Digital signage solutions allow merchants to amp up in-store experiences by encouraging customers to interact with content, such as offers and advertisements. In an effort to increase ticket and concession sales across its locations, Rave Cinemas, LLC, partnered with Real Digital Media, provider of the NEOCAST digital signage platform.
“The cycle of content change is tremendous in the cinema industry,” William J. Budwitz, Director of Systems Development for Rave Cinemas, told Retail TouchPoints. “With several new movies weekly and their corresponding promotions, we constantly are refreshing our poster cases, signs, schedules and menu boards. With the NEOCAST digital signage system, we can easily keep up with this frantic pace.”
The partnership between Real Digital Media and Rave Cinemas began in early 2011, when the merchant first deployed the solution at a mall-based theater in Dallas. Since leveraging the NEOCAST platform, Rave Cinemas executives have been in full control of content and delivery. The vast scalability and overall ease-of-use also were key reasons for full deployment, reported Budwitz.
Rave Cinemas plans to complete the digital signage rollout during 2012 across 66 locations. The latest deployment occurred January 2012 in an 18-screen theater in Las Vegas, where more than 65 displays were installed, including at the box office and on concession stand menu boards. The digital signage network also will be employed for theater wayfinding, auditorium marquees and coming attraction promotions. Where similar, expanded adoptions were implemented, Rave Cinemas experienced a boost in concession purchase rates, among other successes, reported Budwitz.
“Rave Cinemas is in the entertainment business: Everything we do is about making our facilities entertaining to our customers,” Budwitz said. “This digital signage system helps achieve that. It gives us a platform to help engage the customer and communicate that excitement. We also have seen a direct impact on our income at the concession stand and our restaurants. Delivering compelling content to our various digital signage zones helps drive our customers to purchase our Limited Time Offers, add items to their orders and consider returning to our facilities for other events.”
NEOCAST allows Rave Cinemas to keep all digital signage content updated and in sync across locations. The NEOCAST Media Server application provides tools designed to ingest and manage messaging, create and manage campaigns, and distribute content. Theater executives also can create unique templates in real time via the Silverlight application, which operates in three key sectors of each cinema location, according to Ken Goldberg, CEO of Real Digital Media: the box office, the entryway of each auditorium and concession stands.
“At the box office, up-to-date show times and availability are presented in real time through a dynamic link to the box office system,” Goldberg said. “Theater goers clearly can see if a show is sold out, and what alternative films are available. In addition, with the back office system relaying updates on the status of each auditorium, attendees can see if the auditorium is being cleaned or seated, or if a show is in progress — all in a very visual and engaging manner.” Engagement also occurs at the concession stand, where the cinema promotes featured items and syncs pricing to the POS system, Goldberg noted.
In the near future, Rave Cinemas will work towards utilizing the NEOCAST platform for employee training and corporate meetings and to supplement business functions such as the customer service desk, self-ticketing stations and gift card kiosks, as well as to relay announcements between locations and the corporate office, according to Budwitz. The company also plans to extend advertising into non-cinema spaces, such as mall lobbies, and utilize HTML 5 as a platform for show time scheduling and other dynamic templates.
“What impressed us most about the NEOCAST solution was that we were up and running within 10 minutes of receiving the player,” Budwitz said. “Other solutions require countless hours to set up the players and software. We also value the ease with which we can monitor system health and distribute firmware updates and upgrades.”