Digital signage industry reaches out to ad agencies

dse2009The Digital Signage Expo (DSE) has been an informative resource for insight into the current and future opportunities for marketers in digital out-of-home. This year’s conference in Las Vegas was no exception, but agencies and marketers should take note of these exciting DOOH developments.

Agencies are getting in the game

At last year’s Expo, I felt there was a tremendous missed opportunity in the Digital Signage industry because agencies were not being included in the conversation. This year, however, was quite the opposite. Networks and providers are increasingly reaching out to agencies, or know they need to in order to thrive. While networks are having success making deals directly with brands, they can’t understand why media planners are so reluctant to include digital networks in the media mix (see DOOH guru Rob Gorrie explain the opportunities for agencies in this space).

DSE responded by organizing panels for the providers to gain insight into ad agencies’ perspectives. Additionally, there was an encouraging focus on providing education, and the data agencies need. Watch what Suzanne Alecia, president of OVAB has to say and hear about their plans to engage the agencies in the upcoming year:

Back to basics
This year at DSE there was a common theme of “back to basics” which corresponds with the Lab’s 2009 Digital Trends where new technologies will not be prolific but instead will be a refinement of existing technologies and behaviors. The best two examples of this were eCast’s IQ and LocaModa’s expanded Wiffiti across multiple networks. Nanonation had an interesting offering that uses iPods as a digital interface with larger screens, and as an extended sales tool for customer service staff. There was less “cool for the sake of cool” and more executable, cost effective solutions.

The most exciting application on the floor was a hit from CES, Samsung’s fully connected, touch screen vending product uVending. Samsung and Coke have an exclusivity agreement on chilled beverage vending thru 2009, but there are opportunities for cross promotions especially for entertainment brands.

Watch Russell Young. Senior Manager, Strategic Alliances Samsung Electronics talk about the 2008 Olympics pilot with Coca-Cola:

*As follow up to last month’s article, Paco Underhill gave an excellent presentation. I will follow up more after Envirosell’s –InsideOutside, The science of shopping conference 2009 here in L.A March 9-11.