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Digital Signage Solution used to generate cash for the community.

Digital Signage Solution used to generate cash for the community.

Over two years ago, local retired business man David Rhys-Vivian decided that the large wooden notice board in Whitehill-Bordon was not adequately communicating messages to the community. He concluded that it should be replaced with a digital notice board solution in the centre of Whitehill-Bordon. Initially Mr. Rhys-Vivian’s plans were met with some resistance from the local authorities, as advertising was not seen as an area of interest for the council. Mr. Rhys-Vivian chose to pay for the pilot screen himself, as a way of giving back to his community on the twelfth anniversary of his two major liver surgeries. It was at this time that the Bordon Charity Shop welcomed the installation of a 32” Digital Advertising Display with the understanding that any profits from advertising would go directly to the charity shop. The display was purchased from Allsee Technologies at a reduced price as it was not only an excellent cause, but also a very interesting project.

By March 2011 the lone screen was turning a profit for the charity shop, as well as creating a lot of buzz in the community. Even the local authorities had changed their perspective, with the former mayor, Adam Carew, offering a grant to install two further screens in the Phoenix Theatre and the Forest Community Centre.

Earlier this year Mr. Rhys-Vivian was offered a grant for another 32” Digital Advertising Display and asked where he would like it to be located. His first choice was Bordon Library, as it had recently had a renovation and had a reputation for the walls being encumbered with flyers, classified ads and upcoming event notifications. Once Mr. Rhys-Vivian had conveyed to the library the benefits of using a Digital Advertising Display, namely eliminating clutter and to generate income, unsurprisingly they were on board.

Now, just over 2 years after the project began, the screens are seen as the best way to get your message out to the community. They have become both the town’s notice boards as well as their main means of advertising. Advertisers using the screen include gyms and sports clubs, hair salons, various pizza restaurants including Domino’s, Zumba classes, plumbers and carpenters, Kingsley Cricket Club, people advertising various community events, along with a vast array of other local businesses. The initial screen that was installed in 2010 has now generated over £2,000 and paid for itself after just 9 months. Overall total revenue to date is in excess of £3,100, demonstrating the potential of setting up a small scale Advertising business. One of the biggest advantages is that the screens themselves create interest and therefore the advertising space practically sells itself, explains Mr. Rhys-Vivian,

“The screens have been self generating in terms of new business. I have never had to actively promote the scheme. We have many people and organisations using the units and having installed multiple displays, it has enabled clients to choose where they wish to advertise. The screens have performed excellently overall and the few initial set-up issues were quickly and conveniently solved over the telephone.”

With ads costing the same as a post card in the local news agent’s window, just £1 per screen per week, it is no surprise that their popularity continues to grow.

Earlier this month the display located at the Forest Community Centre was used to advertise local diamond jubilee celebrations and later this year will be bringing the community together once again by promoting local events taking place during the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Many companies have used the screens to advertise their businesses have also expressed great interest in utilizing digital signage solutions for their own needs. For example the Heritage Society who currently advertise on Mr. Rhys-Vivian’s screens. They are now considering using multi-touch screen displays in their new museum.

Furthermore, there are also a number of surrounding towns and villages who have been so impressed with the results of the project that they are planning to implement similar schemes in the near future.

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