‘The Armoury’ for Arsenal Football Club and adidas, is described as a game-changer for Football Retail. Dynamo LED Displays and 442 Design’s award celebrates the power of interactive AV and digital storytelling in creating unforgettable customer experiences and delivering commercial results.
Creative use of AV injects pace along the customer journey – an immersive ‘audio shower tunnel’, large scale digital wallpaper, digital mirrors, ‘breaking news’ ticker tape, ‘Top Goals’ digital mural and an Augmented Reality ‘Skills Zone’ build an emotional connection with Fans. Shareable content and dynamic product-level promotion delights and informs, increases dwell time and drives sales.
In retail, merchandising space is premium real estate. Any space dedicated to activity other than merchandising needs to offer something incredibly compelling, create reasons to visit and provide a ‘sharable’ experience, gaining social media coverage and valuable word-of-mouth advertising. AV interactions throughout the customer journey keep the pace lively and engaging: The new digital frontage sets the scene with clear visibility from 200m approaching the stadium. ‘Digital wallpaper’ welcomes Fans with exciting immersive content; Digital Mural displaying Arsenal’s ‘Top Goals” pulls at the heartstrings.
The “Skills Zone” Broadcast Augmented Reality experience offers an exclusive opportunity to “share your skills” with one of your heroes virtually cheering you on, in high definition on an incredible P1.8 mm screen. Content is then broadcast to the Big Screen in the stadium bowl on match days, allowing fan-generated content to play to live audience. Using the big screens to share fan-generated content – a first for Arsenal – creates a valuable connection between the store and the action on the pitch.
Match Day traffic is intense and the sales window is narrow. Asking customers to wait in line for a fitting room is a retail ‘pain point’ often addressed by adding mirrors on the sales floor, taking up valuable wall space. For many items, this means people can quickly try before they buy without the wait and minimise dropped baskets. To maximise the return on wall space used by mirrors we conceptualised, prototyped and built the UK’s first ‘Bespoke Digital Mirror’.
Pin-sharp digital video content is its default setting, but through sensor activation “magically transforms” into a high-quality reflective mirror when a fan stands in proximity. When they move away out of range, it switches back to content again – providing an engaging way to pique interest and tell stories right at product level. Dynamo, 442, Arsenal and Adidas have collaborated to created a memorable in-store experience, setting the standards high for other “Stadium Retailers” to follow.
The Armoury’s digital frontage creates excitement on the approach to the ground, the display screens are used to promote stadium tours with an increase FOOTFALL of 9% compared to the previous year. Stadium tours start and finish in “The Armoury” the conversation rate of in store sales after the tour is now at 50%. Store revenue has increased by 21% compared to the previous year and are 8% above their target for the year. The store broke record revenue sales twice in one month since the refit of “The Armoury” The average basket sale increased from £45.00 to £65.00.
In-store staff reported the store as an excellent place to work. The use of AV throughout the store enables them to spark conversations and build rapport quicker than before. The digital mirrors are an ice breaker enabling the upsell of shirt printing and additional merchandise. Staff enjoy showcasing the various interactive displays, in particular the AR screen where the club reported increase in social media following, Instagram posts and Facebook ‘check in’s’.
Testimonials and references
Arsenal Retail Director Simon Lilley said: “The newly refitted Armoury is our flagship store at Emirates Stadium and we’re proud to provide a best-in-class retail environment for our fans. Working with adidas has helped us to take our store to the next level, with new experiences such as the cage football Skills Zone. A lot of work has gone in to ensuring that this refurb’ reflects our supporters’ passion for Arsenal and our rich history with adidas, whilst continuing to provide a world-class retail experience.”
442 Studio Director Tracey Forbes said: “Our intention was to design a truly fan-centric super store that positions both adidas and Arsenal as world leaders in experiential sports retail. The Armoury is the world-famous home of the Arsenal brand and therefore the instore experience is a crucial touchpoint with customers and often a pilgrimage! Through integration of high impact AV/digital design innovations, we’ve created a shop that is multi-sensory and interactive, with something for all age groups. It majors on making an emotional connection with the Club, creating reasons to visit, purchase and share content on social media.”
At The Top,Burj Khalifa
‘At The Top’ is a spectacular attraction where visitors to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai can experience a glass floor cracking beneath their feet 456m above the street on the 125thfloor of the building. DigiComm and BrightSign created an interactive simulation using motion sensors, floor mounted OLED screens and amazing CGI images to offer brave visitors an unforgettable experience at the world-famous skyscraper. By synching sensors with visual and audio effects within the BrightSign player, the attraction gives the appearance of glass cracking at the exact time a person’s foot lands on a given area of the screen.
- The screens display a highly realistic visual animation of the city 456m below, which changes according to the time of day and season, scheduled, and controlled by the BrightSign players, linked to 15 Nexmosphere XDW-M44 motion sensors.
- Because the bridge wasn’t made from clear glass, the “view” of the city below had to be designed to accurately represent the time of day, weather and other environmental factors using 3,000 still images from the top of the Burj Khalifa stitched together with animations added with CGI.
- The Nexmosphere sensors capture visitors’ movements and trigger the BrightSign players to generate the sound and visual effect of cracking glass, combining high resolution CGI graphics with synchronized audio.
- The motion sensors track the activity of around 10,000 visitors per day.
- The BrightSign players are deployed and left to run 24-hours a day with minimal management.
Testimonials and references
- Writing for The Business Insider, Dubai’s top newspaper, Harrison Jacobs said “Probably the coolest part of the exhibition room is a touchscreen floor overlaid with an aerial view of the Burj Khalifa and Dubai. It’s surprisingly vertigo-inducing. It looks very real.”
- “The glass floor has really added a new dimension to the At the Top experience for the visitors. It’s very realistic. Some people think it’s real and feel frightened,” says Abdul Bakhrani, CEO of Dubai-based digital media studio and systems integrator DigiComm. “There are a number of high-tech attractions that together make a visit to Burj Khalifa truly unforgettable. This is a world-class venue, so it’s essential that everything that’s done adds to the exhilaration of being there, and it’s certainly been achieved with the glass floor.”
Krispy Kreme GEN8 Cabinets
Digital upgrade to doughnut kiosks are at the heart of this project with presence sensors, LED strip, stretched displays and shelf edge labels. The GEN8 cabs are a first for Krispy Kreme globally. GEN8 uses digital technology with a purpose for every element. Everything has been meticulously considered to present an exciting customer experience and generate sales. The initial trail was measured by revenue and also included consumer research to analyse shopper behaviour, look at the drivers and barriers to purchase and gain wider feedback. Trial (Completed Jan 2020): 20 units First roll out (Completed Sept 2020): 140 units Initial 2021 plans: 135 units.
- Sales revenue reached 45% increase in Like-for-Like sales in some locations.
- ROI was far better than initially anticipated, going well beyond the target of 15%.
- Test and Learn strategies were easy to roll out across the GEN8 estate, giving excellent insight into shopping patterns and using that data we were able to implement strategies across all other 1000 non-digital cabinets in the estate.
- Brand Love and ‘Worth It’ scores improved with the introduction of GEN8 cabinets, therefore bringing customers closer to the brand.
- The project has been a resounding success so it is scaling up and rolling out across 2020/21.
Testimonials and references
“The initial trial has gone very well and we are now pleased to continue the rollout into many more. We are only at the start of this journey and there are huge opportunities moving forwards to further develop the on-screen content to surprise and delight our customers at the point of purchase” Suk Nichols, Sales Director, Krispy Kreme UK
“Krispy Kreme uses embed signage across the entire digital signage estate including the GEN8 cabinets. The incredible development of embed makes managing the estate really simple, and yet brings a vast amount of flexibility to all elements of our content.
Content is controlled entirely by us, from beginning to end, making changes and updates incredibly fast, meaning we can react to any changes in store or in the market as a whole immediately.
The infinite range of resolutions available means maximum flexibility for us. When designing new stores or improving old there are no restrictions on what we can do with digital signage, which gives our stores a really fun and creative feel. Practically all devices are supported too which is perfect. It means that the variety is there to match each requirement.
Embed have been phenomenal throughout the whole process, giving incredible insight and training to ensure that we can manage our digital estate to gain the best results we can. The support has been second to none, establishing fixes and improvements all the time to make managing the estate as simple as possible, while still creating a magical experience for customers and full flexibility in regard to content.