho, CEO of BroadSign International.

Edmonton City Centre Powers Digital Video Walls with Audience Software

The Edmonton City Centre shopping mall located in downtown Edmonton, Alberta is using Audience software to power a network of recently installed digital signage displays.

The goal of the installation is to engage the more the 4.5 million annual visitors that use the bridgeway connecting the east and west halves of the mall by introducing a network of large scale, digital video walls displaying news, entertainment and promotional info. The largest of the three displays consists of sixteen, 42 inch ultrathin monitors displaying a wide range of video, animation and automated content.

The first step for Edmonton City Centre was to find the perfect partner and software solution for the custom application. After screening multiple companies, WMC Digital Media Inc. was picked to manage the project in partnership with local Authorized Audience Reseller, Matrix Video Communications Corp (MVCC) and Capital Networks Limited.

MVCC was responsible for the installation of wiring, screens and mounts, and supplied the Audience software responsible for the creation and management of content for the digital signage displays, while Capital Networks provided initial production services including custom screen designs.

WMC Digital Media owns and operates the digital signage network within Edmonton City Centre space, managing a variety of sourced and original content including automated news updates in partnership with CTV News, Edmonton City Centre branding and promotion, Trivial Pursuit trivia in partnership with Hasbro, Inc., and various outside advertising opportunities.

“Our technology accommodates static images, animation, video and audio. The result is an enhanced experience for the shopper and downtown commuter,” says Walsh McPherson, Founder/President of WMC Digital Media Inc. “We draw from over 6,000,000 square feet in prime downtown office space, along with over 800,000 in retail. It’s imperative that we capture the attention of the 4,500,000 individuals that use our bridgeway annually.”

While providing a more modernized method for sharing information and promotions with patrons, the move from static print displays to digital signage also allows updates to be more timely and efficient, with content streamed to each display from one central location using the Audience software platform.

“Our mandate is to engage, inform and entertain all those who work, shop and play in downtown Edmonton. We have achieved this with state of the art software, hardware, and network platforms that enable us to provide virtually up to the second information through RSS feeds on news, weather, Hollywood reports and sports.”

The high impact digital signage also provides the opportunity to drive revenue by selling ad space to outside advertisers.

“We have an incredibly high standard for our advertising messaging, and its production. WMC looks to maximize return on investment for its advertisers by producing high impact, video and audio that people not only notice, but enjoy and recall.”

Friday, November 18, 2011

Newad acquires Media One’s assets and appoints Lino Ricco Vice President and Regional General Manager – Central Canada

Newad’s President and CEO Michael Reha announced the acquisition of Media One’s assets and the appointment of its President, Lino Ricco, to the position of Vice President and Regional General Manager – Central Canada. Lino Ricco will be responsible for commercial activities and sales with ad agencies in Toronto. This marks Ricco’s return to Newad after a departure motivated by the desire to launch his own business in 1997.

“I’m very happy to welcome Lino into the team. His managerial talent, his vision and his expertise are great assets, which all of Newad’s departments will benefit from, notably Indoor Advertising, Experiential Marketing and Newad OnLine. The return of Lino to our team, in a strategic position with great potential for development, is excellent news for our entire team as well as our national clients,” underlines Reha.

“Since my departure back in 1997, Newad has achieved prodigious gains by consolidating its assets and varying its line of products and services. The team I join today is one that continues to prove itself day in, day out, in Toronto and across Canada. Our objective is to accelerate Newad’s growth rate by mobilizing long-lasting partnerships with advertisers who are concerned with optimizing their return on investment with the Youth and Affluent,” comments Lino Ricco.

Moreover, Jean-Philippe Leduc and Brian Wyatt, Executive Vice Presidents, Client Relations and Business Development, both took an active role in Lino Ricco’s arrival in the team. “Lino will bring a new dimension to our sales team. His years of industry experience, combined with his great leadership, will help take Newad to the next level,” comments M. Leduc.

A reference in the Canadian industry, Lino Ricco has mastered the Indoor Advertising environment for many years. He’s one of Newad’s original founders and shareholders, notably as a Sales Vice President from 1995 to 1997, during which time he greatly contributed to the company’s expansion in Toronto. After his departure in 1997, he remained very active in the Indoor Advertising and Experiential Marketing industries, contributing to the development of many businesses, most notably as Roar Media and Media One’s Founding President.

Strategic acquisition of Media One’s assets
Yesterday, Newad finalized its acquisition of Media One’s assets, a transaction carried out by Philippe Marchessault, Newad’s Executive Vice President of Operations, Development and Innovation. “This strategic acquisition is in line with our growth objectives in Toronto and Canada as a whole. With the integration of over 500 new establishments to our current network, Newad’s network is now comprised of over 3,000 businesses from coast to coast. This transaction with Media One reinforces and consolidates Newad’s privileged positioning in Ontario and Canada, as we continue our sustained growth in an environment that is highly competitive, even fragile for certain competitors.”

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Perceptive Pixel demo of 82" multi-touch display

Here's a video of Perceptive Pixel demoing the world's largest multi-touch LCD at SIGGRAPH 2011. The 82-inch monster is powered by an NVIDIA Quadro video card and supposedly supports an unlimited number of simultaneous touches.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Panasonic Canada hands out free memberships to ScreenScape service

ScreenScape Networks Inc. announced today that Panasonic Canada Inc. is offering new Panasonic digital signage LCD display customers with a complimentary one-year subscription to their popular community-based digital signage service.

"Business owners thinking about joining ScreenScape to boost sales and marketing can now get started with one-year of service compliments of Panasonic" says Magnus McDermid, General Manager, Computer and AV Solutions Group, Panasonic Canada Inc. "Our line of Full HD digital signage LCD displays offers excellent choices for ScreenScape customers looking for a clear and vibrant display solution that brings in-store media to life".

For a limited time, Panasonic will be including a promotional card with every new LF20 and LF25 -series Widescreen Full HD digital signage LCD display shipped in Canada. Each promotional card will feature a printed access code that allows an end user to unlock an entire year of service from ScreenScape.

ScreenScape is a popular online service for engaging audiences in physical places through the use of digital displays. Venue managers can log in to ScreenScape from anywhere and quickly build dynamic programming for their own network of screens. By connecting with other members of the ScreenScape Community they can draw upon a pool of fresh content, such as online video, or push their own promotional messages to audiences inside other places of business that use ScreenScape.

"Panasonic is pleased to be providing its customers with a simple and cost-effective solution for digital signage that will help their business engage customers in new ways," said McDermid.

"We're making it easier for businesses to tap into the power of place-based media to drive real business value," commented Mark Hemphill, Founder and Chief Operating Officer of ScreenScape. "Panasonic offers a compelling line of professional Full HD LCD displays that are ideal for digital signage applications. By giving their customers complimentary access to ScreenScape it is now that much easier for businesses of all sizes to join the ScreenScape Community and see why it is the fastest growing network of its kind on the planet."

Monday, November 14, 2011

Chief makes mounting iPads easy

Chief Manufacturing, a Minneapolis, MN-based A/V mounting solutions provider, announced that its new iPad 2® interface bracket is now available. The new accessory securely attaches an Apple® iPad 2 to a Chief monitor mount, creating a flexible, ergonomic solution.

Chief also has a first-generation iPad version available. Both allow an iPad to be mounted to most Chief F or K-Series wall, desk or pole mounts. Removal is also easy as the interface bracket can be removed without the use of tools, making it extremely convenient when you’re on the go.

Chief is touting the solution as being "perfect for digital signage and control system applications". Unless I'm misreading something, I don't necessarily agree with the digital signage part. Although many of the iPad's characteristics — its very small form-factor, relatively low price, ease of procurement, its ubiquitousness and availability of programmers for the platform — make it an interesting option for small kiosks or small signs, it seems like Chief's product would make them extremely easy to steal!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

DSA Crown Award winners

The Digital Screenmedia Association (DSA) has announced the winners for the DSA Crown Awards, which recognizes excellence in digital out-of-home content.

As mentioned in our post last Tuesday, the St. Joseph Content / TD Canada Trust entry was the only Canadian execution represented...and it won Gold in the Point of Wait category!
Here's the complete list of winners:
Category – Point of Sale
  • Gold: Sprint, NASCAR Grand Moment, submitted by Two West, Inc.
  • Silver: Sprint, 3D Park LCD, submitted by Two West, Inc.
  • Bronze (tie): Smashburger Digital Menu Boards, submitted by WAND Corp.
  • Bronze (tie): Sprint, Diner LCD, submitted by Two West, Inc.
Category – Point of Wait
  • Gold: Complete Digital Content Strategy and Digital Signage Implementation for TD Canada Trust, submitted by St. Joseph Content
  • Silver: Harrah's Cherokee Hotel Lobby Video Wall, submitted by Alpha Video Creative
  • Bronze: Tri Counties Bank Engages the Community, submitted by EWI Worldwide
Category – Point of Transit
  • Gold: PNC Auto Loan Spot, submitted by John Ryan
  • Silver: PNC Street Marketing Content, submitted by John Ryan
Honorable Mentions:
  • Sam the Cooking Guy - Fish Stick Tacos, submitted by Premier Retail Network (PRN)
  • Build-A-Bear HearMe Digital Sound Station, submitted by Build-A-Bear
Judges for the DSA Crown Awards included Michael Chase of St. Joseph Content, Paul Flanigan of Rise Vision, Pat Hellberg of The Preset Group, Keith Kelsen of 5thScreen and author of Unleashing the Power of Digital Signage, and Anne White of PRN.
The awards ceremony was co-hosted by Kelsen and Linda Hofflander of The Handa Group. "The winners of this year's inagural DSA Crown Awards definitively put the best of the best in the forefront of our industry while inspiring the rest of us to create even better content in the future," said Kelsen.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Wendy’s tests Canadian concept store with digital menu boards

Wendy’s customers in Etobicoke were among the first to try out new menu items in a new, ultra-modern setting as part of the QSR’s testing of four new concept stores in North America.

Wendy’s is testing Redhead Roasters proprietary coffee and fresh baked goods including oatmeal bars, cookies, muffins and brownies alongside a new customer ordering process, digital menu boards, new service staff uniforms and redesigned product packaging.

"This is a very different experience from what Wendy's customers are used to," said Ron Baugh, senior vice president of Wendy's Restaurants of Canada. "Three years of research and feedback from thousands of people are reflected in this exciting new concept store. The changes are more than cosmetic. We've updated our customer experience indoors and out as well."

The new restaurant concept has been designed to deliver more open space, brighter dining rooms with bigger windows and a variety of seating options from booths to high tops to cozy chairs around a fireplace. The new concept is also equipped with free Wi-Fi. Customers can view the baking and prep areas to convey the notion of “fresh.”

Design elements include natural colors, brick and wood materials and bold use of the color red. A bright red center wall celebrates Wendy's heritage with the well-known quote from founder Dave Thomas, "Quality is our recipe," and signage in the new entry way reads, "Welcome to real. Welcome to fresh. Welcome to Wendy's Etobicoke". Each sign in the new stores will be tailored to their home cities.

The company will evaluate the four concepts based on customer feedback and consumer research. A second new concept location is slated to open in Kingston this December.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Willingdon Church Powers Digital Signage with Audience Software

Willingdon Church, located in Burnaby, British Columbia, is using Capital Networks' Audience software platform to power the digital signage network recently installed in the lobby of the multi-venue place of worship.

Willingdon enjoys a strong connection to the local community where over 4000 members attend weekend services which are simultaneously translated into 10 languages, reflecting the cultural diversity of the city of Burnaby. The church hosts a variety of musicals, weekly sermons, worship services and concerts in a pair of halls including the 1300 seat Sanctuary venue.

The first phase of the digital signage installation includes eleven flat panel displays located in various locations throughout the lobby of the church. Messaging for the initial phase includes a variety of welcome messages to members and visitors, as well as the promotion of upcoming events at the facility. The Audience software platform is responsible for the creation and management of content on the network, including the automation of daily room schedules.

Local Authorized Audience Reseller, MVCC, located in Burnaby, provided the Audience software platform, while also providing installation services and ongoing network support to Willingdon Church.

Future plans for the installation include live streaming video footage from the main auditorium, menu board signage in the church cafe and incorporating the digital signage network into the Willingdon Church emergency messaging system.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Shuttle Launches Matrox-Powered Mini PC to Support Larger Multi-Display Configurations

Matrox Graphics Inc. today announced that Shuttle Inc., a leading specialist in innovative mini PCs, has validated the Matrox M-Series multi-display graphics cards with the new Shuttle XPC H7 5820S mini PC. The M-Series PCI Express (PCIe) x16 boards support up to eight DisplayPort or single-link DVI monitors at resolutions of up to 2560x1600 per display. A second M-Series card can be combined within the H7 5820S workstation, allowing system integrators to actualize a wide range of multi-display installations in corporate, digital signage, security surveillance, process control, and other professional environments.

Measuring only 19 centimeters (7.5 inches) in height, the space-saving Shuttle XPC H7 5820S mini PC comes equipped with an Intel Core i7 processor with up to six cores and up to 16 GB of DDR3 memory to reliably run the most demanding professional applications. The high-performance H7 5820S can be incorporated with one or two M9128 dual-monitor, M9138 triple-monitor, M9140/M9148 quad-monitor, and M9188 octal boards. With up to 2 GB of on-board memory and advanced desktop management features such as stretched and independent desktop modes, M-Series cards render pristine image quality and exceptional functionality across all displays.

"Shuttle is excited to be integrating Matrox's flagship graphics cards within the H7 5820S mini PC," said Tom Seiffert, Head of Marketing & PR Europe, Shuttle Inc. "Customers will be delighted to add M-Series boards into our solution for deployments that can range from enterprise wide dual-monitor workstations to visualization platforms across an immersive 16-display configuration."

"Space-conscious environments migrating to smaller PCs will typically sacrifice multi-display functionality, but this is not the case with Shuttle's new H7 5820S," said Ron Berty, Business Development Manager, Matrox Graphics Inc. "This hardware collaboration allows Shuttle to leverage M-Series' technology and build a professional-grade workstation that can deliver multi-monitor installations at par or even better than their larger form-factor counterparts."

St. Joseph Content nominated and judging at DSA Crown Awards

The Digital Screenmedia Association (DSA) has announced this year's nominees for its yearly Crown Awards recognizing the impact of excellent content in out-of-home environments through the use of digital signage, self-service kiosks, and mobile technology.

The categories are Point of Wait (dwell time), Point of Sale (shoppers), and Point of Transit (people on the go). Within each of the three categories, entrants have tp select one of the following two sub-categories: Content run on a digital signage / kiosk network (one-way or interactive), and content campaign run across multiple screens (digital signage/kiosk plus mobile, online and/or TV).

The nominees are:
  • Complete Digital Content Strategy and Digital Signage Implementation for TD Canada Trust, submitted by St. Joseph Content
  • Harrah's Cherokee Hotel Lobby Video Wall, submitted by Alpha Video Creative
  • PNC Auto Loan Spot, submitted by John Ryan
  • PNC Street Marketing Content, submitted by John Ryan
  • Smashburger Digital Menu Boards, submitted by WAND Corp.
  • Sprint, 3D Park LCD, submitted by Two West Inc.
  • Sprint, Diner LCD, submitted by Two West Inc.
  • Sprint, NASCAR Grand Moment, submitted by Two West Inc.
  • Tri Counties Bank Engages the Community, submitted by EWI Worldwide
St. Joseph Content's submission is the only Canadian entry. They will also be represented on the judging panel by Michael Chase. He will be joined by Paul Flanigan of Rise Vision; Pat Hellberg of The Preset Group; Keith Kelsen of 5thScreen and author of "Unleashing the Power of Digital Signage"; and Anne White of PRN.

The gold, silver and bronze DSA Crown Awards winners in the three categories above will be announced Nov. 8th at the DSA Pre-Show Party, the night before Customer Engagement Technology World (CETW) begins in New York City at Dave & Buster's Times Square.

Here are some pictures of St. Joseph Content's work for TD Canada Trust: