Digital Signage – the Next Big Thing

Not long ago, Times Square was the epicenter of digital signage in the U.S. It may still represent the highest concentration, but digital signage is exploding and you see it just about everywhere now. Digital signage is officially “the next big thing” for a lot of marketers. In a recent Razorfish survey it was ranked second to mobile as the most important emerging media channel in the coming year. Roughly 51 percent of respondents ranked mobile as the most important, followed by Digital Signage with nearly 32 percent. Other channels trailed by a wide margin.

Interestingly enough in a recent article in Wired Magazine they featured a company called MegaPhone that combined both of these emerging areas.

MegaPhone is a mobile gaming company whose latest project is to connect cell phones with games embedded in big-screen billboards in places like you guessed it … Times Square!

People can interact with these billboards via a special phone number which will show them as special avatars identified by the last four digits of the caller’s phone number.

When I first read the article I thought it was just another super geek application but the more I thought about it – the more you can think up new applications for this.

For example, Jumbotrons at sporting events where they can pick attendees to play an engaging mini game of basketball, baseball, football, hockey, or whatever sport you are watching. Rock Concert goers could dial into the Jumbotron to participate in a live chat with the band backstage. Tradeshow events could use this to allow real time Twittering and live Q&A via mobile. Anywhere you are waiting in line – airports, hotels, on airplanes, amusement parks (read Disney) could not only pre-engage their audience with the ride – perhaps they could let us sign up for tickets once we enter the park and call us when we are due to blast off!

This one article opens up the wide world of mobile marketing, digital signage and more importantly a glimpse at the future of social media marketing (SMM).

5 comments to Digital Signage – the Next Big Thing

  • Lindsay Willott

    Paul, I think anything that makes the old concept of static advertising more personalised and relevant has to be good for the industry. Consumers will expect it, given how customised their PCs and TVs are to their needs right now.

    The kind of applications of this technology that you are talking about are surely a real-world mashup – a new hybrid of information provision and advertising.
    Best, Lindsay

  • Matt Beckman


    Here is a new web campaign that offers unmatched personalization. It’s at – pretty cool website

    The site has been praised by the authors of “Made to Stick” by Dan Heath –


  • Paul Dunay

    @ Matt

    thanks Matt – I just tried your new viral campaign

  • Mark Hemphill

    Hi Paul, after reading this I thought you’d be interested in knowing about ScreenScape:

    We believe the next important innovation in digital signage networks isn’t to make the displays more interactive in the touch sense. It is to make the networks more open and more social in a collaborative sense. As long as place-based media and out-of-home advertising is closed, proprietary, and the creative process centralized, its power will be limited.

    We’ve recently launched our network which takes a decidedly 2.0 approach to place-based media that would make digital signage more accessibile to small business, more pervasive in general, and thus more interesting and effective for marketers.

    Our venues tend to use the service in three ways: 1) to create their own screen display on premises, 2) to distribute content throughout the ScreenScape network for other members to publish on their displays, and 3) sell advertising on their own displays and in effect monetize their position as public gathering place.

    For us the key changes coming to place-based media has little to do with the outward look and feel of the displays – and a lot to do with the collaborative experience of creating and accessing them. I would liken the shift from centralized to network-centric place-based media as akin to the shift we saw in online services circa 1994 – from Compuserve and Prodigy to web-based standards like Yahoo and Alta Vista. Any new feature of those proprietary online services could never compete with the networking power of the web.

    more here:

    Mark Hemphill
    President and Founder,
    ScreenScape Networks

  • Hey Paul, just droppping you a line letting you know I think your blog is one of the most informitive out there and I will be reading it on a regular basis. Digital signage has been on the horizon for a while now, so I can’t wait to see some of the things you are talking about.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>