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Tesco's digital signage network in Poland looks to the future

WARSAW, Poland — DDS Poland, a Scala Certified Partner in Poland, has supplied Atvertin with operational and content management solutions to develop and manage an extensive, scalable 52-store proof-of-concept digital signage network for Tesco in Poland, which launched in September 2008.
Atvertin specializes in out-of-home advertising and providing digital signage networks to retailers across Poland. It is currently a provider of digital signage network services to the Polish marketplace.
In early 2008, Tesco recognized opportunities to utilize a digital signage network to enhance the customer experience for shoppers and to leverage the digital network to benefit suppliers and non-competing advertisers. While other business units and territories within Tesco Stores Group PLC had tested and rolled out networks in the past, Atvertin, a Polish company, was specifically selected to develop a program dedicated to Polish customers and the Polish marketplace.
While increasing sales on Tesco’s advertised products and services was a considerable advantage, the primary success criterion for Tesco remains incremental revenues generated from the sale of airtime. To facilitate this objective, Atvertin owns and runs the Tesco-branded network, pays a rental charge and shares revenues from advertising partners back with the retailer.
The proof-of-concept pilot network featured an average of thirty 42-inch Philips plasma display screens hung from the ceiling and fixtures and Scala content management systems in-store and at the network operations center that run a core channel and two sub-variants across the screen network, which was linked by CAT5-based audio/video distribution systems.
“The Atvertin/Tesco digital signage project is the largest deployment of its type in Poland, and I’m very pleased that DDS Poland has played a key role in the creation and management of Tesco and third-party content, which constitute the core broadcast product,” commented Leszek Golonka, managing director, DDS Poland. “The project’s planned expansion in 2009 gives me great confidence that the Tesco Poland network will go from strength to strength over the coming year.”
At the end of the seven-month proof-of-concept process (April 2009), third-party researcher Pentor Research International will have observed and interviewed more than 10,000 Tesco shoppers. Extensive data will be compiled, including shopper flow (speed, congestion, etc.), which relates to time spent in each zone, or the potential viewing or “dwell” time. This data helps determine the optimal number and location of screens to ensure that the maximum number of shoppers have the opportunity to see all relevant content on any screen in any particular part of the store.
Key learning so far from the proof-of-concept pilot concludes that one core audiovisual channel would work effectively across the store; that, on average, 30 screens placed at strategically important points across the store will provide appropriate coverage; and that the optimum overall content loop length was 275 seconds, with individual items within ranging in length depending on the type, style and purpose of the message.
These properties ensure that shoppers and staff are able to receive a wide variety of relevant and helpful information without it being deemed irritating or too repetitious.
Research also indicated that keeping each content item no longer than 15 seconds would ensure that each shopper has the opportunity to see it in its entirety. There are three main types of content: advertising spots for third-party brands; Tesco Poland editorial and product/service messaging; and “infotainment,” specifically the promotion of music and video game content.
These items are deployed across two sub-channels of the master channel, comprising the main advertising loop known as “System Główny,” which is present on approximately 28 of the 30 screens installed across a typical Tesco superstore, and a supportive loop known as “System 18+” which is based on the two remaining displays that provide custom content relating to alcohol and tobacco in appropriate areas of the store where local laws and regulations allow.
Qualitative and quantitative studies conducted by Pentor Research have indicated that shoppers are highly favorable to the network and that it has proved effective in generating awareness and recall. These are important metrics because the likelihood that shoppers will buy advertised products or services is greatly enhanced if they recall who sells which product.
By creating, programming and scheduling content that enhances the shopping experience and maximizes shopper relevancy and value, Tesco’s approach is paying dividends in terms of customers’ willingness to engage with the digital signage network. Networks of this nature are capable of generating considerable advantages for the shopper and for the retailer and network owner.
“Clearly, the feedback from the proof-of-concept phase demonstrates very positive shopper response, a good indicator for future success,” said Oscar Elizaga, VP EMEA, Scala. “I am very pleased that Scala was chosen to power this network and that it rose to the challenge of helping DDS Poland create the right design and content management environment to contribute to the success the program is enjoying. We look forward to working with DDS Poland as this exciting initiative develops.”
Atvertin plans to expand the Tesco Poland network and will be able to release further information relating to the progress and success of the digital network over the coming months.

digital signage network in Poland looks to the future