Creative Ideas to power up your Digital Signage-game!

If you take a look at digital and analog media, digital media has a certain advantage: the content can be changed afterwards. In most cases, it's dynamic and can be updated or kept up to date in real time.

And if you look specifically at digital signage appliances, how is it used? In most cases you see some kind of news ticker, the time, the weather, etc. besides the main content. But what if you want to surprise the viewer? You want to direct their attention to the medium? There is a way!

And that's exactly what we're going to talk about today. I would like to present a few ideas here, which are not too far-fetched but can give your signs the bit of spice they need. And yes, my fellow e-ink users, I've got you covered!

Idea #1: Art.

Woooooooooww....really?.

Yes, really. Let me explain!

Black font on white background? Everyone can do that.

I know, I know, it's efficient and readable, no question. But let's say you have a rather large screen on which quite a lot of space remains unused. Well? It's time to use it.

How about this: Get artsy! Show some local grown art! It really shows your deep connection with the city you're in, when you are able to promote your local artists. Beware, shameless plug ahead!

I'll show you an example. This is one of my mothers artworks:

Pouring Art of Hamburg-based artist Sabine Coenen
Pouring Art of Hamburg-based artist Sabine Coenen

I'd say that there are not many people who don't appreciate a pretty picture, so you can't really go wrong with this.

If you are not able to find a local artist who would like to be promoted in your establishment, you could always ask a museum! They gladly take the promotion!

And if everything else fails: Just ask around in the family. That worked for me, too.

Idea No. 2: Riddles

The next one is for all you text aficionados who don't want to smear their beautiful screens with tasteless expressionism out there and for all my e-ink-appreciators.

How about a riddle? Here is a well-known one:

What goes on four feet in the morning, two feet at noon, and three feet in the evening??

(By the way, you can find the solution here: https://www.mwpai.org/assets/Education/MA-Resources-9-15-2016/Myth-Oedipus-and-the-Riddle-of-the-Sphinx.pdf)

And those kinds of small riddles or quizzes can be done on nearly every kind of screen, even on your fine e-ink-displays! And if you want to further give an incentive for your customers to enjoy those riddles: Why don't you offer a prize for solving the riddle? You could offer a gift card or a small souvenir to a randomly chosen winner.

Idea #3: Employee pictures with some nice, innocuous information.

Now I want to cover something that perhaps should not be underestimated. In recent years, personification and individualization - also of brands - has grown steadily. Customers also associate certain companies with certain personalities. From classic examples like Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs to well-known figures of the Internet, be it streamers, youtubers or even figures from traditional television and radio media.

The idea to link a topic or product with a living human being is not a bad idea: It is much easier to process information when it is presented in a "human" way.

And if we now come back to your employees: Of course, the protection of personal rights is of utmost importance, therefore something like this should only happen if your employees want to.

A small case study:

You are a hotel, you have employees at the reception, in the restaurant, as part of the room service, etc. And those employees are usually a means to an end for your customers. At the reception they check in, the restaurant feeds them, and the room service keeps everything tidy.

But if you show the same employees on your screens, either in work attire or with everyday clothes, captioned with a funny quote or their hobbies, then it probably won't interest everyone, but it could make your employees seem more approachable, more human.

Exhibit A:

Francesco is a product manager @ NetMax & his favorite quote is: "Don't be sorry, be better!" (Kratos from God Of War)
Francesco is a product manager @ NetMax & his favorite quote is: "Don't be sorry, be better!" (Kratos from God Of War)

This could have following effects:

  • Perhaps guests will get into a conversation with employees about commonalities
  • Maybe they simply encounter them in a friendlier way.
  • Possibly this can even ensure that the employees get to know each other better, as they discover common things about each other.

In the end, it could well be that no one cares. But this is a basic problem of visual presentation in general. Therefore: Just try it out.

Concluding

There are certainly other creative approaches, but that depends on your company and your possibilities.

For example, if you have a (web) designer or video artist, musician, etc. in your company, then there are even more possibilities open to you.

Necessity is the mother of invention!

And even if you are not in need, you will surely find a nice application. And if you just don't know what to do: A small glimpse at your competitors should spark your creativity! =)

That's it for this week. I hope you feel a bit inspired and if you have a fancy idea to share: fcoenen@netmax.de - write me!

Thanks for tuning in!

Until then! Don't be a stranger!

Francesco Coenen

26.04.2021