In-bar digital signs shown to have significant impact on young adults

Published on: 2015-02-05

Arbitron and in-bar network owner Zoom Media released news about the performance of spots running on their screens. Salient points include:
  • 78% of bar visitors surveyed could recall at least one of four advertisers that ran ads on the digital screens.
  • Brand aided recall ranged from 37 to 53 percent, confirming that people not only saw the ads on the digital screens, but remembered the advertisers.
  • 40% of the people polled said they frequented bars over 10 times a month. Zoom estimates actual time spent in bars and clubs averages 2.5 hours per visit.
  • The audience polled was overwhelmingly comprised of consumers who are early adopters of new products and services, as well as influencers among their peers and family.
  • Over 79% of those interviewed said their friends and family seek them out for advice on new products and services.
  • 87% indicated that they actively recommend new products to others.
  • 93% said that their advice influences the consumer habits of others.
Our take:

While initially the results look good, we are concerned by this disclosure:

"Recall rates were determined by asking bar goers in the test locations what advertisements they remembered seeing on digital signage. Lift was determined by asking bar goers in the test and control locations to name the top three brands that come to mind in the advertisers categories. Responses from the test and control groups were then compared to determine percentage lift in top of mind awareness."

Unless the surveyors were able to control for other forms of advertisements that might have affected recall, there's no way to know how much of the increase could be attributed to the digital signs alone (though practically speaking it was probably a fair portion). Likewise, the idea that "lift" could be measured by merely asking respondents for brands at the top-of-mind is even less rigorous and leaves room for further interpretation.

Still, we believe the results do suggest that digital signage delivers significant and measurable performance when it comes to delivering marketing messages in out-of-home environments.

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