Digital OOH Forum: The method behind Target's interactive gaming area
April 14, 2011 by Dave Haynes
Trevor Kaufman, the CEO of interactive firm Possible Worldwide, had a really interesting session at the MediaPost Digital OOH forum in New York on how his firm used web design ideas and a lot of methodical R&D to come up with a better way of selling gaming console releases in Target.
What they came up with was rolled out in 2010 to some 1,000 target locations.
The session seemed a little out of place, given that pretty much everything else being discussed at this event is about advertising and not merchandising. But it was nonetheless very instructive and useful for anyone involved in the cause and effect of digital screens.
The problem Kaufman laid out was pretty simple. The way Target was peddling console games was locking them up in aisles of tall glass cases that were most reminiscent of a liquor store in a bad neighborhood. Buying decisions could be made based entirely on what people could see on the front of the game boxes.
There was a lot of ground covered off, but the nut of it came down to a few things:
1 – the merchandising fixtures were completely redesigned to be easier to see, less intimidating, but still secure (to stop shoplifting);
2 – digital touch screens were introduced;
3 – the online shopping experience, which works well for Target, was flipped around and brought into the store.
The department re-design went so far as to map it out like a website and even have headers for aisles – like Learn, Watch, Give – as the navigation. The result is a vaguely reminiscent online feel to getting around.
Some interesting observations Kaufman made:
- Touchscreens were done in portrait mode because, at least in part, when people see landscape screens they do not think interactive
- It’s still necessary to give people written and visual cues to start touch screen engagement (though that is changing). Possible built ghostly silhouettes of people using the touch buttons into its Target attract screens
- Retailers are liking this stuff, but it is a big mental hurdle for them to spend modestly on print POP and instead invest six and seven figure budgets on digital. The more use case studies that demonstrate the ROI, the easier it will be to sell this into retailers and their big brand partners.
I don’t think Kaufman mentioned results beyond a lot of positive feedback, but target spending many, many millions to roll this out to 1,000 stores is about all I would need to know.
Here’s a video:
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