Student’s Digital Signage Company Represents New Advertising Model

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Although he hasn’t yet graduated, one Digital Cinematography student has already launched his own business that is filling a unique niche within digital marketing and advertising.

Aaron Hoffman is owner and co-founder of Endervision, which pairs in-store digital signage with custom social media and advertising campaigns. Although Endervision has only been around for about six months, the San Francisco-based company already has contracts with the Westin South Coast Plaza, and with Burger King, Subway, and Boost Mobile franchises, among others.

In addition to his experience with video production, Aaron has a background in web design and graphic design. He has teamed up with partners who have worked in software design, computer networking, and marketing. Because of their wide-ranging expertise, the five co-founders are able to provide a variety of services to their clients. Their most popular campaigns are interactive and social-media based.

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For instance, at Burger King, Endervision set up a digital sign or ‘billboard,’ not only advertising key products, but also encouraging customers to interact with the company through Instagram, Twitter, and foursquare. Customers who tagged Instagram photos of themselves wearing a Burger King crown, or who tweeted a comment with the campaign hashtag, appeared on the store’s digital billboard. For Subway, Endervision ran a similar campaign, prompting customers to take photos of themselves next to their sandwich of choice.

Aaron says social media campaigns paired with digital signage work because they are instantly rewarding to customers. They also expand the reach of traditional advertising.

“If I’m taking a picture of a burger, and I put it up on a billboard, not only is it being shown up on this billboard, but it’s also being shown on my social feed. So it’s kind of like advertising in both locations,” explains Aaron. “So that way, if my friends go on there, they like the photo, they can brand it, so it’s this continuing relationship now.”

Through Endervision’s signage, companies can offer digital coupons via QR codes, display straightforward ad and menu boards, or even set up digital billboards advertising neighborhood companies as a way to generate extra money.

Aaron said his ideas for Endervision were inspired in part by a trip he took to Thailand and China. “It’s funny to see that over there in those areas, digital signage is integrated in every single store,” says Aaron. “Here in the States, it’s a little different, and I think the reason is because of the [high] price. And I think that’s why people like us.” Rather than making companies purchase the billboards outright, Endervision offers plans to rent the signage for short-term contracts. “I honestly think there’s a broken price system here in America as far as digital signage goes.”

Aaron says he and his partners are optimistic about their future in this industry. In fact, the company has a booth showing off its digital signage solutions at the Digital Signage Expo this week in Las Vegas.

“Right now we’re trying to get into as many venues as possible. Our main focus has mostly been food-oriented because I think food is where we’re going to be most successful,” says Aaron. “Phase two is definitely going to be the retail outfits and kind of see where we can go from there.”

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