Ask the Board – April 23, 2018 | DAVE KOPPELMAN


“What should be considered when planning advertising on exterior-facing window displays?”

When you look to place ads on exterior windows, you really need to do your homework to ensure you are getting what you anticipate. There are a handful of things to consider, all making sure your delivery is optimal:


You want to make sure the display is made for external usage.  It should be waterproof/weather proof.  It should be protected against vandalism and breakage.  It should have higher brightness than interior signage to account for glare, vibrancy and direct sunlight resolution.  You want to make sure the calibration accounts for the type of ad you are delivering. If you are showing an ad with lots of movement, you want to make sure there is little to no lag between frames.  You also want to make sure the color is consistent from the middle to the edges.


You want to make sure the screen is positioned in a place that doesn’t get lost around other signage.  You want to make sure the screen has wide viewing angles so consumers can see it as they walk by it and hopefully stop to look.

Size and Orientation:

The screen should be  big enough to match the size of the window.  If it is a bigger storefront, you want to have a bigger screen.  You also want to have the flexibility to run either a portrait or landscape orientation.  It would be great to have the option based on the campaign and product being promoted.


You don’t want to share the space with other advertisers. There isn’t much in attracting consumers’ eyes to the screen, and you want to be in control of that decision for the consumer to stop and react.  This isn’t a TV inside your house where people are sitting down and watching.  They are out and about and most probably going somewhere so you need to grab them at that moment.


Because this is outside of the house, you really need to have the spot you produced to be engaging.  You want the consumer to want to stop and look.  This sometimes takes bells and whistles.  Maybe look to have a 3D screen attached.  Maybe have flashing lights or some other way to attract the eye.  Another option is to implement a touchscreen to allow consumers to interact with the screen.  This will help with exposure, interactivity and engagement studies.


Figuring out your traffic is difficult to do here.  There are webcam cameras that can be inserted into displays to count the number of people who pass by, but it won’t tell you who is paying attention or stopping to view. Sometimes, these cameras actually pick up passing vehicles that think that hubcaps are eyes and count that exposure. This is not an impression buy and shouldn’t be purchased on a CPM basis based on the lack of true traffic counts.

The most important factor is the engagement.  This is not a screen that demands long viewing times, not a screen that people will stop for unless there is value and not a screen that they will be totally engaged in.  It is a quick hit at best.

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Managing Partner
MacDonald Media

Advertising & Brands Council

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