Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Microsoft Develops Digital Kiosks For Grocery Stores

I know, I know, we've heard this kind of news bite several times before and it's always garnered mixed results at best. Yet, according to this article in AdWeek, Microsoft is obviously determined to provide a more interactive grocery store experience that is tied into shopping carts.

There is definitely reason to be skeptical with this kind of announcement, yet there is also reason to be at least partly optimistic. From a tech stand point, Microsoft is certainly a name to be trusted. If the right advertising and marketing know-how can get behind the kind of well-developed technology that Microsoft is capable of, then it could work.

Reading this article, and then looking back at articles about similar attempts, I got the same feeling that I had when I read Nielsen was going to try to put together a way to better measure digital signage/out-of-home ads. No matter how many attempts have been made at a promising idea and how badly they may have failed (which has certainly been the case with measurement systems), I feel it's worthwhile to look past those failures if an organization with a strong reputation shows up to tackle the issue.... Maybe I just haven't been working in this industry long enough :)

Microsoft is obviously putting a lot of stock into digital advertising because according to the article:
"While Microsoft has trailed large rivals like Google and Yahoo! in selling Web ads, it is moving to extend beyond the computer with its digital ad platform. It bought Massive, a provider of advertising on video game platforms. Last May, it bought ScreenTonic, a tech company that serves ads on mobile phones."
It's no secret that Microsoft isn't quite the dominating presence it once was (I'm sure they aren't hurting for money, but Apple, Google and Yahoo! are gaining strength) so if they can successfully move into the out-of-home digital ad realm and gain dominance before the others then it could be a pretty big victory.

With this, and the recent upfront announcement from NBC, it's obvious that very big names are circling this industry. So now it's just a matter of seeing which ones get things right...

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