“What are some ways to serve targeted content when you’re dealing with public spaces and a bunch of demographics at once?”
With analytics cameras, even in crowds, you can get at least the age and gender of your viewers. With larger crowds, the software will report the weighting of the crowd and your playlist can shift. This requires large sets of video assets ready to play based on the overall age and gender you’d imagine would be viewing your content. Sometimes, this means dozens of video assets or more. Advanced analytics cameras are able to detect race and mood of the viewers for additional segmentation.
We’re working on HTML5 content to minimize the amount of overall videos required to be preloaded on the media player. Targeted online ads work this way – as HTML5 apps that reference a huge database of text and images to generate a relevant ad on the fly. There’s no reason not to do the same with digital signage.
Assuming there’s no option to add cameras for demographic analytics, the best option is a highly varied playlist with assumptions made to drive relevance. Environmental factors like weather, time of day and traditional out-of-home advertising demographic targeting are still worthwhile to ensure relevant messaging.