Digital Signage Gangnam Style

December 4, 2014 by Dave Haynes


Spotomate partner Shakr Media‘s offices are just off the shopping and entertainment district called Gang-nam – a Seoul district now made famous by that crazy music video by Korean pop star Psy.

I wrapped up a little early yesterday and went for a walk up and down this wide, very busy thoroughfare, and also dipped into the Gang-nam subway stop, which goes on forever and has hundreds of small shops – most of them for women’s clothing and cosmetics.

The street has a bit of Blade Runner-Children of Men going on, with lots of big, rectangular LED boards up above retail facades. It’s not at all like Times Square, but there’s a lot of low rez LED boards.

There’s also this interesting set of vertical columns collectively called Ubiquitous Media of Gang-nam. It’s a stacked set of Samsung displays in portrait mode that face the sidewalks and the street. There are 22 of the 12-metre-high totems on both sides of the street.

They have an interactive screen at the base (the one I tried was stuck) that offer local area search, and a photo postcard thing. They also offer up free (I think) wi-fi. What I mostly saw was ambient stuff and a lot of stacked Andy Warhol-ish portraits of locals that I think come off the touchscreen-camera thing at the base.

I didn’t really see that many retailers using digital displays in their stores, or if they did, it was  pretty much as it is in North America – a video wall near the entry and that’s about it. An exception was the Nike flagship store,which I will post about separately.

In the subway, a media company has taken every support column along a main walkway and embedded large portrait displays. What was interesting, and what I liked, was how the company coupled the displays with large print graphics to make the displays that much more impactful.

The Gangnam subway main entry, or one of them, also had a series of large displays flanking the steps down and an outdoor video wall on the entry bulkhead. No pic because I didn’t want to stop and get trampled.

I saw several attempts at using Kinect to generate “interactive experiences” – or what i loving call Stupid People Tricks. Everyone I tried wasn’t working. I’ll note it one more time – the viewing and social dynamics are almost always wrong for those things, and the tech is finicky as hell.

Cool area, and COLD!!!


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