Rip It Up And Start Again

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Tesco tried to keep a lid on it but when we broke the news late on Friday that Tesco Screens (aka Tesco TV) would be no more (a digital network) there was genuine shock in the industry. It was breaking news to almost all the other networks, a couple of media buyers and most of the software industry.

Hughes were given the order to get out this week and by mid-March the first stores will start to be de-rigged – everything is coming out!

Whilst there was some support for the network at board level we think the network never stood a chance when Dunnhumby’s super computers (and super people) started doing the number crunching. We wiill undoubtedly be returning to the ROI and sales uplift story over the next few days.

Interestingly, especially considering that there are a number of ‘Green’ studies on the go at the moment (and have yet to report out), Tescos’ energy saving push (a big project internally to save as much power and be as ecologically friendly as possible) may have had something to do with the decision or at least tipped the balance of any decision – we know for sure that the power consumption of all the screens was looked at in detail though we are not (yet) privy to the research and the figures.

Initially it seems Tesco were excited about effectively starting again AND a brand new deployment however cannot be completely ruled out. Sources close to the company tell us that Tesco may be looking to build a new network later in the year – although it is for certain that the network will not be aisle related and will not hang TV screens 8 feet up in the air!

In the meantime we wait for the mainstream press to pick up on this story, which they undoubtedly will (it is Tesco after all) and see what spin they put on it.

What with some of the shenanigans at Walmart (and PRN) the industry needs to get its story straight, put a brave face on all of this and get its message out there (something we are helping a few others do at this very moment in time – it’s going to be a busy weekend).

3 Responses to “Rip It Up And Start Again”

  1. An other Says:

    this is yet another example of retailers talking to the wrong people about digital strategy…when will they wake up and realise that in order to develop a digital strategy you have to talk to a digital media contractor….

  2. Mike Cole Says:

    Large kiosk touchscreens in key locations which provide useful information is the way to go, I think it is called providing a real customer service.

    So for example in the wine department a large format touch kiosk (large because it would attract attention) which could help you choose the best bottle of wine to go with the meal you are cooking that night. Or a hot button on screen which simply lists best deals of the day.

    You could have a large kiosk wayfinder to direct you straight to the item you want great if you are in a hurry, although I expect the large supermarkets want you to wander so you impulse buy as you go around the store

    Interactivity opens up the ability to accurately measure what customers are looking for.

    Simplicity of user interface is the key make the menu structure too complex you will soon lose the interest of the customer.

    In these days of the iphone, people now expect all displays to be touch.

    I suppose we at visualplanet are slightly biased as we make large format through glass touch screen foils that can be used in all types of large rugged public facing displays, but this is now the age of touch and consumer choice.


  3. Dean Forss Says:

    I agree with Mike in several areas. The challenge also lies in the ability of the engineers and planners to implement these solutions. Many failures in this industry are wrought with bad planning and simple inexperience when it comes to interface design and how people learn.

    While Mike’s idea to point someone to an object in the store sounds great, it would be nearly impossible to keep up with the ever changing landscape in a grocery store. Wayfinding is also a GIS science that few in the DS marketplace understand.

    It’s my job to design these solutions with all these factors involved including 3D art and animation for content. As long as chains continue to think they can just hang panels and voila! they have a DS network, we will continue to see failures. The value we bring to the situation is a solid understanding of all aspects of the planning, installation, ROI, content creation and management.

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