Oxford, Cineplex Team On Ambitious, Reimagined Digital Mall Media Program

May 13, 2014 by Dave Haynes


Canada’s Cineplex Digital Media and Oxford Properties Group have announced a deal to create what they’re calling North America’s first place-based digital ecosystem in shopping malls.

The program integrates architectural digital media, mobile technology, social media, experiential technologies, and digital media sales and analytics, “providing a first-of-its-kind opportunity to inspire shoppers and influence purchasing decisions.  From the moment the shopper enters the shopping centre, the system will provide valuable information about Oxford’s properties, programs, and merchants, as well entertaining and relevant, lifestyle content, and opportunities to engage through interactive media and in-mall activations.”

“Place-based digital ecosystems are the next evolution of digital interaction with customers,” said Fab Stanghieri, General Manager, Cineplex Digital Media.  “The system provides audiences a seamless, integrated experience and enables venues and brands to leverage the power of multi-channel marketing and advertising platforms to engage consumers and drive retail traffic. Cineplex is proud to partner with Oxford in developing this world-leading customer experience.”

The digital ecosystem extends  the retail experience outside store walls, bridging the growing divide between passive digital advertising and consumers’ ever-increasing expectation for information and inspiration when, where and how they want to receive it.

“At Oxford, we are committed to delivering the best experience to our customers in every interaction, every day,” said John Giddings, Vice President, Oxford Properties. “In our shopping malls, this commitment extends from our properties, to our retail selection, to our team members. With the introduction of the new place-based digital ecosystem, Oxford and Cineplex are able to extend the customer experience one step further, delivering an unparalleled, engaging experience to our customers.”

The two well-known Canadian brands collaborated to develop the new system.   Cineplex Digital Media will take responsibility for deployment, exclusive media sales, and ongoing operation and maintenance of the network.  Installation will begin this fall.

The malls include three of Canada’s busiest, including the very high-end Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto.

The announcement is almost two years in the making, and involves a program that has the potential to completely re-cast how media is done in shopping malls. I know this (as disclosure) because I was the lead consultant on this through the concept,RFP and selection stages in 2012-13. The last thing Oxford wanted was more of the same – which in shopping mall terms is vertical LCD slabs running ads in the main walkways of malls.

There are more interesting things to do that can generate interest and excitement around being in that mall, which maybe doesn’t relate much to media dollars but definitely can to the real money that comes with shoppers staying longer, spending more and returning more frequently.

With Cineplex in place my consulting part has wound down, but I am very interested to see what shakes out, starting this fall.

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