Originally posted 31 Jan 2012
Objective of Project:
In June of 2011, London Ont. based EyeLook Media Inc., a digital signage solutions company, took on the task of providing a digital signage system to present real-time updates, images, and elements of entertainment in relation to the annual fundraising event benefiting translational breast cancer research; which fundamentally puts valuable medical theories into practice, a progression deemed absolutely necessary in finding a cure for breast cancer.
More Information About the Event:
ONERUN, which sees breast cancer survivor Theresa Carriere run a 100 km distance garnering pledges for the invaluable research carried out at London Health Science Centre’s Pamela Greenaway-Kohlmeier Translational Breast Cancer Research Unit. Jim Linton, communications representative for the ONERUN organization, said the annual fundraiser was seeking a way to engage the public through images and information delivered the day of the 100-km run event. Event organizers believed they could effectively engage the public while boosting both pledges and awareness if event information and images could be presented to the public in as close to real time as possible. Cost was a major consideration for event organizers as ONERUN is strictly a volunteer-based fundraising organization.
Traditionally, the event was presented to the public primarily through the Internet as well as promotional and post-event coverage in the media, but Linton said the public had expressed a desire to be able to view and receive updates of Carriere’s journey from various points in the run as the event unfolded. In past years, the public could follow Carriere’s progress on the ONERUN website, Linton noted, but event organizers had received comments that the public wanted pictures — “They wanted to know how she was doing and pictures of where she was and that sort of thing. And in this day and age of instant information people just wanted the ability to know how she was doing.”
EyeLook Media’s Solution:
Prior to the June event, ONERUN organizers approached EyeLook Media, acting on a referral from the digital signage software company e-Liquid MEDIA. EyeLook Media was asked to provide the hardware, software and related expertise in order to provide a cost-effective platform through which the annual fundraising event could be presented to the public in as close to real-time as possible.
Using the firmCHANNEL digital signage software offered by e-Liquid MEDIA International Inc., a company that has been developing web-based solutions since 1996, EyeLook Media utilized four, vertically-mounted, 42” Panasonic high-definition screens, and a wireless, high-speed Internet connection acquired through the use of Bell’s Turbo Stick, to deliver timely updates and images from both past and present ONERUN events, sponsor logos and a live Twitter feed. The digital presentation was displayed at the finishing point of the run, which was located at GoodLife Fitness on Windermere Road in London. Dan Wright, President and CEO of EyeLook Media, said the idea of presenting the event in as close to real time as possible from a single location presented a challenge, as it required a multi-faceted solution, which the company had never attempted before, and for EyeLook, there really was no point of reference from which to draw – other than the technical expertise of their staff. Each of the vertically mounted screens were split into five sections or zones as they call them, each zone displaying a different aspect of the event to effectively engage the public.
One of the greatest challenges in providing this real-time communication to the public was obtaining fresh and up-to-date images during the 100-mile run. To accomplish this feat, EyeLook Media and ONERUN organizers incorporated the use of motorcycle couriers — volunteers who transported compact flash cards containing recently taken photos from various high-drama, critical points along the route. The images were uploaded from the delivered flash cards at the GoodLife Fitness location; to the firmCHANNEL playlist set up by EyeLook Media and transmitted onto the four large screens for public consumption.
“It was a pretty creative solution. We would have loved to have 100% real time,” Linton said, but as a volunteer organization that wasn’t financially feasible so the motorcycle couriers provided a viable and effective option. Images were displayed within an hour of being taken, he said, “and when you’re running 100 kilometers over a 12-hour day it wasn’t that big of a deal. We had to figure out a way to get the images to EyeLook so they could be displayed on the day of the event. There were various options – stop along the route and transmit via an internet connection – but it was faster to give the digital camera cards to guys on motorcycles running back and forth to and from London.”
Outcome of the Project:
ONERUN organizers were hopeful the use of digital signage would boost pledges and raise awareness of the event, and Linton said that’s just what the platform accomplished. The use of EyeLook’s services provided a different and effective channel through which to convey top-of-the-mind information, in addition to and complimenting the ONERUN website’s information. The effectiveness was gauged by the reaction and responses of the public who viewed the digital signage display and could see what was going on. “Everybody loved it. It worked well — it worked very well,” Linton said.
However, while Linton said the digital signage platform accomplished the goal of boosting pledges and raising awareness, the medium could have been utilized on a broader scope, something EyeLook Media offered but was not used by ONERUN organizers. “We used it fantastically on the day of the event. We had big screens and (EyeLook Media) put together what the screens would look like – so we used it very well on the day of the event. But where we missed an opportunity was to use the advertising network EyeLook has in place in the city of London.”
Linton is referring to EyeLook’s Digital Signage Network (DSN), which provides an effective marketing tool for businesses by displaying 15-30 second, full-motion graphic advertising spots on television screens strategically placed in high consumer-traffic locations across the city. “Getting the word out about events is one of the biggest challenges of any volunteer organization or business,” Linton noted. “To use (EyeLook’s digital signage solutions) again is definitely a consideration — just to get the word out. I think it’s fantastic.” Wright said EyeLook drew from its experience of delivering in-store digital signage solutions and operating their DSN in the city of London to creatively and successfully address the requirements of the ONERUN organization. “We effectively and successfully rolled out an eye-catching digital signage solution that conveyed the spirit and inspirational aspects of the event in as close to real time as was possible.”
For More Information Contact:
Brooke Watson, Senior Marketing Manager
Dan Wright, President & CEO