Using emebaVet's customized content network on NEC 40" LCD displays, veterinary clinics are able to educate, inform and entertain customers while tracking the effectiveness of advertising.

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Quick Facts
  • Facility: emebaVet
  • Location: Modesto, California
  • Challenge: Educating and entertaining captive audiences/enhancing client relationships/reducing patrons’ perceived wait time
  • Solution: 40” NEC MultiSync LCD4020-BK-IT
  • Date: August 2007

The waiting room of a doctor's office or hospital lobby may seem like a never-ending experience to patients who endure a long delay before their appointment begins. Lobbies across the nation naturally provide a captive audience, and emebaVet saw this as a perfect opportunity to educate and inform clients by introducing LCD displays. Constantly running customized content on large displays helps to maintain an entertaining and stimulating atmo­sphere for patrons while decreasing the perceived wait time.

emebaVet is a northern California-based com­pany whose mission is to create captive audience digital signage solutions by building networks of interconnected display systems and customized content for each of its cli­ents. The company works to enhance the lobby experience by connecting patients to their surround­ing environment. Custom­ers include veterinary clinics, hospitals, airports and government offices, and emebaVet anticipates working with auto repair and human medicine mar­kets in the near future.

The Challenge

emebaVet discovered that the average wait time in a single-doc­tor veterinary clinic is 17 minutes. For many doctor clinics, the wait time can be even longer. With mandatory downtime, people look for ways to pass the time. Because the waiting room rep­resented a captive, targeted audience, emebaVet saw the need to educate patrons on pet health and common animal medica­tions. To do this, the company set out to create a digital signage network to deliver information and education-based content to waiting pet owners.

emebaVet's goal became putting LCDs into waiting areas, lobbies and elevators. The displays would run entertaining and educational content, therefore eliminating perceived wait time and informing pet owners on popular animal issues.

The Solution

Educating, informing and entertaining waiting pet owners became emebaVet's task with the help of NEC Display Solutions. After selecting 100 veterinary clinics nationwide, emebaVet began its endeavor, installing two 40" MultiSync LCD4020 displays in each clinic's lobby area. Some clinics also received these large-scale, high-definition, flat-panel displays in their exam rooms and staff training areas.

The purpose was to draw in clients with information that pertained to daily life and leave them educated on animal issues. In addition, emebaVet randomized the slides so that once a full loop was played, it would repeat in a different order, deferring any mundane repetitiveness.

"With a captive audience, we want to make sure the content isn't boring or irrelevant," said Dave Titchenal, principal of emebaVet. "We're really proud that everything we produce is not only informative, but in HD as well because the images look gorgeous on the NEC displays."

Using an IP-based connection, images containing general clinic information, doctor biographies, animal trivia and pet health tips rotate through a continuous loop. Localized news, weather, targeted advertising and entertainment are also displayed in the mix.

"NEC's MultiSync LCD4020 displays are specifically designed for unique digital signage applications such as emebaVet," said Hans Baumann, senior product manager for NEC Display Solutions. "NEC's commercial-grade LCDs bring together best-in-class computing monitor technology with cutting-edge video display technology to deliver an unsurpassed viewing experience no matter the content, input or environment."

Initially, emebaVet had chosen Sony's plasma NSP1 for its displays. As difficulties with the plasmas arose and the display became a failure for Sony, emebaVet had another challenge on its hands. When it was suggested to Titchenal that the company switch to NEC's displays, he was cautious in making the change at first.

"After thoroughly reviewing NEC's products and pricing, we made the decision to use NEC's LCD displays for the future of our expansion," said Titchenal. "Right now, I could not be happier. The picture is better than Sony's, so we're extremely happy with the switch to NEC."

Advertising became a huge success for clinics using emebaVet's system as they saw as much as a 200% sales improvement when running the ad on emebaVet's system.

"We reeducate our advertisers, telling them to throw away their preconceived notions about advertising," explained Titchenal. "You don't have to get your whole story down in 30 seconds. If you're a pharmaceutical company making a medicine for canine arthritis, come to us so you can really speak to the client. Tell them about the causes, symptoms and possible treatments for the disorder. By informing the client first, you can actually reach them when you discuss your product and how it will help their dog."

Furthermore, tracking the effectiveness of advertising was made simple with the system. By comparing pre-install transaction information with post-install sales data, the direct advertising pull-through can be monitored. Proof for successful ROI results is straightforward.

After a successful startup with the first 100 clinics, emebaVet opened its door to other practices. The endeavor was well-received, and there are now more than 150 clinics using emebaVet's customized content on NEC displays in the United States. emebaVet projects that number to increase to 1000 by the end of 2008.

"The presence of emebaVet programming in our practice enhances our lobby environment and client experience," said Julia Gelt, manager of public relations at the Veterinary Specialty Hospital in San Diego, California. "It creates a comfortable, entertaining waiting area while communicating key aspects of our hospital, services and medical staff."

Clinics aren't the only ones appreciating the new 40" large-screen displays. Pet owners have enjoyed the addition, and in some cases, thanked the clinics for making the improvement because they left feeling more educated on pertinent issues and didn't even notice the wait time.