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Cramer: Creativity on Display

For Cramer, a digital marketing and event solutions agency based in Norwood, Massachusetts, creating compelling content for their AxisTV corporate digital signage is no problem.

That’s because, as Creative Technology Director Rob Everton pointed out, Cramer enjoys a depth of resources. “We have seven high-definition edit suites and we can produce video easily. We send it down to the media lab to compress. It’s an easy workflow.”

Cramer is equipped for print, interactive, and web production in a facility they refer to as a “75,000 square foot creative playground.” So their use of video is clearly going to be more sophisticated than most. When it came time to find a medium where they could demonstrate the power of digital signage, they chose AxisTV.

Cramer’s sales force is continually entertaining clients on site, and they were looking to make a good first impression with a system where they could select and personalize content. “We have frequent client traffic,” Everton explains. “Initially the challenge was providing up-to-the-minute updates on our work to customers coming to our building. We needed something that allows us to change the display often and provide a variety of media, so we went from video loop on a DVD to a signage solution.”

Everton pointed out that even for them, ease-of-use was important. “We chose AxisTV because it made things easier for a wide variety of people to update. It’s important not to burden development teams with the updating of content. That’s the appeal to us. It has a good amount of flexibility and creative solutions and it’s really a fast learning curve.”

AxisTV struck a chord with Cramer during its annual Innovation Day when they brought nearly 150 marketing and communications executives on site to show them the latest technology. Systems integrator HB Communications set up the Axis TV system, and Cramer leaders were impressed.

Today the lobby features four content blocks incorporated into a company-branded layout, and Everton described what visitors see. “The largest content block is basically a sort of highlight reel, a playlist of videos that are changed as often as needed. It’s a mixture of video we produce, edited videos from our events, and examples of our work. A second block is the latest news about Cramer, another is a welcome area for customers coming to visit us, and the fourth is a rolling loop of world headlines, weather and other utility functions.”

Everton said their lobby display is a great way to demonstrate what the medium is capable of. “We put AxisTV out there in order to open conversations about digital signage with our clients,” said Everton. “We know how to implement a message approach in company facilities, and we provide the strategy, design and content.”

But the company’s use of visual communications isn’t just focused externally. Cramer produces more than 200 events a year, serving up to 10,000 attendees, so at any given time teams are busy on a variety of projects. Employees are understandably eager to showcase their work to their colleagues.

So the company runs a second channel player for a display in the cafeteria that features projects that are otherwise hard to catch. “There’s so much great creative work that goes on here on a day-to-day basis,” noted Everton, “The majority of it doesn’t get seen by employees. It goes out the door and people move on. Since Cramer’s business is built around integrated, multi-disciplined solutions, it’s important for our staff to understand how the pieces work together.”

The cafeteria display presents a single block of mixed content: video from events they’ve produced, Flash animation, and presentation graphics from PowerPoint. “People are anxious to get stuff up there, and it’s done a lot for creating awareness of what’s going on around the building. A display where people gather is a better opportunity to experience content that isn’t critical to their day-to-day tasks.”

Everton notes that the demand on their resources is minimal. “We have one person devoted to each channel player, and we’ve assigned one ambassador from within each discipline to periodically send them what’s going on with their group. It arrives ready to publish, and they upload it and put it in the playlist.”