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mercredi 4 mai 2011
Interview of Pascal Cübb- the inventor of the ”walking screens”-on digital signage trends in Europe.
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Pascal Cübb, CEO and founder of Cübb, company who recently deployed ”walking screens” (also known as the Cyklops) for Virgin Radio in Paris kindly agreed to offer us an exclusive interview and share his thoughts on current issues affecting the DOOH industry in France and in Europe

1. As stated on your website, the Cübb solution offers both portable HD screens (the Cyklops or the digiwalkers) as well as portable mobile devices- the Cytouch. How do you perceive the mobile phones -digital signage integration ? On your opinion, is the consumer ready for a more interactive outdoor experience ?

Since its set up in 2004, Cübb’s mere DNA consisted of : Interactivity, Mobility and the Digital in the world of outdoor communication (also called the Digital Out Of Home). Our baseline is the Very Rich Media. VRM (European brand owned by Cübb) is, in short, what we call today, CONVERGENCE. Cübb is one of the European forerunners now recognized as a leader due to its unique and innovative concepts. We started with Cyklop (digital screen worn by a man) and quickly added Cytouch (a type of interactive, 3G + tablet) to provide an interactive and mobile digital operation. We’re mixing all these new technologies to offer our advertisers outdoor solutions that can be connected to the web or to mobile media targets. (There are many other examples of such interactivity like Augmented Reality, having contacts to opt-in, taking orders or obtaining information online, providing information via mail, SMS, MMS, QR Codes ….). The demand for more and more of such solutions shows that the market is moving towards this type of “non-media” solutions.

The “convergence” phenomenon comprises nowadays the entire digital media and all its supports ; while resting on the same golden rule of all media “delivering the right message to the right population sample at the right time : Being seen by the right person rather than being seen by everybody/ the largest number of people.” Today’s communication must be so Tactical and Mobile. The new technologies allow it. In recent years Cübb acquired experience in- and mastery of- new technologies through its multiple worldwide campaigns. And to answer your question, yes, the consumer significantly evolved in recent years. The evolution of mobile media (PDA, Tablets etc), of multiple information sources (the Internet in particular) made consumers more “clever”, more informed and less vulnerable to the ‘’traditional media’s’’ brainwashing. Finally, technology is not everything and it’s not enough for ensuring an efficient communication. “Science without conscience is but ruin of the soul !’’ Clearly seen in many areas, these technological revolutions can harm us and in our business, they can miss their target ! We think that there is no better way to communicate to a person than through another person. Cübb adds a human touch to its approach. We are also observing our charter “CleanTech Media’’ that constitutes the environment- friendly dimension of our company, an essential element in our industry as well.

2. What do you consider to be the greatest threat the DOOH industry is facing at the present in France and in Europe ?

We have the peculiarity of being Digital, Interactive and Mobile. …at a time, while focusing on both indoor and outdoor communication. This allows us to be unaffected by the constraints of the new laws to come. We also have the opportunity to create “new areas” of expression for the outdoor communication, sometimes called “Out Of The Box”, thus still enjoying the benefits of a special outdoor activity which hasn’t been yet very strictly regulated. However, if the new laws remain as on-going projects, they will raise a number of constraints and this mainly for our colleagues in the digital display market (for more on the new DOOH legislative project in France click here). 3. Many people argue for an integrated DOOH solution (content and technology supplied by the same supplier). Do you think it’s a desirable and functional idea ?

The world of marketing and communications is undergoing a revolution. Nothing will stop the rise of the “new media”, the mutation of traditional agencies is in progress, the emergence of new communication actors is real. But all this remains very complex and approximate. Both in terms of vocabulary, of demonstrations and of results. The “outdoor TV’’ topic is a variation of the logical evolution of “Television”. Today, the digital media is far from being confined to computer screens. It makes sense thus that the content and media actors agreed to distribute content to targeted locations. However, I do not see the point of putting screens everywhere ! “Too much advertising kills advertising” as we say it in France and so “Too many screens kill the screen” … It would not be desirable, and would be ultimately illegal, for a single provider to detain full market control (despite its integrated DOOH solution).

4. Referring to the ‘’walking screens’’ the Cyklops, you are deploying, what are the system’s requirements ? What is the concept behind this quite original device ? One limit… the traffic. Cyklop is a support suitable for large cities and as it has been said a few years ago ‘’we’re fishing where the fishes are’’. The device’s ability to interpellate and engage is very strong, this being the mere basis of communication. In order to communicate you need to be seen and the ‘’walking screens’’ are definitely noticeable.

The evolution of technology will help us launch a new generation of Cyklops- lighter, more efficient, less costly to design and most important, with some extra- technical features (but that still remains a secret We’ve got our patents (issued in Europe and the USA), after years of investment in R & D, Intellectual Property, Know-How, setting up partner networks, educating the market, business cases … we can now move to a further development of the concept in order to provide our customers with the ability to deploy the Cyklops at a larger scale (national and international).

5. On your website you are mentioning projects you’ve developed for public institutions (such as the French Terrestrial Army). Can we say that the public sector is re-inventing its communication strategy (at least in France) ?

Yes, we work more and more with public institutions. The French Army has contracted us for many campaigns this year and many others are to be deployed soon. But there are also others sensitive to our concept (The Public Senate, La Poste- the mail service in France, The European Internet Foundation etc). They too understood the need to communicate in a modern and innovative manner in order to reach their goals and connect to their audience. That’s everything Cübb proposes through the use of new technologies and their convergence.

Cübb® – DOOH specialist since 2004 is the first agency which has dedicated itself to the creation and development of communication solutions- exclusive, digital and innovative. The Cubb solution includes among others the Cyklops and the Cytouch- two mobile and interactive digital devices deployed in both indoors and outdoor environments. The company has a worldwide presence and collaborates with partners from Affrica, Middle East, the US and Canada.


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