DOOH as a franchising scheme

December 6, 2010 by Dave Haynes

The DSE site published a news piece Friday about a Florida company, Eyeris TV, offering up a franchised scheme for hyper-local digital out of home ad networks.

Never heard of the guys, but they got me thinking about the whole notion of setting up networks as franchises. Would it work and who actually makes money?

The pitch, from the Orlando, FL-based company:

As an Eyeris TV™ franchisee, you will create and operate your own In-Store TV Advertising Network inside a number of high traffic venues of your choice within your exclusive territory. Our cutting-edge proprietary softwares along with our managed services will allow you to broadcast the most captive, informative and entertaining video advertisements to thousands of viewers every day at very attractive costs to your advertisers.

Eyeris TV™ is today’s undisputable hottest franchise concept allowing our franchisees to enjoy all of the advantages that our business model has to offer including:

Eyeris TV™ Franchise investments have been designed with affordability in mind, starting from as little as $75,000 to $230,000 including franchise fees of $30,000 and a fast start-up time ranging between 30 and 60 days.

Another big part of the pitch is that the company is using “facial recognition” technology (wrong term guys, that’s the one that braids the eyebrows of privacy advocates) to measure audiences.

“Eyeris TV provides the most lucrative high return investment for franchisees, and is the right business for the right time,” says J.R. Alaoui, the company’s CEO and founder.

The website for the company is big on sizzle but more than a little short on substance, particularly on how franchisees would actually get this big promised ROI. The digital out of home highway is riddled with the carcasses and charred  wrecks of companies trying to build up a hyper-local ad business in the restaurants, coffee shops and fitness centers Eyeris says are core target venues.

It’s not that it can’t work, but ad sales is a seriously tough business and the territorial aspect of this arrangement pretty much precludes franchisees from getting big through chain-level deals that would provide a big enough audience to intrigue media planners and brands.

Eyeris would, however, make $30,000 from every sold franchise, and makes a reference to managed services (aka recurring fees). The company’s play would also be to build up a national network on someone else’s CAPEX (the franchisees) and hopefully get the national footprint that would theoretically lead to real ad money.

I wouldn’t flat tell someone not to do this, because I don’t know enough about these guys and the offer. But as in any deal like this, a LOT of time needs to be first invested in working the numbers and doing the groundwork to ensure there really is a “lucrative high return.”

I also wonder why someone would need a franchised concept for a DOOH network. That $30,000 could be used pretty effectively to build a concept and brand that the entrepreneur would fully own. Finding software and companies to manage the content would take one post on a Linked In forum.

This is not the first time a company has developed and marketed a franchise concept for DOOH networks. A service called Onext Media has been at it in Canada since 2006. I can’t say how they are doing, but note only the website’s news section is stuck on 2008 and I don’t exactly see the network sprouting like weeds. It wanted $80K per franchise.

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