GREENVALE, NY -- Apple Industries has announced two initiatives designed to increase photobooth revenue for operators. Making its debut at the 2014 Amusement Expo in Las Vegas is the company's national advertising network, supported by a highly visible Video Billboard display for Face Place photobooths. Slated for preview at the Dubai (United Arab Emirates) Entertainment Amusement and Leisure Show in April is a 6" x 9" print option for Apple Pix Place kiosks.
The new ad network has been in preparation for the past year, undergoing intensive research and development. It will be administered by Apple Industries and powered by Apple's Smile 2.0 software platform. Owners of all networked Face Place photobooths will be able to participate in the program, which offers additional revenue from display advertising.
Apple chief executive Allen Weisberg explained that the ad program is designed to leverage the hundreds of millions of impressions made by Face Place photobooths as they deliver millions of photo strips every year. A 24" monitor will be mounted atop the photobooth; this "video billboard" will display the video ads, dissolving from the traditional photobooth logo into a montage of advertisements. The video billboard will appear first on new production of Apple's Sapphire model, which features striking black and deep blue styling.
Apple is currently negotiating advertising contracts with major national retailers whose products are suitable for bar and tavern locations, Weisberg reported. "We have always said Face Place photobooths are great moneymakers in bars and taverns, earning up to $300-$500 a week in top locations," he observed. "Now some of the biggest tavern-oriented brands in America are getting ready to endorse us with their advertising."
In effect, Weisberg said, "we are creating a dedicated 'cable network' for advertising on location ... and operators can get in on the action."
Photobooth operators also will have the ability to sell and upload their own local advertising from locations for display, offering a second possible revenue stream.
The video billboard will intersperse its advertising displays with short promotional videos showing what the photobooth offers and how it works, enticing more location patrons to snap their photos or make digital video or audio recordings.
To support the spots on the video billboard, advertisers will also be able to display their logos and brands in the fourth frame of every four-photo strip that is vended by the machine. Every time a customer looks at, shows, or passes along copies of his or her photo strip, the customer plus friends and relatives all will see the advertised brand.
"Integrating video advertising on location with take-home advertising in the photo strips reinforces the advertiser's message and keeps them top of mind for consumers," Weisberg emphasized. And hundreds of consumers may see each photo strip ad placement when customers opt for the Face Place upsell feature, which enables patrons to email their photos to friends, or post photos on social media such as Facebook and Twitter, directly from the Face Place touchscreen.
Retrofit kits will be available so that operators of existing Sapphire units can install the Video Billboard on networked machines, Weisberg reported. He suggested that the best way to think of the concept is as "a networked marketing communications hub," and to regard the ad program as the next step in an ongoing process of marketing evolution.
THE BIG PICTURE
Also offering add-on revenue is a novel large-size print option for Apple's Pix Place kiosk. Pix Place is a freestanding imaging and printing kiosk with no enclosure, so it encourages people to gather around and make group photos. These now take the form of the familiar four-view photo strip.
With groups increasing in size to a dozen or more subjects, Apple pointed out, there is a real opportunity to deliver a single large-format print as an option. Accordingly, the company is ready to preview a new 6" x 9" color print selection for Pix Place patrons. Larger than the classic 5" x 7" enlargement, the new format has the same proportions as a 35mm. still-camera frame. Its generous width allows many people to get into the picture without undue crowding. The standard four-view strip remains available, too. And, of course, since everyone in a group photo usually wants a copy, the upsell option of ordering additional prints is an attractive proposition.
Apple's Smile 2.0 software platform has been enhanced to offer image quality commensurate with the larger format. Pix Place also offers Apple's chroma key compositing tool for superimposing the subject onto a preselected image. The big 6x9 photos do full justice to Apple's special effects and fantasy backgrounds, the company noted, and work very well for groups.
The 6x9 option will debut on the Face Place Pix Place at the upcoming DEAL show from April 8 through 10 at the Dubai World Trade Center. The format option will be a free upgrade for owners of existing Pix Place units, Apple reported. The upgrade is expected to be available in late April or early May, just in time for the busy summer party season.