Data Call Technologies Inc., a pioneering provider of content to augment the effectiveness of all those new digital sign displays popping up everywhere, shows the real potential of digital signage when approached correctly. Digital signage allows users to integrate the main message with eye-catching entertainment information in a uniquely effective way, if you know what you are doing.

The old school of electronic advertising, which still dominates a lot of business thinking, tends to have an entertainment display occasionally broken up with commercials, just like watching a television. The hope, of course, is that the viewer will continue to watch the commercial. But viewers, especially if the display is in a fast paced viewer environment, will simply ignore most of those commercial messages. After all, it only takes a fraction of a second for a viewer to avert their eyes and focus on something else.

Crude attempts at integrating commercial messages with entertainment have often been awkward, subsequently reducing the appeal of the entertainment instead of enhancing the effect of the commercial message. According to a survey of 600 executives, less than 6% felt that entertainment has been the most valuable digital signage tool for their business. As Digital Signage Today puts it, “Looks like those businesses hanging LCDs on the wall to show CNN or Bloomberg content might not be getting their money’s worth.”

Data Call, on the other hand, has been very successful in applying true Internet marketing principles to the digital signage environment. For example, the next time you get a chance, take a close look at Microsoft’s MSN.com home page. You’ll see that it is dominated by non-commercial content. But skillfully positioned in that colorful and attractive presentation are the ads that bring home the bacon. The viewer doesn’t have time to avert their eyes. The commercial messages get through without the viewer even thinking about it.

The fact that Data Call has learned how to do this for digital signage is the key to their success. Their active displays of news, weather, sports, traffic, and financial information are compelling and are carefully blended with the primary message in such a way that effectiveness soars. It represents a perfect example of how, when a new technology comes along, you have to go after companies that are smart enough to realize the need for a new paradigm.

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