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How Today’s Brands Can Skip the Super Bowl and Enjoy Stronger ROI


Digital Signage in store

Whether you were there to hear Peyton Manning yell “Omaha” or there to watch the commercials, there is one thing we know.  Millions tuned in to watch Super Bowl L.  But how many of those commercials reach your intended audience?  And how many of those commercials drive the revenue needed to justify a multi-million dollar spend?  Since that “number” is ever so elusive, let’s think about this with some costs we do know.

  • (1) 30-second national TV spot:  $5,000,000
  • (1) week of national Instagram ads: $1,900,000
  • (1) month celebrity endorsement: $417,000
  • (1) day full-page ad in NY times: $300,000

Ok.  So that’s a lot of zeros.  And there are going to be even more zeros needed to justify future spends.  Because the ROI of TV and other nationally-based media buys are difficult and/or even impossible to calculate, we must ask ourselves what our goals are, because at the end of the day, if we are not seeing positive upticks in sales, what is the point?

So, I pose the following question.  How can we better engage customers in a way that creates immersive brand experiences that doesn’t require all those zeros?  Video.  But what kind of video?  There is a rapidly growing trend across retail and hospitality, which is now extending into service-oriented businesses, to install digital signage in multiple locations within the store.  The signage can be used to display menus, current promotions, product overviews and ratings, and can be placed inside the store where buying decisions are actually made.  In fact, according to International Data Corp, 63% of shoppers report that digital signage catches their attention.  And, what is even more telling is that this percentage is higher than traditional media such as TV, billboards, and Internet.  And, digital signage costs just a fraction of the other mediums mentioned.

Here’s a look at the ballpark costs associated with digital signage systems:

  • 55″ Enterprise grade display: $1,500
  • High performance media player: $1,200
  • Software, support, maintenance, and installation: ($500)
  • 3 years of cloud-based hosting services ($1,500)

That’s a lot fewer zeros.  And when, depending on the size and type of store deploying even 10 digital signage systems, that is only $50,000 for 3 years of strategically placed, interactive advertising, hosted from the cloud, that can be updated quickly and easily.  You pair this figure with the notion of engaging customers where they are versus running the risk of being muted/fast-forwarded during live TV broadcasts, the ROI potential for digital signage is staggering.

Total Wine & More, a nationally-based wine & spirits retail outlet bought into this vision, and the results have been spectacular.  Total Wine was able to take endless hours of rich-media content available online and bring it into the store, creating an physical version of online shopping.  Over the last several years, companies like Best Buy have struggled due in part to customers coming into the store to try out a product, only to turn to Amazon to actually buy the product.  The proper deployment of digital signage can create immersive brand experiences for your customers leading to significant upswings in sales, cross-sales, up-sells, and even impulse buys.

And, Total Wine is most definitely not alone.  Household and luxury brands like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lincoln have begun seriously re-evaluating and in some cases cancelling their big media buys to channel these resources towards better engaging their customers.  Why?  Because big media buys do not yield big upticks in sales.  But, the effective placement of compelling signage can engage your target audience, at the point of decision, to actually make purchases.  And again, it costs a fraction of Super Bowl Sunday spots.

To learn how your business can quickly, easily, and more affordably get digital signage running, look no further than Hughes.  The turn-key, cloud-based solutions offered by Hughes can better engage both your customers and your employees.

Isn’t it time that your advertising actually worked?