Like many in this industry, I have at various times been involved in plans to put screens into big shopping malls.
I have seen looney-tune plans to install screens no bigger than 27″ and other ones that cascaded screens along corridors. A lot of people have thoughts around doing them at or near the wayfinding areas.
The problem is, malls are generally big yawning spaces and atriums or lower slung corridors with all kinds of stuff like temporary booths and trees in the way, usually leading to big yawning spaces. It is very hard to get noticed, unless you go really big.
Digital Signage Universe has a piece about a shopping mall in Kent, England that dealt with that by focusing all of the screens into one central wall. They tiled 16 panels in a 4 by 4 configuration, and used plasmas with high brightness and contrast and minimal bezels. What came out of the wash is a big-ass display that has the scale needed to get noticed, but the tight pixels and therefore image clarity that LED boards are not yet set-up to do.
When I first read the post’s kicker headline I interpreted it as meaning there are 16 of these around the mall, which would certainly have pop. It’s just a single, and you’d hope there would be multiples to get noticed and get more attention from media buyers.
However, the release suggests this wall of panels is for mall promos and messaging, not third-party ads.
If you have a challenging visual environment with no end of bright and shiny objects, there will often be far greater benefit in taking the many screens intended to be scattered around a site and ganging them all together. Roughly the same cost, quite possibly less, but MUCH more impact.
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.