narrow casting

Thinking Narrowcasting

Adrian Cotterill has a great blog Daily Dooh on all things Narrowcasting - Digital Out of Home - Insight, Knowledge and Opinion. It has lots of great examples of interactive media, I particularly liked this article on Kodo Mobile "Waiting for the subway in Montreal is a lot more fun these days: a new campaign for Koodo Mobile uses state-of-the-art technology from iGotcha Media that allows commuters to interact with out-of-home advertising displays."

Adrian mentions how the self branding in this example is interesting - "You are watching Captivating Network". Why don't all mediums do this?

This on-screen solutions website also has some good info. "The potential of digital signage as a powerful medium for information, advertising and entertainment is being recognized by a growing number of retailers, which will cause market revenue to nearly quadruple from 2004-2009"

Types of Travelers: ( each of these needs to be explored and analysed further)

  • Holiday Makers: These people will travel to their destination as a 'tourist'.
  • Business Travelers: Commuters
  • Back Pack and Adventure Travelers: alone or in small groups on self-organised trips.
  • Long Term travelers: missionaries, volunteer workers etc. going to stay several years in a country.
  • Travelers with special needs:
  • Children
  • Elderly
  • Pregnant women
  • Disabled Travellers

Good article about "Electronic Tickets saving time and worry for travellers."

In my opinion, that's what this is all about. Understanding the emotions of travellers. Listening to their stories and experiences.

  • Observing them in different situations.
  • Find out how the different groups of people feel when they are -
  • buying their ticket. standing in a que. grabbing a coffee. reading their newspaper. browsing the shops. running to catch the train. waiting to talk to the information desk.
  • Look at all the different options of the kind of messages we can give them -
  • What do we want to acheive out of this? Make their experience more enjoyable. Introduce them to something new - a hobbie/ a fact/ a theory?
  • Give them information - the weather/ the city/their journey/
  • The way the message is made up? is it bright and flashy and loud? I know the things that catch my eye are often subtle and simple. Real handwriting in an advert always makes me look twice.
  • Something to make people smile:

A question to think about is - Do we want to give them specific messages? For example, we could encourage people to be kind? to each other? to the environment? to themselves.

I like the idea of giving people a message to embrace life. Being in a train station reminds you that the world is a busy place, everyone has somewhere to be, is in a rush...Would they appreciate reading something like this:

''Life is like a taxi. The meter just keeps ticking whether you are getting somewhere or just standing still." Lou Erickso

"Life is like riding a bicycle. You don't fall off unless you stop pedaling" Claude Pepper

"Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can" Danny Kaye

Kevin Roberts book Sismo looks like it would be worth a read if you are interested in this field...

Sight, Sound and Motion, the combination that made television the most powerful selling tool ever invented.

Self - analysis for Narrowcasting

Having spent an afternoon watching the travellers and being a new traveller in Holland myself...what are my perceptions of new opporunities for narrow casting? This little diagram shows a my journey from my house to the train station...

The time that occurs before leaving the house is interesting, because this time consists of many different things, depending of course on what kind of traveller you are, who you are travelling with and where you are going.

For some it this time is chance to turn drawers inside out scrambling to find your ticket...

For others this is time to double check and go through the journey in their minds to ensure everything is organised and in it's place.

Both scenarios are a little extreme, somewhere in the middle is where you would find me :)

Indeed, the most important thing is getting the right message across at the right place and time.

Time is also interesting when you look at how your mood is effected by the time of day. For instance, rush hour is an anxious and stressfull time, full of irritable workers itching to get home.

The morning may mean grumpiness at the thought of a day of work, or if you are lucky excitement at the thought of the day ahead...

Perhaps, the narrowcasting could address these moods and the emotions that go with them. The day of the week is also important, we all know what message we'd like to see on a train on a busy monday morning...

Little thoughts I had

When you go on a journey you are familiar with, you have landmarks in your head that you recognise and they reassure you that you are indeed going the right way and perhaps indicate how many more miles you have left till you reach your destination.

Could the narrowcasting tell us landmarks to look out for on a new journey? This could also be fun for children to do and keep them amused during the journey.

I noticed that current narrowcasting in train stations in Holland are mostly in Dutch. As a foreign traveller this reminds me that I am very much outside my comfort zone and in an unfamiliar area, which can often highten anxiety. A way round this would be to use universal symbols and imagery.

“There are hundreds of languages in the world, but a smile speaks them all.”

Narrowcasting for Train stations

Narrowcasting was a phrase I had never heard of before. After some initial research I discovered that Narrowcasting has traditionally been understood as the dissemination of information (usually by radio or television) to a narrow audience, not to the general public. Some forms of narrowcasting involve directional signals or use of encryption. In the context of advertising out with the home, this term often refers to the display of content on a digital signage network.

Narrowcasting involves aiming media messages at specific segments of the public defined by values, preferences, or demographic attributes. I suppose it could be likened to niche marketing or target marketing. Narrowcasting is based on the idea that mass audiences do not exist. An example of narrowcasting in this context is the installation of the 'Cabvision' network in the black cabs of London which shows limited pre-recorded television programs interspersed with targeted advertising to passengers.

Narrowcasting is also sometimes applied to podcasting, since the audience for a podcast is often specific and sharply defined.

  • Narrowcasting is a form of broadcasting, if the latter term is understood as the "wide dissemination of content through mechanical or electronic media" as defined by Dr. Jonathan Sterne

Marketing experts are often interested in narrowcast media, since access to such content implies exposure to a specific and clearly defined prospective consumer audience.

Design Thinkers have been asked to research the issue of narrowcasting within the train stations of Holland. So we have to learn about the programs that are made for shops/ areas and little networks within the train stations. A previous project involving Narrowcasting for Schipol Station focused on providing the viewer with security, advice and mood clips.

To acheive successful narrow casting we must truly understand the experience of the train stations from a travellers point of view. As I am visiting Amsterdam for the second time, I am very new to their transportation system and I cannot speak dutch. Therefore I am able to document the experience from the point of view of a traveller.

We need to find out what time passengers are open for different kinds of information? What information do they need and at what time? Is it a positive thing to provide information in this context? Is it going to add value to the experience? Do people want it?

From experience, when I travel at airports I do not want to be 'amused' or 'shop'. I want very friendly people to help me when I need it and I want to know all the information invailable about my flight and I want to get to the gate. Arriving safely at the gate is when I relax and begin to look around me for 'entertainment'. But what would I want to see...weather? info on my destination?

I think this idea may also be compared to the the environment in Disney World in Florida. People often find themselves waiting in an extremely long que, in very warm conditions, surrounded in lots of over excited children ( and adults :) The clever thinkers at Disney World design the structures of the ques in such a way that you are always moving and cannot clearly see how many people are in front of you. Just as you start to get restless you find yourself standing below a screen playing a short clip or music related to the ride. The clips often encourage you to reapply sun cream and drink lots of water, advice people need in those conditions! This is the kind of narrowcasting that is needed and works!

I plan to dedicate a day to travelling to and from the various stations within Amsterdam and documenting my emotional and physical journey...