British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. (BC Ferries) has launched a digital signage network on three of its newest vessels, the Coastal Renaissance, Coastal Inspiration and Coastal Celebration. It partnered with Vancouver Island-based digital signage company The Data Works to develop a Scala software-based digital menu board system for the Coastal Cafe, the main food service area on each ship.
The Coastal Cafe is a popular destination, especially during the first 20 minutes of the ferry ride. Inspired by successful digital menu boards on the mainland, BC Ferries realized a digital signage network would allow for passengers to preview food options while they were waiting to enter the cafe, and it could be easily updated to reflect menu changes. It would also allow for cross-promotion of other ship amenities.
The Data Works helped develop a digital signage program that could be installed outside of the cafes on the new vessels. When the BC Ferries team wasn’t satisfied with its first software trial, The Data Works suggested they test Scala digital signage software instead. Richard Hyde, President of The Data Works, felt that Scala would give them the flexibility they were seeking, and that the interface would be more user-friendly.
“Scala gave us an amazing system in the sense that we can pre-program everything from our computers at our desks,” said Andrea Timlick, BC Ferries’ Marketing Manager for Food and Retail Operations. “From a marketing perspective, it gives us the ability to be much more creative and flexible with content.”
Currently, there are six 40-inch menu board screens on the three Coastal ships. Eventually, Timlick hopes to minimize paper signage in the main cafeterias of ships featuring digital menu boards. Another vessel, the Northern Expedition, will eventually feature both digital menu boards and passenger information screens, including local and destination-specific content. BC Ferries plans on extending the digital menu boards to its other ships, beginning with those on its highest-volume routes.
“Aboard the ferries, you have a captive audience,” said Hyde. “BC Ferries has several opportunities to use digital media, and with Scala they can control their content easily.”
About British Columbia Ferry Services (BC Ferries)
With more than 22 million passengers a year aboard its network of 38 ships, British Columbia Ferry Services Inc. (bcferries.com) is one of the largest ferry companies in the world. Its three largest routes operate between Vancouver Island and the mainland, with ships sailing once an hour during the summer, and every other hour during winter months. Its Coastal-class vessels were built in 2008, and with the ability to carry 370 vehicles and 1600 passengers, they are the largest double-ended ferries in the world.
About The Data Works Inc.
The Data Works Inc. (thedataworks.ca), a Scala Certified Partner, is a Vancouver Island-based systems integrator providing one-stop shopping for digital display networks. It combines advanced LCD products and cutting-edge computer and networking technologies with world-class software to deliver total display solutions for a wide range of applications.
Driving more than 300,000 screens worldwide, Scala (scala.com) is a leading global provider of digital signage and advertising management solutions. Scala is the world's first connected signage company, offering the leading platform for content creation, management and distribution in digital signage networks and the first unified platform for advertising management of both traditional and digital signage networks. The company's digital signage customers include Rabobank, IKEA, Burger King, T-Mobile, Virgin MegaStore, Warner Brothers, The Life Channel, Rikstoto, Repsol, NorgesGruppen and thousands more. Advertising management customers include CBS Outdoor, Clear Channel Outdoor and Magic Media, among others. Scala is headquartered near Philadelphia, USA, and has subsidiaries in Canada, The Netherlands, France, Norway and Japan, as well as more than 450 partners in more than 60 countries.
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