Thursday, December 13, 2007

Lloyds TSB - 2007 POPAI award winner

POPAI, the largest point-of-purchase industry association, recently announced the winners of its awards for excellence in the global POP market. Gold, silver, and bronze medals are awarded annually in categories ranging from cosmetics to telecommunications, with the notable omission of retail financial services (no surprise when one considers the generally poor management of branch environments). This year, however, Lloyds TSB and its in-store digital media partner, Immedia, were the recipients of not one but two gold medals in the digital content and digital network categories, the first time in my memory that a financial institution has received such an honor!

Until recently little was known about Lloyds TSB's digital marketing program, with the exception of a highly publicized but relatively unsuccessful deployment of 3M's vikuti screens in the windows of certain high visibility locations, but in conjunction with Immedia they certainly seem to be getting it right. The branches outfitted with Immedia's proprietary "RadioVision" network broadcast an integrated audio-video programme where the audio track, which features music and news updates in addition to Lloyds adverts, is timed to trigger relevant digital content on strategically placed plasma screens. The network has been in place for the better part of two years at this stage, and judging from the responses of POPAI's panel and the customers and staff canvassed in the video on Immedia's website (obviously biased), it has been quite well-received. The testimonial video may be accessed by clicking on the screen capture below:

It is unclear at this juncture how many of Lloyds TSB's branches have been outfitted with the technology, or what future plans may be, but I would be keen for an update if any reader can provide it. Immedia, as mentioned, provides the proprietary software platform, integration, and audio/video content development services.

(Photos taken from the POPAI and Immedia websites)


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Steve said...

A bank is not an airport. They seem to have subscribed to the thinking that it's a great idea to bombard customers with promotional messages whilst they're effectively trapped in a queue and unable to move. Not so nice for the customer.

And in particular, we are now forced to listen to compulsory rock music. I'm wondering what's the business case behind this? Do they really have to 'dumb down' just like every garage and corner store these days? In general, rock music has a harsh, shouty sound so it tends to create a tacky and derelict atmosphere when it's used as background music. It's completely unsuitable for a bank and it will make my future visits excruciating.

If they must have background sound, why not play something genuinely musical, something which will raise the tone of the place rather than take it downmarket?

For example there really is no comparison between the musical quality of Light Music and that of most 'rock'. Playing light orchestral music would instantly create a distinctive, professional atmosphere in the bank and mark a step away from dreary conformity of what everyone else is doing.

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