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Posted: November 8, 2007, from the November 2007 issue of GCI Magazine.
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Brands are tackling this challenge with technology that engages the consumer through advanced media players. Said Rizzaro, “Most of the tools primarily take rise from what we call advanced media players capable of much more than just running playlists of 15- or 30-second spots or canned content. These new players, [such as] the IMCtv box, can run those standards, but also allow for multiple modes of interaction—such as cell phone tie-in, content downloads and interaction [in] real-time with the viewers using motion and sound.”
These systems give the consumer control of the imagery and content on the screen. The engaged consumer becomes part of the brand experience for a few precious seconds, while the brand provides education and influence that may generate a sale.
An IRpod Gesture Interface with an Immersive Display permits consumers to use cell phones to paint with light, send MMS picture messages and SMS text messages, and scroll through text on-screen. Consumers may also use gestures and loud noises to create ripples on the screen. Another tool is the Magic Mirror, which allows consumers to interact within a marketing image created by the brand while tracking crucial data about the consumer’s interests.
On-screen voting, smart shopping tools and digital assistants have brought the Internet into the brick-and-mortar retail environment, giving the consumer access to additional information, surveys and content. These media also act as a sales agent for the brand, complementing the human element provided by sales personnel. Interactive media are not limited to walls or eye level, but can be built on the floor, providing a visually interesting focus for consumers walking through a retail environment.
“Many retailers are looking to outfit the gondola or end of aisle with power and Internet access like never before,” said Rizzaro. “With the increasing amount of display technologies and the significant ROI that goes along with it, many are either outfitting future installs or retrofitting existing shelving with these two features.”
Cooperation and communication between brands and retailers has led to design displays that are in step with the retailer’s overall store design. “Eye-catching special effects, such as lenticular images and holographic images, make displays more appealing to consumers and, therefore, are more effective,” said Imperial Graphics’ Hauser.