What’s Next? Asks ‪@WCRS_LDN‬’s Dino Burbidge

May 24th, 2016

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

One of the most popular presentations at The DailyDOOH Media Summit last week was from Dino Burbidge, director of innovation and technology at WCRS, an integrated marketing and advertising agency in London.

TDMS2016 - Dino Burbidge

It’s hard to believe that one person could have accomplished all the things Burbidge has in his 22-year career: marketing campaigns for Disney and Pixar; CD-ROMs including Noddy and Teletubbies; billboards in Piccadilly that track Candy Crush buses; immersive 360 degree video experiences for the Armed Forces; shakable mobile ads; animated cartoons for the Queen; F1 racer Jenson Button in a Santander cash machine; and much, much more, including playing a leading role in delivering the multi-award winning – including a Cannes Gold Lion – Women’s Aid campaign for Ocean Outdoor.

At the Media Summit, with a talk he titled ‘Eyes Are So Yesterday’, Burbidge spoke about what is available now, soon, likely in the future, and some ‘far-out’ ideas for the digital out-of-home industry. The ‘now’ was recognizable: beacons, directional speakers, special builds, scented billboards, facial recognition – and posters with thermal cameras that can tell if you have the flu.

But how about a good language translation that will translate and publish content in many languages, or hyper-local Wi-Fi networks allowing you to stream 4K videos which can be watched with no buffering from inside a vehicle and are exclusive to it. Screens with games controlled by a man’s urine stream are already available from Captive Media and contactless payments, of course.

So what would actually be next? Well, Burbidge had a good list. Among things on it were: Moodies (audio tone analysis) and Disney Research’s Aireal Haptic TechnologyAireal is described as a new low cost, highly scalable haptic technology that delivers expressive tactile sensations in mid air, it enables users to feel virtual objects, experience dynamically varying textures and receive feedback on full body gestures, all without requiring the user to wear a physical device, Ed.

He also described roadside connected cars that gave information on everything from detailed battery data to where you’ve parked the last 100 times as was public Wi-Fi scanning.

Hoxton Analytics Shoe Tracking identifies customer demographics via a camera pointed at shoes entering a store.

Farther out, Burbidge was looking at ultrasonic haptics; thoughts-to-text technology; motion leaks via Smartwatch sensors; or how about a plasma hologram whereby users could convert any suitable vehicle into a 3D display transporter and take the display to where it’s needed.

Another idea was reconstructing images from brain activity. And Microsoft is said to be working on a HoloLens Holoport. The system uses a specialized capture rig to map how a person is moving around in real time, and sends a 3D image of them to the wearer of a HoloLens so that the two people can interact with one another.

Burbidge said that these and more are coming in the future. He has been involved with so many different things in his past, that we wouldn’t be at all surprised if he’s already experimenting with some of them.

Royal Highland Show Goes ‘Bullish’ on @8outdoormedia

May 24th, 2016

Maddie Cotterill

The Royal Highland Show has commissioned a 50ft ‘snorting’ bull on Edinburgh’s largest Outdoor site to bring the fun of the show to motorists passing by.

RHS Snorting Bull

The Royal Highland Show is featuring a specially constructed snorting bull on 8 Outdoor’s landmark Baxter’s Place roadside banner site in Edinburgh.

The special build is programmed to intermittently expel a snort of air (smoke) as motorists pass by.

The campaign, featuring the strapline; ‘get nose to nose with the country’s best’, is helping raise the profile of the 176th Royal Highland Show which will be held between June 23-26, 2016. The show brings the best of farming, food and rural life to Edinburgh as well as featuring many independent designers showcasing the best in contemporary fashions.

Tom Richards, Head of Sales of 8 Outdoor Scotland told us “A brilliantly innovative and tactical and quirky use of Edinburgh’s largest site – at 130 sq. metres and situated on this busy arterial route, it is already unmissable but add in a 50ft snorting bull and it can’t fail to generate a lot of conversation!”

Philip Jones, Managing Partner at Spirit Media Scotland added “We loved this idea – we’re reaching huge numbers of potential visitors to the show on this landmark Edinburgh site with an unmissable creative idea. 8 Outdoor and their site enabled us to bring this to life both quickly and cost efficiently”

The bespoke campaign which runs for 2 weeks from Monday May 23 was created by White Space, planned by Spirit Media Works and bought through Open Outdoor.

The City Briefing: #SmartCities

May 24th, 2016

Russ Curry, Ministry of New Media

In London, on the last day of November, conveniently the day before The DailyDOOH Gala Awards, the Ministry of New Media has another half day event; ‘The City Briefing: Smart Cities‘.

DD_TCB_SmartCities Logo 470

‘The City Briefing: Smart Cities’ takes place 14:00 onwards on Wednesday November 30, 2016 in London in the lecture theatre of the world’s largest law firm, Dentons.

It’s one of our regular City Briefing events.

Dynamic DOOH Ads Made Easy

May 24th, 2016

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

The full-house audience at The DailyDOOH Media Summit last week during London Digital Signage Week had a fast presentation from Alex Matthews, who joined JCDecaux SA (Euronext Paris: DEC) from BBH (alongside Rick Burgess) to jointly head up its London based digital creative hub called ‘JCDecaux Dynamic’.

TDMS2016 - Alex Matthews

Matthews has 20 years experience as a technologist developing campaigns, products and services in advertising and media, working in startups, digital and creative agencies.

He explained that Dynamic is a new global content and services division focused specifically on what goes on the screen. “We’re here to make dynamic, contextual ads easy for brands,” Matthews said.

Online advertising had a 19% year-over-year increase in terms of digital ad spend.

“All those ads are contextually-driven,” Matthews said. “Why has there been so little dynamic digital out-of-home until now? Dynamic DOOH has been a bit of a mess. Dynamic’s role is to make it easy for dynamic ads to be made simply for DOOH.”

Whilst making a brief mention of SmartBRICS, a new in-house planning and buying tool that allows JCDecaux to plan at a frame level by audience, selecting the right frames for the product, demographic and budget of each client, he then went on to discuss in more detail SmartCONTENT, a content management system for dynamic ad delivery of DOOH campaigns (announced here during London Digital Signage Week).

“Using SmartCONTENT requires no technical experience,” said Matthews. “It’s web-based with a simple, intuitive interface. In terms of management, you can check whether you’ve uploaded your materials in the right size and format, change it as necessary, and then set it for specific locations, weather, daypart, environment and more. You can embed Twitter or Instagram and when you see posts that you like, you can drag-and-drop them in. And you can take custom data feeds and add them in the vary the creative.”

“The CMS system makes dynamic DOOH ads contextually relevant.”

Matthews then went on to show how British Airways, Tesco, and others have been using the system.

Not surprisingly there was a lot of real interest in this tool from almost everyone in the audience – a tool by the way, that JCDecaux has no plans to release to the wider world.

Steljes Goes Into Administration

May 24th, 2016

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Steljes Limited, one of the UK’s largest and longest-standing distributors confirmed to CRN on Monday that it has gone into administration.

In April, SMART which likely generated two thirds of Steljes’ sales, began supporting resellers directly in the UK and using distribution only for fulfilment.

Some in the UK AV industry think the problem for Steljes started back in January of this year when they exhibited at BETT but were only showing Vividtouch touchscreens – not surprisingly this upset those at SMART.

Other industry insiders told us that Steljes truly believed they were bigger than SMART, often going so far as to hint that SMART would not exist in the UK without them! If this is true then it was very poor decision making that has ultimately led to the demise of the company.

CRN states that “today’s news affects Steljes Limited only, with other parts of the business, including Steljes Rental, unaffected”.

Amscreen Terminates Agreement with Digicom

May 23rd, 2016

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Further to our news today ‘Digicom Ceases Trading’ Amscreen has issued a press release ‘Amscreen Terminates Agreement with Tom Goddard’s Digicom’.

Dated May 23, 2016 it says, we quote “Amscreen regretfully announces that it has today terminated its sales agency agreement with Digicom Out Of Home Digital Media Limited and temporarily suspended the advertising service on its network of forecourt screens. This follows the filing of a Notice of Intention to Appoint an Administrator by Digicom on Friday 13th May 2016. We were informed by Digicom shortly after this that payments due to Amscreen under the terms of our various agreements would not be paid. We have been working with Digicom and their proposed administration team to resolve the situation but have been unable to reach a mutually acceptable position”.

In a rather hard hitting press release, it continued “For avoidance of any doubt, Amscreen has fulfilled all of its obligations under its agreements with Digicom and continues to operate a first class promotion service for its forecourt network partners. Amscreen’s contractual relationship with its network partners is unaffected by this recent development. Amscreen is considering its position and options in respect of advertising sales on its network following this recent and unexpected development with Digicom”.

It would appear that Amscreen are not happy.

#LinkNYC @intersection_co Says “We’re Connected”

May 23rd, 2016

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Dave Etherington, chief strategy officer at Intersection, lead company on the LinkNYC project, was peppered with the most questions from the floor of any speaker after bringing the audience at the DailyDOOH Media Summit up-to-date on that ‘connected’ project during London Digital Signage Week.

TDMS2016 - Dave Etherington

“Today, more than 50% of the population lives in cities, and that figure will be 66% by the year 2050,” said Etherington. “We (ie. the DOOH industry) can become a vital part of the Smart Cities evolution. Cities are becoming the place to be, and the amount of data we are gathering today is likely to increase a thousand-fold.

“Life is becoming more connected while cities are facing challenges such as an aging infrastructure. Intersection is a technology, design and media company committed to transforming the urban space, and where we build must have a community because the aim is to better the lives of people.”

There was major curiosity from the London crowd about the LinkNYC project which we’ve written about many times. In short, LinkNYC will eventually be comprised of 10,000 x 9-ft. high (Link) units placed across the five New York boroughs. The units have Wi-Fi allowing people to make phone calls for free anywhere in the US. They have recharging outlets, keyboards, city information and much more, carry Gimbal beacons, and include screens which can carry advertising. They are being built at no cost to taxpayers and will generate more than $500 million in revenue for the City over the first 12 years from advertising on the screens.

There are currently more than 150 units already in place, with 500 expected to be deployed by July.

“We have 15,000 people signing up every day for the free Wi-Fi and have had 3 million users already on the units currently up in Manhattan,” said Etherington.

#TeaseLondon Could Win You £160K Media Spend

May 23rd, 2016

Maddie Cotterill

To celebrate the launch of their new video, Eyetease, the company famed for bringing digital advertising technology to the roofs of London taxis, will be giving away £160,000 worth of free advertising on over 400 taxitop screens in London, in partnership with Verifone Media.

The competition is open to startups and SMEs and asks entrants to tweet their pitch using the hashtag #TeaseLondon. To enter, companies simply tweet explaining why they deserve to win £160,000 of advertising, and tag their posts #TeaseLondon. Entries can be a simple text tweet, or include a photo or video – but Eyetease and Verifone encourage entrants to get creative. The winner’s advertisement will be seen by Londoners over 16 million times across hundreds of taxis this Summer.

Previous campaigns on the iTaxitop Network have resulted in a 25% sales uplift for the brand advertising.

Richard Corbett, Founder of Eyetease told us “We’re excited to give a lucky startup the chance to be seen on every street in London. As an entrepreneur who bootstrapped his startup, I know how difficult it can be to get your brand out to the masses when you’re starting out. This prize will catapult the winner’s products and services to centre stage! We have developed the world’s most advanced digital out-of-home technology which will allow the winning brand the opportunity to be seen by millions of Londoners. This will be a game changer for the winning company!”

Jim Cohen, Sales and Marketing Director at Verifone Media said “This is a fantastic opportunity for an up-and-coming brand to be showcased on an award winning HD advertising format across London. We’re looking forward to receiving some truly creative tweets.”

The competition launched last week during London Digital Signage Week when Eyetease showcased the company’s new video at the ‘Rise of B2B hardware startups in IoT’ event by Hardware Pioneers.

The video follows Corbett from the moment the iTaxitop concept was developed, through to mass production. Using the tagline ‘Think, Create, Disrupt’, the video brings to life Eyetease’s focus on new concepts and developing products which change markets. The company is known for creating two world first technologies and changing regulations in UK and International markets to enable the sale and use of this tech. Following the recent announcement of the launch of their London based R&D facility, Eyetease are investing heavily in new engineering talent to develop exciting new products and services with hardware at their core.

This month, Eyetease will also be releasing a series of video blog posts with advice for entrepreneurs. Within these short videos, Corbett will be giving his top five business tips to entrepreneurs including Opportunity Identification, Proposition Definition, Capability Set, Stepping Stones to Growth and Planned vs. Emergent Strategy.

The Rules are simple: –

  • Entries open May 18th and close June 6th
  • To be eligible, entrants must be considered a new startup or SME
  • To enter, tweet explaining why you should win this prize. Tweets can be text, or include photo/video – you decide! Entries valid as long as hashtag #TeaseLondon is included
  • Tweets do NOT have to tag @eyetease or @verifonemedia or @taximediauk to be eligible
  • There is no limit to the number of entries you submit, but we encourage you to tweet within reason!
  • Shortlist will be announced on or around June 15th. The shortlist will be asked to prepare a short pitch to the judges on or around June 17th and the winner will be announced the following week.
  • Creative for the winner’s competition is to be supplied by the winner

Digicom Ceases Trading

May 23rd, 2016

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

DigiCom Out of Home Digital Media Limited, the company that has managed Amscreen’s network of portrait screens in a large number of UK Forecourt Petrol Stations since last August, announced Monday that it is closing down its operations with immediate effect.

We are told that this is due to a series of unforeseen difficulties, resulting in a lower than anticipated take up of the product offering by advertisers, despite heavy investment in sales and marketing resource.

DigiCom is owned by entrepreneur Tom Goddard who has several other investments in the media space. Tom has stressed to us that this does not affect, nor is it connected to, any of his other business interests.

We understand that Paul Masters and Conrad Beighton of Leonard Curtis Business Solutions Group have been appointed as Administrators to handle the process – you can contact paul.masters@leonardcurtis.co.uk if need be.

Knowing Tom well, we have no doubt that this decision was taken very reluctantly and only after every potential alternative option had been exhausted. It seems that under the current structure DigiCom could not make the business work.

Unfortunately this seems to have resulted in twelve job losses.

It Was a Visual Experience / Visual Feast at @NECShowcase

May 23rd, 2016

Russ Curry, Ministry of New Media

The 8th NEC Solutions Showcase welcomed just over 1500 unique visitors through the doors of Millbank Tower last week, May 18-19 2016 and reaction to the event from the AV industry has, as always, been overwhelmingly positive.

The busy Retail zone at NEC Showcase 2016

Neil Hartigan, General Manager UK & Ireland, NEC Display Solutions told us “Yet again attendance reached levels higher than expected which proves that the concept of demonstrating practical solutions is exactly what our clients want to see”.

Reflecting the reputation that the Showcase now commands, it was clear to see that the event, as it has done for the past few years, continued to attract a pan-European wide audience. Exhibitors told us, and we felt ourselves, that visitor numbers were evenly spread over the two day event.

It was clear to see that quality and diversity of attendees which the event now attracts, clearly positions the NEC Showcase as a hugely important and valued industry event with exceptionally high visitor expectation. With approximately 40% of visitors being high profile end users, the Showcase’s unique total solutions approach is very appealing. Steve French, solution architect at Deutsche Bank summarised it nicely by saying “it’s not about tech, but usage of tech and how it can be applied to different environments”.

Fully integrated solutions at NEC Solutions Showcase 2016

NEC hand-picked 30 best of breed Solutions Partners to bring solutions to life, presenting application scenarios within key vertical sectors including Education, Retail, Corporate and Transport, offering visitors a real life experience.

Neil Hartigan said that he was “absolutely thrilled by the commitment shown by our Partners, without whom the Showcase could not be the unique and successful show it has become”.

He added that “They have all keenly embraced our USP for offering a visitor experience, with Pixel Inspiration’s travel store solution a particular highlight for many who enjoyed a cocktail at the end of their ‘retail customer journey’!”

Keith Dutch, sales & operations director at Peerless-AV who were NEC’s exclusive partner for mounting solutions at this year’s Showcase also said “NEC’s support was outstanding throughout, attendees were all of a high quality, and the venue and floorplan worked well. The Showcase is a unique event in the European AV calendar and the NEC team never fails to improve year on year. Following a successful few days at the Showcase, we have some exciting new business leads to follow up as a result.”

NEC Showcase May 2016 proj mapping

Visitors were treated to a spectacular three minute projection demonstration of 3D pixel mapping, edge blending and warping techniques alongside NEC large format displays in the ‘NEC Experience’ as they entered the Showcase (see above), Richard Bovingdon, head of interactive at Midwich said he was “blown away” by it, adding “who said projection was dead?”.

The visual experiences continued on the top two floors of Millbank Tower where the views over London were spell binding. With much of the AV industry in attendance, networking is a key element of the Showcase which was drawn to a close with an InfoComm drinks event, just one of many items on the London Digital Signage Week calendar of which the Showcase is pivotal.