Urinal Digital Signage

Posted by on Jul 2, 2011 in Advertising, Content, Displays

My next few blog posts will include seemingly random, but effective locations for the placement of digital signs. This week’s post: urinals! It may sound a bit weird, but do not be so short-sighted as to discount this very unique deployment niche.

Let me begin with a story about my first “run-in” with urinal digital signage. I attended a fancy wedding dinner while I still lived in Las Vegas back in 2007. The venue was immaculate, the food was incredible, and the view out the huge bay windows was a site to behold. The reception was held at one of the most ritzy golf courses in the entire valley. The windows of the clubhouse looked out over the only greenery for miles: the country club’s 18-hole course. It was truly an immaculate venue for a wedding.

I was not only impressed by the overall atmosphere of the venue but I also was particularly interested in the restrooms (don’t worry that doesn’t happen often). Taking some time to relieve myself, I walked into the nearest clubhouse men’s room. Upon my arrival, I was pleasantly surprised and delighted to notice advertising screens atop each of the 10 urinals in the restroom. They were all displaying mirrored, but dynamic content from–what I assumed–was a single media player.

Since then, I have been more cognizant of such deployments, but still have seen no more than three total. This is a very untapped niche for digital out-of-home. Here are some of the reasons urinal topper digital signage will one day be a powerful method for message delivery.

Many Restrooms Already Showcase Static Signage

The gentlemen in our readership can attest to this. Static signage can be found above the urinals in a large percentage of American restrooms. In fact, just last week I was at the local Red Robin and they had magazine clippings and promotions plastered atop the urinals in a nice glass case. The restroom, interestingly, already had a CRT displaying the baseball game, but no digital signage was in sight. What a shame! What a waste of valuable space! Replacing this static signage with digital displays would have been a great form of internal advertising.

Urinals Draw an Extremely Captive Audience

Those who run digital signage networks know that keeping an audience’s attention can be extremely difficult. Accordingly, anytime you have the chance to get someone to look at screens on your network for more than 30 seconds you’re “in the money” so to speak. How long does it take the average male to relieve himself? I tried to Google it to find out, but was unable to find the answer. Based on my own personal experience, I would say a minimum of 30 seconds with a maximum of a minute and a half. That’s not only semi-captive but it also makes for an short and easy content loop.

Media Creates a Relaxed Atmosphere

I knew an older gentleman who loved staying on “The John” so long he eventually had a television installed and mounted in his bathroom. Incidentally, he was also extremely addicted to television and particularly to sports. This instance just illustrates that, for some, the restroom is a place to relax. And media in the restroom is another way to facilitate the relaxation. Those like my friend would certainly find comfort. And certainly, if the signage were not too intrusive, others will as well.

Urinal Audience Demographics are More Easily Known and Targeted

There still remains some great hurdles to target marketing in digital signage. Without a knowledge of who is viewing the screen, it remains difficult to place advertisements on the screen that are specific to the viewer. That is, unless you want to shell out for a metrics device. This is where digital signage for urinals is super effective. In a restroom, you already have narrowed your possible audience by about 50%. Once you’re aware you only have to target men, you can even more specifically hone by looking at your venue traffic in detail. And, if you want to get more ridiculous, you could even put different ads on the screens above the urinals mounted lower on the wall. You might target younger children with such a screen. Ridiculous yes, but stranger things have been done in the name of advertising.

Digital signage for restrooms is not limited to restaurants alone. The possibilities are simply endless. Since everyone frequents the restroom, it would seem foolish not to pursue this very unique niche. Am I right or do I just have the stench of a “potty” mouth?

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