Volume 18, Issue 5 - September/October 2014

Marketing News
Edited by Jason Yard


Want to Display Some Creativity?

Competition for attention in retail is a long-standing challenge. Brand designers regularly enhance packaging in an attempt to catch the consumer’s eye. Retail marketers place featured items in freestanding displays throughout the store. But what about engaging the consumer before they enter the store? Many retailers are finding success in turning to displays using window films that attract consumers as they pass by. For film installers, it is important to understand how these products work so they can clearly articulate the benefits to retailers.

One option is the use of a rear projector and pressure-sensitive specialty film that can be applied to glass or clear acrylic panels to create an illusion of floating images on the glass. Companies that have used these interactive display films have found success in attaining and retaining the attention of customers or trade show booth visitors.

Abbie Nicholson is an account executive at Communication Exhibits Inc., a business service that designs, engineers and prints graphics for companies who have exhibits at trade shows. These displays attract people to her clients’ booths.

“For us they’ve been very effective. [The film] allows us to project [images onto it and] to draw attention to a client’s booth,” Nicholson says.

For their signature display, Communication Exhibits will use the film to set up what they call “virtual presenters,” which involves cutting out a silhouette of a person, printing out the bottom half (waist down) and filming the top half and projecting the image onto the film.

“It looks like someone is actually standing there talking to you … but it’s projected on this window film … they think it’s a real person for a few seconds,” says Nicholson.

“It draws a lot of people in. When they see that, they want to see what it’s all about,” says Mark Emigh, graphic services manager for the company.

Mike Greathouse, graphic production for Communication Exhibits says installation of these films is simple.

“We do it in-house. We just apply the vinyl [onto Plexiglas] and match it up to the projection,” he says.

The film is wet-applied and requires application fluid, a soft squeegee, a lint-free cloth, and a knife for trimming. It can be cleaned using off-the-shelf glass cleaner, which should be applied to a cloth, not the film.

MACtac is a company that manufactures such films. Company officials recommend a permanent solvent acrylic adhesive with high cohesive strength with the films to provide long-term durability. When properly applied and maintained, the film can last up to five years outdoors.

It is important to understand how specialty interactive display films work in order to install them. Light is rear-projected on the film, which displays the images externally. In order to project indoors, the projector must have a minimum of 2,000 lumens, while a minimum of 6,000 lumens is recommended for outdoor displays such as storefronts. If these guidelines are followed, the result is a clear picture and a wide-viewing angle of up to 100 degrees.


Jason Yard is the marketing manager for MACtac Distributor Products.

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