Survey Says Digital Bar Media Has Significant Impact On Ad-Adverse Trendsetters

| April 10, 2008

A new national survey revealed that Zoom Media & Marketing's bar-based digital billboard network is an effective and efficient way for advertisers to counter growing ad skipping and TV commercial avoidance among young adults.

An overwhelming majority - or 78 percent - of bar visitors surveyed could recall at least one of four advertisers that ran ads on bar-based digital billboards according to the Zoom survey administered by the media research firm Arbitron. Additionally, the survey revealed that brand aided recall ranged from 37 to 53 percent, confirming that people not only saw the ads on the digital billboards, but remembered the advertisers.

"While there's been much speculation about how marketers can reach consumers that have learned to opt out of ads, this survey definitively shows that digital screens in bars are an advertising option that can have a strong impact on the highly desirable but evasive 21 to 34 year old demographic," comments Lee Levitz, vice president of marketing at Zoom Media & Marketing, which operates the nation's largest bar media network.

Levitz notes that the research also showed that digital billboards increased top of mind awareness in terms of specific brands. In other words, consumers who were exposed to the advertising were much more likely to consider certain brands as category leaders. For example, when asked what they thought the top new video games were, twice as many people were likely to answer Assassin's Creed Ã.‚¬Å" which was one of the ads used in the surveyÃ.‚¬Å" compared to those not exposed to the ad.

"The ability to drive this type of awareness is very important to advertisers looking to promote new product launches or support brands in highly competitive categories," comments Levitz. "The bottom line is that when you combine these recall rates with the ability to significantly increase brand awareness, it's a one-two punch for advertisers looking to break though the barriers in terms of reaching this audience."

High Dwell Time and Flexible Media
According to the survey, 40 percent of the people polled said they frequented bars over 10 times a month. Additionally, Zoom estimates actual time spent in bars and clubs averages 2.5 hours per visit.

To help generate consumer attention, Zoom's Social Digital Network also lets advertisers use everything from short-form and 30-second adapted TV spots and internet video, to lengthier forms including one and two minute clips that communicate longer messages. According to the company, unlike much of the media that's out there, Zoom's is extremely flexible and has the ability to adapt, change or update advertiser's content and messages on a daily basis.

"There's no question that the medium grants us the flexibility to uniquely communicate directly to our core audience," comments Corinna May, marketing manager at Visit London, which was one of the advertisers participating in the research. "It's also an asset to be able to showcase our city in high definition, free from any clutter, in a relevant lifestyle destination where people are enjoying themselves."

She also noted that the survey findings reinforce Visit London's belief that "this is an effective way to communicate dynamically and memorably with our audience," and help explain why out-of-home has been one of only two advertising categories experiencing growth.

Influencers & Category Leader
The survey revealed that the audience polled overwhelmingly comprised consumers who are early adopters of new products and services, as well as influencers among their peers and family. Additionally, over 79 percent of those interviewed said their friends and family seek them out for advice on new products and services, 87 percent indicated that they actively recommend new products to others, and 93 percent said that their advice influences the consumer habits of others.
 
Survey Methodology
Arbitron conducted in-person surveys with 530 randomly selected patrons aged 21 or older who had been in the test bars at least one hour. The study was conducted at 8 bars located in New York and Los Angeles.

Four of the bars contained Zoom Social Network displays and ran the test campaigns for Saab, Visit London, Stride Gum, and Assassin's Creed video game. The other four bars did not run these campaigns and functioned as our control group. A $5 cash incentive was awarded to respondents at the end of the interview.

The surveys were fielded from 6pm-12am on January 17th, 18th and 19th. 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 advertiser's categories. Responses from the test and control groups were then compared to determine percentage lift in top of mind awareness.

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