Buzztime, which delivers interactive entertainment and innovative dining technology to venues in North America, seems to have found a formula for success for their digital out-of-home ( DOOH ) advertising network. CEO Ram Krishnan shared some of the secrets with Mel Stott.
Where can we see Buzztime’s DOOH screens?
Buzztime’s 15,000 DOOH screens and 65,000 Android tablets can be found in 2,700 bars and restaurants across North America – from local sports bars to national chains like Buffalo Wild Wings.
What type of content do you play?
Buzztime provides three types of social entertainment, bringing 10 million registered players together at bars and restaurants they love:
1) Trivia Buzztime is famous for best-in-class, nationally scheduled trivia that runs 15 hours a day, seven days a week. Players use our touchscreen tablets to compete in trivia mirrored on venue TVs. Local and national leaderboards keep players glued to the screens for stat updates.
2) Live Events Venues also run exciting live trivia and poker tournaments using TVs and tablets.
3) Digital Arcade The Buzztime digital arcade contains the latest word puzzles, racecar challenges, card games, and more.
In addition, Buzztime is rolling out guest-facing dining technology. This gives guests the power to order from a digital menu and securely pay directly on our tablets.
Any plans to expand your DOOH network to other types of venues?
Buzztime has already begun moving into other verticals: senior living communities, auto dealerships, bowling alleys and casinos. Wherever the guest experience can be enhanced through entertainment, Buzztime DOOH screens can deliver results.
What are the main benefits to venue owners?
We like to say that Buzztime players are ideal customers: they come back often, stay longer, and spend more (21% more on average per table check*).
Plus, Buzztime players are engaged – which is a key benefit for venue operators as well as our advertising partners. The typical Buzztime player visits a venue for 62 minutes and spends 45 minutes engaged with our content. Those 45 minutes add value to their visit, giving them a reason to return for more social fun.
Buzztime also helps venues reward existing players and attract new ones: On our tablets, we launch VIP offers and sweepstakes with brand partners like MillerCoors, Fandango, and Lyft.
Buzztime players themselves are passionate brand advocates: 74% recommend Buzztime to their friends* and many form their own trivia leagues and meetups.
What are your DOOH network’s sources of revenue?
For over 30 years, Buzztime has been providing entertainment and technology solutions to businesses – and the guests they serve. We have a diverse range of product and service offerings that generate revenue.
First, we charge businesses – like bars and restaurants – a subscription fee so they can offer guests complimentary in-venue access to our live events, nationwide trivia network, and digital arcade games.
These games are played by over 10 million registered players on Buzztime touchscreen tablets. So, we also derive revenue from leasing equipment to businesses: tablets, cases, and charging trays.
We also sell tablets equipped with Buzztime’s guest-facing dining technology. This lets guests order from a digital menu and even securely pay – right on the tablet.
Finally, we generate revenue by offering advertising opportunities on our DOOH network. This includes over 15,000 screens and 65,000 Android tablets in nearly 3,000 locations nationwide – from independent restaurants to chains like Buffalo Wild Wings.
What type of DOOH advertising campaigns do you run?
Our campaigns run across our entire network: on both Buzztime tablets and venue TVs. It’s an immersive, multi-platform advertising opportunity that’s unique in the DOOH realm.
As for display advertising, we can run a brand’s 15- or 30-second broadcast spot across our network – or our in-house team can create a custom message.
Buzztime also offers two native advertising platforms. The first is Buzztime Shorts, an interactive unit that turns a brand’s content into a 30-second trivia game! For example, we partnered with Dos Equis Beer to create a trivia game that asked questions based on The Most Interesting Man in the World.
To players, it’s a fun game – it doesn’t feel like advertising. Our advertising clients value the opportunity to engage with customers through entertainment.
The second native advertising product – Buzztime Branded Games – is similar to Buzztime Shorts. But we take things a step further with a fully branded 30-minute or one-hour trivia game. The game is fully branded to reflect the advertiser’s product. It’s a complete takeover, brand-wise. Everything is customized: the game skin, trivia questions, and even the ads that run during breaks in gameplay.
A great example of a Buzztime branded game is the MillerCoors Academy of Football. This game performed so well it was a finalist in the DOOH Awards that year.
Do you have repeat advertisers? Who are they?
Yes, we have many repeat advertisers – especially with our Buzztime Shorts unit. Sony Pictures and Warner Bros. utilize our platform to run trailers and promote their upcoming films. We’ve partnered with Jameson, Netflix, Lyft, Fandango, and Supercuts as well.
How do you measure the effectiveness of your digital out-of-home campaigns?
Buzztime tracks campaign effectiveness while giving advertisers access to stats and performance.
Our display ads are measured by number of impressions, but our interactive Buzztime Shorts and Buzztime Branded Games are tracked by engagement and gameplays. We can even measure the duration of gameplay. This latter type of measurement offers a deeper dive into metrics that’s a critical touchpoint for many of today’s advertisers.
What metrics do you use to measure campaign effectiveness? Could you give us examples of successful DOOH campaigns?
Sure, I will refer back to Academy of Football to answer this.
The Academy of Football ran on Buzztime tablets and venue TVs at over 1,000 bars and restaurants. That branded game had 150,000 gameplays.
That equated to 53,000 hours of branded interactions for MillerCoors. This, coupled with 58 million DOOH impressions, was deemed a success by MillerCoors. Their products were being sold at the venues where the gameplay was occurring, so the campaign doubled as a point-of-sale initiative as well.
What were your reasons for joining DPAA?
When it comes to out-of-home digital screens, no organization has more knowledge than DPAA. Access to DPAA’s best practices, thought leadership, and robust resources will empower us to continue innovating our DOOH platform. We also hope to use DPAA’s networking events to attract new advertisers to our engaged player network.
To learn more about Buzztime, go to: https://www.buzztime.com/home
*Independent Arbitron Study.