Multimedia Mall Kiosks Grab Data From Gen X, Y

Screenzone, South Orange, NJ, a new national network of digital, interactive multimedia displays located in shopping malls, is helping to build a national database of 15- to 26-year-olds for entertainment-related companies.

Currently there are two 10-by-15 screenzone units, operating in the country. One is located in a mall in Torrance, CA, and the other recently went up in a shopping mall in Paramus, NJ. The unit consists of two movie screens, which continually play and promote movies, music and other entertainment-related content. Underneath the screens are six interactive movie and music preview stations where consumers can listen to and watch the promotions.

When a consumer wishes to use screenzone or take part in any of its contests or promotions, they are asked to enter demographic information such as their name, address, e-mail address, age, gender, income and education. That information is then entered into the screenzone file where it is filed and sorted.

“Once we have enough information that we are comfortable with, we plan on doing our own direct mail campaigns as well as providing those names to our advertisers and partners,” said Gary Leeds, chairman/CEO of screenzone. “We will be letting the consumers using screenzone know that we may be providing other companies with their information.”

Leeds said it is planning to help conduct a direct mail campaign within the first quarter of next year for one of its advertisers.

Since the first unit went up a few months back it has built a database of about 25,000 people. According to Leeds, more than 50 percent of those people fall into the 15-to 26-year-old demographic.

“Reaching this age group can be very expensive,” he said. “They have shown a great interest in it. We have to make it interesting because I don't think they just want this to be some type of billboard. It has to entertain, inform and enhance their visit to the mall. With the growth of e-commerce, it is important to get people out of their houses and into the malls, because that is where it happens.”

Screenzone is only promoting entertainment-related products at this time. But Leeds said there are plans to go beyond that industry and into the clothing, automotive and consumer electronics markets as well.

On the screenzone broadcast screens, consumers can watch current and upcoming movie previews, music videos, home videos, screenzone interstitial programming and public service announcements. On the interactive preview stations, consumers can watch theater releases, home-video releases, music videos, make ticket reservations at movie theaters, access and print show-time schedules, take part in contests and promotions and can browse certain entertainment Web sites via a high-speed Internet access feature. The Web access is limited to the sites of the movies and bands being advertised.

“The only products we promote are those that are sold within the malls the screenzone unit is in,” Leeds said. “We work with all of the major movie and music studios as well. Our emphasis is more on the promotion of products and less on the selling of them.”

At any time screenzone is promoting between 40-50 movies and more than 100 different albums. By the end of the year Leeds said he hopes to have 6 units operating and a total of 24 units located throughout the country by the end of 2000.

The screenzone Web site also is currently under development and is expected to be up and running by the middle of next year. The site will be more e-commerce oriented.

“The screenzone unit has the ability to allow shopping to take place but we are not going to implement that feature yet,” Leeds said. “The new Web site is going to focus more on that and give consumers the ability to do online shopping.”

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