In-store Digital Video is a mess...

Really? Is about the only way I can address this situation.
Here is my view of the in-store video landscape to date:

Wal-mart TV (PRN) - Just sent me a very nice letter basically saying "oops, we may have jumped the gun". They are going to conduct a small pilot to work out kinks that even I could have predicted and will run somewhere from 6 months to a year behind on roll out. So much for my 2008 plans. However, I will applaud their efforts to get it right rather than just moving forward collecting $$$s but ultimately doing a disservice to in-store media. So thanks for your diligence.

SignStorey - Used to be my number 3 choice in in-store video, but rapidly moving up. Just ate up Captive Audience, to add ShopRite and Big Y stores into their network. Also, SuperValu (the back bone of SignStorey's network) gave an impressive little display at the In-Store Marketing Conference last week in Chicago. Along with technology partner DS-IQ, they are paralleling video logs of ads, with sales data to provide a better idea of effectiveness of the video product. Very Interesting.

IBN - Not even sure where these guys went with PerfectMedia. I liked the idea, but the roll out in all Kroger stores just never seemed to happen. Oh well, there's always in-store radio...

NewsAmerica - Often labeled "the dinosaur" by their high tech competitors, NAM is going a different route. Saving money on NOT buying hundreds/thousands of 42" plasmas, they created a simple at shelf video option which can be placed directly in front of product. No, its not a fancy "Internet Protocol Driven Vertically Oriented LCD Magic Carpet Ride" type of offering but it does do a few things the others don't.
1. Brings video down to the consumers level. (this has long be an argument from the anti-in-store video front, if such a thing exists)
2. Also, its user initiated. Instead of pushing our pre-determined mix of messaging we assume shoppers want out on big screens, it simply invites shoppers to push the magic button if they want to learn more.

I'm not sure where this is all going to net out...that's kind of why its annoying. We plan a year in advance, and I can't predict who'll actually have things where they're supposed to be. But its entertaining to watch and I hope someone gets it right. The opportunity for richer in-store messaging would be welcomed by most brands, but it can't be a turn off to shoppers and I would love a little measurement as well.

That's all for today.

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