One of the interesting snippets of information in the recent i-vu announcement that they have received rather a lot of money from an investment group is that over the last few months they have managed to get a whole new raft of salon chains on board as well.
In the UK these include Jo Hansford, Francesco group and Lookfantastic.
In the USA these include Toni & Guy (USA) and the Regis Corporation.
For media buyers and planners you need to know that i-vu will have around 2,200 screens in the UK.
These are middle to upper range of hairdressing salonsvwhich cater for young professionals (let’s be honest here and say women) and affluent clients.
Total footfall of 1.147 million per month.
i-vu are aiming for 2,500 screens by Summer 2008 in the UK and 7,000 screens in the US by the end of this year (31 December 2007).
Hair Salons are a great Captive Audience environment. As a niche it has a lot of competition. It is not as successful elsewhere in Europe like say the Pharmacy Channels but it does offer advertisers an audience for 60 – 80 minutes (loop time on i-vu is 45 minutes).
The screens in Salons need to be placed well, i-vu tend to do this with individual screens low down in front of the customer. Almost all the other implementations I have seen have screens all over the place and then forget that the one thing that salons have is mirrors everywhere – you are then more likely to see a mirror image of what’s playing out rather than what is really playing out.
I cannot believe that all of the money being talked about has been handed over in one go. I suspect that there are targets to reach before various (new) funds are released. Still, spent wisely (easier said than done) it gives the network a chance to scale quickly.
And what do I always say?
“niche and scale, niche and scale”
This should be good news for EnQii who currently provide the vast majority of the devices and software that power the network.