The Digital Billboard Network
2019 Finalist

The Digital Billboard Network

Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Honolulu, United States

Category New Technologies

Overview of this campaign

In 2018, Oahu Publications’ most notable and innovative idea was to expand an entirely new type of profit center. The result was creation of a growing out-of-home media product consisting of an integrated network of in-store digital billboards located in high consumer-traffic locations.

Screens vary in size from large wall-mounted units to space-efficient displays conveniently attached to single copy mobile merchandising units. Utilizing Phoenix Vision, Inc.’s proprietary SiteView system, cutting-edge facial detection technology allows each screen to measure and report the number of times content is actively viewed by each individual consumer while also providing basic qualitative data on viewer gender and age-bracket.

Content consists of continuous seven-minute “loops” of daily news briefs, point-of-sale messaging from the screen location’s host and third-party advertising, usually in the form of fifteen second commercials. Today’s Wi-Fi technology also allows content to be customized by screen network so advertisers can buy system-wide or choose to be placed in specific retail chains etc. Screens have audio capability while some feature close captioning when the environment requires. 

DBN allowed the Honolulu Star-Advertiser to create a daily one-minute news headlines video featuring known broadcast television news personalities. Updated with the newspaper's headlines each day, the video segment is played across the DBN network as well as on and its social media outlets encouraging viewers to further utilize the newspaper and its digital products.

Smart businesses identify a demand, and then create the supply. In today’s rapidly evolving media landscape, advertisers are searching for new mediums to replace continually declining television and radio audiences. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser took notice that many clients have existing video commercials created for the rapid proliferation of social media but insufficient channels through which to utilize them. Thus, OPI created an entirely new medium capitalizing upon recent technology advancements and the market’s continuing interest in out-of-home media.

Results for this campaign

DBN leverages the Star-Advertiser's pre-existing network of publication distribution racks located in desirable, high-profile consumer locations across the market. Combining this asset with a legacy of business relationships, expanding the partnership network with Hawaii's largest retailers is a relatively quick and smooth process. Partner retail network locations include such brands as 7-11, CVS Drug Stores, Jamba Juice and Walgreen's.

The Network averages $100,000 in monthly incremental media revenue, mostly (over 85%) from non-traditional newspaper advertisers. The daily audience of the entire Network now rivals that of a local radio or television show and statistically the system is a top-five broadcaster in the State of Hawaii. Incremental annual revenue was over $1.2 million in 2018.

DBN secured over 70 advertisers in 2018. It was a successful new profit center supporting the core publishing business.

Newspapers today can only grow and prosper if their parent companies are growing and financially healthy. DBN is an innovative step the Honolulu Star-Advertiser took to ensure that Hawaii residents have access to the best news, features, editorials and commentary. 


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