Creating emotional connection in public places

Rupkatha Bhowmick

There is a strong need to reinvent connection with people in public areas – at city centres, shopping malls, airports and more. Building emotional connection with people plays a pivotal role in leaving a lasting impression of the experience and brands encountered en route.

“Nowadays beautifully architected and designed places have emerged, coupled with digital elements, signage and kiosks, boosting marketing and consumer interaction. However, all these have rendered the public spaces banal,” said Philippe Lepron, CEO of Admemori – a French digital design studio.

“We have to reinvent the vocabulary,” he stressed. “Think about it – when you are walking in a shopping mall, it’s impossible that you can pay attention to a digital screen playing a video. The eight-second attention span has come down to a couple of seconds now. The movie format on digital screens must stop. We have to create new and hypnotic content that will immediately catch your attention without being intrusive.”

To do this, it’s vital to understand the nature of traffic. It requires an understanding of people visiting the shopping mall, city centres or even transit zones, how long they stay and how they move around. In case of a shopping mall, it’s also important to understand the objective – if it is new or regenerated.

“It’s only after gathering these details that we design the installations, some of which arouse emotions, some for additional revenues and some acting as digital signage,” Lepron explained. “We do our installations in locations within shopping malls that attract 80% of traffic. The digital screens are located typically in the atriums offering visitors a 360° view. We display 70% digital and emotional content, coupled with 30% brand content. It’s important to remember that less is more.”

Some of the most significant properties in Europe, such as Unibail-Rodemco, trust Admemori to create these innovative, eye-catching digital installations to not only attract visitor attention but also regenerate specific locations. But all these make sense only if there is a substantial return on investment.

“Return on investment is crucial,” Lepron agreed. “The idea is to create a sense of value through the installations, for which the first three seconds are crucial, moving on to lasting impression leading to repeat footfall as well as increasing the dwell time. In doing so, it is also vital to invite globally recognised brands such as Chanel, Cartier or even Jaguar to be part of the digital installations.”

Admemori is also working on projects in the GCC, including the Abu Dhabi Airport in the duty-free area, Dubai Airport and Qatar.