Digital Signage As Crowd Control?

Photo - Pioneer Press: John Autey
Photo – Pioneer Press: John Autey

I’ve spent lots of time meeting with shopping mall operators talking about the wide variety of uses for digital signage around their facilities, but I never thought of crowd disbursement as one of them.

This is what was on the screen at the Mall of America, in Minneapolis-St. Paul, at the height of a protest inside the mega shopping center on Dec. 20th. The protest, timed for the the Saturday right before Christmas, saw 1,500 people disrupt shoppers to draw attention to the massive rift between local police services and African-Americans.

Police turned up in riot gear, and orders to disperse issued, including on screens in the mall’s main rotunda.

Interesting application of screen messaging. I’m not sure THIS IS A FINAL WARNING is a great choice of words for a crowd surrounded by police in riot gear. But then, “HEY PROTESTERS, When you’re done, check out the BOGO deals at Old Navy!” would have resonated.



Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

Editor/Founder at Sixteen:Nine
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than 12 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He's based near Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Dave Haynes


13-year-old blog & podcast about digital signage & related tech, written by consultant, analyst & BS filter Dave Haynes. DNA test - 90% Celt/10% Viking. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿบ
Agreed. Hat tip to the 5,500+ who filled the stands. One other thing: fix the crap audio. Sounds like Radio Voiceโ€ฆ - 12 hours ago
Dave Haynes