Large Format Innovation

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digital signage versus printed POP materials
June 19, 2017

To print or not to print? Is digital signage taking over POP?

Digital displays are popping up everywhere. Some people are even convinced that, sometime very soon, digital signage will become the most popular, if not the only, type of POP materials. Others believe printed materials are unlikely to ever disappear. The latter group is, of course, quite right. Evidently, no one knows for sure what the future will bring. But there is no denying that a combination of digital signage and printed POP materials is simply too good of a retail marketing mix for brand owners to say no to.

Establishing the perfect POP material mix

A successful retail marketing mix relies on an efficient mix of POP materials. Can you imagine a store without end cap POP displays, floor stickers, … and not a wobbler or large format poster in sight? Sales, impulse purchases especially, would decline for sure, and there is no way digital displays can replace all these types of POP materials. Throw them into the mix, however, and you’ve got yourself one mean in-store marketing cocktail! Still, digital displays come with both advantages and disadvantages to be considered.

Digital signage seduces the brain

The human brain cannot resist moving images, let alone the sight of glowing pixels. It is no coincidence that many brands opt to combine POP display stands with digital screens which, for example, show instruction movies. But, while getting the consumer to notice an ad is a challenge in itself, getting them to process it successfully is another thing entirely. To be more precise, it is widely acknowledged that printed materials facilitate the learning process – perhaps that’s the reason why e-books have never really taken off? Anyway, enter the perfect compromise between POP posters and digital displays: the light box!

Seeing the light (box)

Just like digital displays, light boxes (boxes that backlight posters printed on polyester-based film) are real eye-catchers. And, contrary to digital displays, they don’t require frequent calibration and are perfectly compatible with colour management, so that brand colours are always displayed correctly. Keep in mind, though, that although lightboxes display colours much more vividly if the posters are printed on both sides, the image will turn out blurry if the prints on both sides don’t perfectly overlap. A one-pass printing process that prints the front and back simultaneously, allowing for perfect front-to-back registration, is the way to go.