The Screens Have Eyes

UOWThe Digital Advertisement Screens at my University

Advertising has become part of our culture, thus , we are finding more advertising screens in our everyday society. Firstly New York is famous for Times Square where there is advertising screens on the side of every building. You can not turn anywhere without being exposed to a company advertising, this is an iconic area of advertising but how does it affect people when it progresses to be everywhere you go?

Recently I was in my local doctors surgery where I noticed advertising screens for the medical centre itself on every inch of spare wall. Advertising the services that the medical centre provides, this is a space I never assumed to find an advertising screen. Though I do agree this is an effective method of advertising, as often the wait is an average of three hours, therefore, you are likely to at least stare at this screen at least once out of sheer boredom.

Although do individuals really react to these signs or do we ignore them. Kuikkaniemi et al  states that as consumers we have an interaction phase that takes place; passing by, viewing, reacting and then subtle interaction (2011 p.42). However, they go on to state it depends on the environment and the engagement of the screen advertisement though it is clear that eventually we will subconsciously interact occasionally with these signs.  Kuikkaniemi et al compares these signs with a performance that these screens are ‘transforming passive viewing into an involved performance’  (2011 pp.40-41) also states how the digital signage is allowing signs to be more engaging and flexible ( Kuikkaniemi et al 2011 pp.40-41).Though where should the line be drawn with these signs? When do they become to innovative that perhaps they are verging on piracy issues?

This journal article details new innovations that advertisers are using for their signs. A new innovation is Euclide’s virtual puppets which is part of a Science Museum in Naples. It allows individuals to interact with the virtual puppet and entertain while explaining about the museum with a operator watching through a camera and operating the puppet from a remote location (Kuikkaniemi et al 2011 p.42) . The sign even adapts dialog depending on the particular visitor.  This poses the question regarding the piracy of these individuals whether they are aware they are being filmed. Another interesting innovative sign noted in Kuikkaniemi et al journal article is the Digital Advertising Column. This column detects the users movements and then adjusts its reactions accordingly, this provides engagement with the sign and multiple users can use it simultaneously (Kuikkaniemi et al 2011 p.44).

The reactions I usually note around my local establishments which have these signs are either people ignoring WP_001494 them or only glancing at them in a state of boredom, so companies are seeking to make these signs more interactive and engaging; but are they necessary? I believe it is a good form of marketing but perhaps not necessary in all establishments.

Have you reacted to a digital sign lately?



Kuikkaniemi, K & Jacucci, G & Turpeinen, M & Hoggan, E & Muller, J 2011, ‘ From Space to Stage: How Interactive Screens Will Change Urban Life’, Computer, vol. 44, no. 6, pp. 40-44.


3 thoughts on “The Screens Have Eyes

  1. Personally if I do watch a public TV that’s mostly ads (usually because I have nothing else to do, or in passing) I tend to forget what it was I just saw as soon as I’ve walked away. Now maybe I’m retaining the information at a more subconscious level, I don’t know, but if people don’t remember the ads what’s the point of them? Why are they everywhere? Or maybe this is why the ads are attempting to become more interactive, more memorable.

  2. The point of Kuikkaniemi et al’s point that interaction with screens depends upon the environment is a great summary of how exactly it is when watching others interacting with screens.
    Looking around uni when taking the photos it was evident that the people who engaged with the televisions were either by themselves or waiting for others. They were simply interacting with the TV to pass the time. Similarly to how you described looking at the screens at the Doctors because they are simply there and you’re waiting. I think having more interactive screens would definitely engage more interaction from audiences and perhaps advertisers would make more profit and success from them too.

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