For our most recent Media Owner of the Month profile, we reached out to Joe Adelizzi, Advertising Business Manager at Buzztime. Best known for their tabletop game players, Buzztime’s touchscreen tablets are found in thousands of restaurants, bars and more. To get to know more about Buzztime and their unique place-based screens, check out our Q&A with Joe.
Could you describe your business – the types of screens in your inventory, where you can find Buzztime’s screens, regions in which you operate, etc. – and what your network offers brands?
“For over 35 years, Buzztime has been the leading provider of in-venue entertainment. Today, you can find our trivia, live events, and digital arcade games in over 2,700 venues across North America – from restaurants to bars, breweries to bowling alleys. Buzztime has a very strong presence in the top 10 U.S. DMAs as well as over 200 small- and mid-size DMAs.
When a location brings in Buzztime, they provide their customers with access to our 24/7 entertainment network. Patrons use tablets – or their own mobile devices – to compete in trivia, card games, and other entertainment that appears on the venue’s TV screens.
Currently, our advertisers have access to over 12,000 Buzztime DOOH TV screens and an additional 65,000 tablet screens. Our 2,700 venues see over 230 million visits each year, for an exceptionally high impression count for Buzztime advertisers.
What makes Buzztime DOOH advertising so effective is that our brand partners reach customers when they’re fully engaged and immersed in our entertainment. Most of today’s DOOH platforms only reach consumers when they’re on the go – advertisers have mere seconds to make an impact. Instead, the dwell time of the average Buzztime player is 62.5 minutes. That gives our DOOH advertisers much more time to connect with customers.”
Where do you see the digital out-of-home industry moving in the next 12 months?
“I think we’ll continue to see a rise in interactive DOOH. Here at Buzztime, we’ve anticipated this shift from “passive” screens to screens that can interact and respond to information provided by a consumer’s mobile device. In fact, that’s why we’ve just launched the Buzztime mobile app. Customers can use their own smartphone to play along with our trivia.
Right now, I think the retail industry is ahead of the hospitality industry as far as interactive DOOH. Stores like H&M are doing some wildly creative deployments with interactive DOOH. However, I think in the next 12 months, we’ll see hotels, restaurants, and bars catch up with interesting interactive executions of their own.
Another interactive trend that I know is controversial is AI-enabled DOOH, with screens that incorporate facial recognition technology. This brings up privacy and security issues, so I think that’s more than 12 months away… but I do believe it will become mainstream at some point.”
What has been Vistar’s most valuable contribution to your business?
“Simply put, the reliability of Vistar is what we find most valuable. Our advertisers depend on Buzztime to deliver the right message to the right DMA, at the right time. Vistar makes it possible for us to do just that.”
What Vistar software capabilities do you find most useful?
“The analytics and reporting tools provided by Vistar help us prove the ROI of our DOOH advertising platform. The reports are intuitive, easy-to-read, and tell the “story” of each campaign in a compelling way.”
What is the one thing that you wish more digital buyers knew about out-of-home?
“First, consumers can’t block DOOH ads! Many advertisers have relied on Internet marketing but ad blocking technology is on the rise, and consumers can say “no” to ads served up at most websites now. Plus, most consumers wouldn’t even want to block DOOH ads, because a good DOOH campaign is seamlessly integrated into the surrounding environment. When our players are enjoying trivia at a local bar, they aren’t going to be annoyed seeing a 15-second ad for MillerCoors. The opposite is true, it meshes with their current experience and invites them to explore new drink options.
I also wish digital buyers realized that most DOOH advertising platforms let them get more creative than other mediums. Here at Buzztime, we’ve created native advertising experiences for partners like Fandango. We launched a 30-minute trivia game focused on movie-related questions. Fandango was beyond impressed with the ROI, and we look forward to assisting more buyers meet their digital goals through our DOOH platform.”
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