This was bound to happen.
A Chicago-based company has borrowed a page from Focus Media in China and established a network of LCD displays in the elevator wait lobbies of office properties.
Called the Office Media Network, the company’s business approach is to place large LCD screens set in landscape mode on a wall at or near where people wait endlessly for elevators during the morning and noon rush hours in these high-rises. This is a truly captive audience and building operators will love these things because they distract tenants from the fact (or at least feeling) that the elevators are too slow.
The interesting approach here is a very overt partnership with the Wall Street Journal, which actually has the brand for the service. Stories are fed to the screens through the day and the company makes money through an advertising window on the screen.
The WSJ should love this, as it is a great way to get their brand steadily in the face of their core reading audience every business day, and ideally drive newsstand sales when people see a snippet and decide they need to read the whole thing.
Where I think this will struggle a bit is that most or all advertisers will want the full screen option and will not want to fight for attention with the weather and other bits that fill up the screen. There is a full screen option and that’s where media planners will want to be.
The online demo and screen captures look like Flash and HTML, which makes me think this is not so much a digital signage app as a browser window on a big screen. Nonetheless, it looks good, though busy.
The network is now live in a handful or markets, and will have to move quick, as I know there are other companies looking at the office lobby space – no doubt inspired as well by the success of Focus.