CanWest grabs DS rights to ad solutions service

December 18, 2008 by Dave Haynes

I will hold back on a real opinion until I see this in action, but this smells like shovelware in all its glory.

One of the biggest media companies in the frozen tundra I call home has done a deal with Chicago-based ShopLocal to be the exclusive Canadian provider of digital advertising solutions. ShopLocal and Canwest Global Communications, which owns a lot of major market TV stations and newspapers up here, “have formed a partnership that can take print-based advertising content to a digital format, which is distributed online or in-store.”

ShopLocal already provides digital advertising and out of home (OOH) media services to iconic Canuck retailer Canadian Tire and some others. 

ShopLocal’s business solutions are used to deliver highly interactive, targeted and localized promotions to shoppers via the Internet, mobile phones and any other digital environment.

“The most exciting element of this partnership is that it delivers great benefit to both retailers and consumers,” Derek Mah, general manager for online classifieds and retail with Canwest Digital Media, said in reports from Canwest.

Content from newspaper circulars and onine flyers can be collated, searched and delivered to consumers on Canwest sites, as well asw external portals like Facebook, MySpace and

Canwest has already established itself as a digital signage and OOH advertising player in Australia, where its subsidiary EYE is one of the region’s premier Out-of-Home media suppliers. 

If I am interpreting this correctly, the idea is that newspaper inserts, aka flyers, that now get repurposed as Web pages, Flash and PDFs can also be monkeyed with for mobile AND in-store media solutions (screens). Now in theory, the efficiency around that can be terrific. In practical applications, a print or online promo that you look at from 12-18 inches from your mug doesn’t work so hot on a screen fixed on a wall or hanging from a pole. If they just shovel stuff over and expect people to squint at 16 point type from six feet away, this is DOA.

However, if the medium and store dynamics are thought through, and the original files can be somewhat automatically reworked to suit the environment and sightlines, the technology COULD be a good way to efficiently reinforce promotions in-store.

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