Everyone in our industry more or less agrees on the paramount importance of content in digital communications, regardless of whether that content lives on a kiosk, touchscreen, billboard, or video wall. But since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, and perhaps to some degree for the foreseeable future, we’re all thinking a bit differently about how and why content is crafted. In general, it could be said that the focus has shifted from catching a consumer’s attention in a matter of seconds to at least appearing to become a philanthropic public health enterprise. That said, here are three successful examples of coronavirus-related content deployments from around the globe for your ongoing reference:
Intersection’s Information Resources
Intersection, the company behind the largest and fastest free public Wi-Fi network in the world, has been supporting local agencies across the U.S. by publishing prevention notices, closures, restrictions, local resource info, and segments of gratitude for essential workers on its Link kiosks and other digital assets like IxNConnect and IxNTouch. See below for examples of comprehensive messaging in the major urban centers of L.A., Philadelphia and New York (currently the American epicenter of the outbreak).
Across the pond, the UK Out of Home (OOH) industry has teamed up to launch ‘Grateful Britain’, a nationwide campaign initiated by OOH trade association Outsmart. The campaign runs throughout April and May on media space donated by blowUP media, Clear Channel, JCDecaux, Mass Media, Maxx Media, Ocean Outdoor and UKBillboards, with more members expected to come on board as the campaign progresses.
While most digital signage and digital out-of-home (DOOH) campaigns during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have elected to hammer home the basic messaging of social distancing and washing one’s hands, this DOOH effort runs across roadside and retail locations and uses clever language and light humor to honor healthcare workers, caregivers, food service workers, delivery drivers, etc., many of whom are still working at least partial schedules during the crisis.
Created by Mother and produced by Grand Visual, ‘Grateful Britain’ tastefully minimizes style by opting for a text-heavy display of black lettering on a white background — almost like a word document, email or letter addressed to the essential workers themselves. “Thank you to our stethoscope slingin’ letter postin’ lorry drivin’ loo roll deliverin’ heroes,” reads one example, which emphasizes the importance of message over the finer bells and whistles of branding and animation. If there was ever a time in which less is more in the design department, this is it.
TOMI’s Smart Alert Function
The smart cities’ solution TOMI, present in about 100 cities in Portugal, Brazil and Chile, has implemented new features to help raise awareness. In addition to sharing prevention measures in collaboration with national health authorities, providing real-time updates and temporarily disabling touch interactivity to control spread of the virus, TOMI has implemented an innovative initiative to detect people on the street and activate alerts depending on the number of individuals. It can detect the presence of humans on the street and issue awareness messages according to the number of people detected. It is also possible to detect an abnormal number of people on the street and send an alert to police forces or local authorities after identifying location. Check out the video below to learn more about TOMI’s smart alert function:
Reacting to this unprecedented situation is a universal problem, and there are plenty more examples of good work out there … with more innovation likely to come from big and small companies alike. In the meantime, here’s hoping you and yours stay healthy, safe, prosperous and informed as we continue to navigate these extraordinary and evolving challenges together.