I recently had the opportunity to talk to the good people at LevelVision, an interesting and innovative DOOH network that focuses its sights on reaching in the US the much-coveted college Gen Y demographic – those born between 1978-2000.
The gen-Y’ers present a significantly challenging environment for any in-store digital merchandiser, why? – because The Gen Y’ers are the first generation of children to have grown up with the internet, mobile phones and a steady diet of facebook/myspace for breakfast, text messaging and iphone apps for lunch and Hulu and The Pirate Bay for dinner.
These kids are now young adults that have been “trained from birth” to be message multi-taskers, which means they are prone to ruthlessly filtering out any messages that they feel aren’t important to them, they can mask out what they don’t want to hear (with their iPods) and can easily carve up their attention spans to render even the most engaging only somewhat effective.
And here’s where things get interesting – to meet this particular challenge, LevelVision devised a very clever way of catching the attention of these professional content consumers…
As you can see in the photos above, LevelVision devised a ruggedized, easily deployed, floor mounted screen appliance!
This clever device exploits the documented human behavior that ‘makes’ us look down at the floor, when an unexpected object is placed in our walking path.
A White Paper describing this behavior is available from LevelVision’s website; download here
Bob Martin, LevelVision’s CEO & President was kind enough to speak with me about the company’s business model and outlook for 2009, here are some highlights from our discussion;
Bob described LevelVision’s business model; “generate revenue on ad sales on networks they own; provide NOC, content and services for a fee on cooperative networks, and fees on the sale or lease of their proprietary equipment solutions” – by the way a counter top version is set for release in Q2 of 2009.
He continued to explain that the networks are 100% owned by LevelVision and is ad revenue based and revenue sharing depending on the situation. LevelVision both sells the ads and works with 3rd parties who sell ads on the network.
*Insider’s info: currently LevelVision uses BroadSign as its distribution platform, but there have been recent rumors floating around that this company is hedging its bets and has started discussions with alternative solution providers in the event that BroadSign ends up in the deadpool.
I then asked Bob about LevelVision’s outlook for 2009 – he said, “the outlook for 2009 is selected growth and expansion. We will be expanding our presence on campus beyond bookstores to student unions and rec centers. We are also actively pursuing strategic relationships on and off campus in an effort to fortify our ability to deliver the Millennial to advertisers”
Based on my understanding of LevelVision’s strategy of creating a unique and engaging form factor, combined with their very smart hardware value-engineering, l am confident that this company really understands what it takes to get a DOOH network launched quickly and operate cost-effectively. AND surprisingly, I think it is just a minor inconvenience that LevelVision has a dependence on BroadSign’s platform – since they do have a flexible hardware platform that can easily facilitate a software migration if need be.
Personally I think that LevelVision’s biggest challenge will be maintaining the “stickiness” of their device, once the novelty of looking down at the floor wears off with their viewers.
Considering what it takes to keep the Gen Y’ers interested in anything these days – I’d say that they will have their hands full coming up with new creative and on-going content that will keep these college kids staring at the floor and walking all over them 😉