Greg Chambers, global group director of digital innovation for Coca-Cola, told BIA/Kelsey Local Impact conference attendees that, “Signage is in the DNA of Coke.” Digital signage is used to localize and contextualize brand messaging and engagement. Digital signage is a means to help connect the commerce world, largely a physical experience with the digital e-commerce world. However, for a brand like Coca-Cola this is a big challenge. Chambers says, “Coke is not one company, we are a system, a network of 900 companies around the world and we work with 250 agencies.” Chambers’ vision was to create a new layer of relevance for digital signage, and to execute local at a global scale.
Coke’s use of digital signage had fallen off significantly but Chambers noted in early work that when consumers read off a digital menu, Coke sales increased by 4%. That encouraged him to reconsider how to use a network of digital signage assets. By marrying the power of Goggle tech platforms with APIs developed by his team, the result is an open source, programmatic, digital signage platform that is far more economical and flexible than other solutions. As Chambers said, “I make money selling Coke, not tech. So we’re happy to have this be an open source platform.”
In the Local Impact: Atlanta conference held October 12th, Chambers presented the details of his vision from prototype to deployment in Albertson and Kroger stores in just two years. Using Google Chrome OS devices, Google Chrome Kiosk App, Doubleclick ad-serving platform, Google’s Eddystone beacon platform and other Goggle technology, he was able to develop digital signage assets, i.e., “Coca-Cola Iconic Endcap” for retail sites at a price point of $5K versus the more typical $40K per install. Chambers was especially excited about the “analytics layer” in his architecture. “Given our approach, we’re able to do what no one else has really done, build an estimate of total site visits, an accurate “n” of the number of people walking by to get minute-by-minute traffic.”
As Chambers likes to emphasize, “This is not just Coke’s ecosystem. It provides a common place for brands to flight content into a common, secure repository – all verified from a single domain. It takes technology hurdles out the way and lets brands like Coke get back to engaging consumers with surprise-and-delight experiences.” The open source solution is not just for digital signage. The same platform can be used for digital menus, digital movie posters, interacting with Android phones based on proximity and leveraging device ID and non-PII consumer data to personalize the experience. The ease of execution and low cost of the open source platform makes this accessible to a range of implementations and supports localization and personalization at scale.
For those looking to get more details about this solution, check out this video of Chambers’ presentation at Google’s recent Cloud conference.