Volkswagen has been promoting technology as a way to engage customers and to make the sales process as smooth as possible. In the UK, that involved the roll-out of iPads, allowing customers to customise their cars from a dedicated touchscreen, and see what the end-result would look like. In Toronto, Canada, one Volkswagen dealership is going further than iPads, however. With large displays showcasing the various benefits that come with owning a Volkswagen vehicle, as well as any special offers currently available.

The digital signage market has capitalised on its ability to quickly adapt to changing promotions and new models, allowing businesses to save costs on printing materials. This is part of the reason Volkswagen ditched its brochures in the UK in favour of iPads.

At the Humberview Volkswagen dealership in Toronto, Ontario, recent renovations provided the perfect opportunity to install a massive new videowall and nine individual digital displays. According to the installation experts at Advanced, one of North America’s leading audiovisual and collaborative communications companies, this state-of-the art digital installation is a game changer for the dealership.

“When conducting renovations, retailers often look for the best way to improve on-site advertising and informational displays,” says David Weatherhead, president and CEO of Advanced.

“Humberview Volkswagen recognised that the static, printed advertisements of the past simply cannot compete with a digital display’s ability to be updated at a moment’s notice, for negligible cost. We built a massive videowall that is guaranteed to capture the attention of every customer who walks into their showroom, and outfitted the entire dealership with digital displays that provide unlimited messaging possibilities.”

The main attraction of the dealership’s technology upgrade is the nearly 27ft by 4ft videowall mounted above the customer welcoming area designed to stop customers in their tracks. Comprised of 16 ultra-thin-bezel 46in HD monitors in a 2×8 configuration, the display can present a single large image or up to four advertisements side-by-side.

Advanced designed the videowall to have seams of just 5.5mm and offer a maximum resolution of 7680×1080 for a single image. To maximise the videowall’s utility, the team installed a digital video matrix that includes five distinct video sources and allows the dealership to split the display into four 2×2 sections, each with an aspect ratio of 16:9 and maximum resolution of 1920×1080, or two 4×2 sections with 32:9 aspect ratios and maximum resolutions of 3840×1080. With all these different display possibilities, it was paramount that the system be easy to access and adjust quickly to respond to changing customer attitudes and desires.

“What’s truly amazing about this AV installation is that it’s so simple to use,” David continues. “With a modest addition to the system, we were able to organise control of all 13 separate displays that is easy enough for anyone to operate and adjust. That includes the audio played through the two speakers on either side of the videowall, the feeds for all four 2×2 sections of the videowall, and the feeds for the other HD displays located throughout the dealership.”

In addition to the videowall, the installation includes nine individual HD displays throughout the building that each have a dedicated video feed delivered through the matrix switcher. This affords even greater flexibility so the managers can decide what images or video they want on each screen throughout the day. The digital video matrix, audio amplifier and all the source input devices are conveniently located in a single equipment rack, completely hidden from view in the building’s telecom room. The signal for the two audio speakers adjacent to the videowall originates from the matrix switcher, so they can play audio from any one of the six input sources.

“The retail environment is constantly changing, as are consumer attitudes,” David concludes. “With on-demand advertising made possible by captivating digital displays, retailers can quickly react and capitalize on trends to increase sales. To put it simply, paper is out, and digital is in.”

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