I took the Montreal Metro subway to get out to the JADN.TV conference, and while standing on the platform noticed something peculiar. A firm called MetroVision has ad screens running in some Metro stops, particularly the big ones. Projectors with long-throw lenses blast motion images on to a wall-mounted screen on the other side of the tracks.
There’s a nice, uncluttered show – with some useful, very sticky content that sees the system steadily polling train operations and letting people know how long ’til the next train.
Problem is, the ambient lighting was totally washing the screens out. It took some concentrated staring to get much from these screens, and I hopped on the train trying to sort out in my mind what the logic was for spending the time and money for something you can’t see.
At the conference, I ended up yakking with a guy who does some of the firm’s content work. He explained how the screens looked great when they first went in. Then a few weeks later, the transit authority decided the platforms needed brighter lighting to enhance safety. And all of sudden the screens looked like crap.
Presumably, this will get dealt with – but you have to wonder if this sort of thing was even contemplated when the contracts were done. The Metro people should be helping remedy this, one would think, but I betcha they’re just shrugging.
Meanwhile, one level down, the lighting is more subdued, and the screens look great.
Many operators think to build in contract language to deal with what happens if gear needs to be moved. But who’d have thunk about changed lighting conditions???
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.