So why didn’t ‘transparent’ LCD displays work inside of fridge doors?

In this age of digital revolution there are some great ideas being developed, although there’s some great ideas that just didn’t work.  But when you take a closer look it’s not hard to see why they didn’t make it in the commercial world.

Some eight years ago the use of video or motion picture advertising within transparent LCD glass display technology was thought to be the next biggest thing in advertising media.  It’s many applications were readily recognised, and in particular advertising product within fridges was one of the directions that companies started to explore.  Along with this technology, the use of existing touch screen was also adapted, meaning the customer now had an even greater experience at the point of sale… Or so it seemed.


Although many companies and industries started developing a number of sizes and options for this exciting new digital technology, it never really took off – but why?  If we look further into the factors that contributed to the reason why, we start to get a better understanding of just how the customer thinks when making a purchasing decision. We can also start to realise that no matter how clever or exciting an idea can be, if you don’t have a positive customer reaction then its probably not going to stack up when its comes to a company’s ROI.

Below are the main factors that contributed to the unsuccessful life of transparent digital advertising in glass door fridges.

1. Cost

Not matter how good an idea, if the cost of implementation and management if far too great then this can instantly turn off potential clientele.
But if you don’t know how much its going to affect buyer behavior then how do you know it’s too expensive?  With a starting cost in excess of almost $10,000 per digital transparent fridge, it was always going to be a hard sell to companies.

2. Placement

No matter what media content was displayed in the glass doors, the change in purchase behaviour was not enough to justify a full scale roll-out in the marketplace.
If you are to truly understand why this particular type of technology didn’t work in changing buyer behavior then we need to delve deep into fully understanding a customers level of visual acceptance and engagement. Unfortunately the visual displays within the glass doors hid the product brands on the shelves within the actual fridge. Even though the media treatment was said to be ‘transparent’, unfortunately when the viewer concentrated on the moving graphics they didn’t actually see the product behind the glass door.


So the lesson learnt was even though point-of-sale is recognised as the most effective place to advertise, placing your advertising directly in front of your product, whether still or motion graphics is NOT a good strategy.  The BEST place to advertise your product is directly above, or around the actual product, depending on where the product is placed eg. on shelf, in a fridge or in a promotional display.

If you’d like to know more interesting stories about digital media display advertising please click here .


This blog was originally written by Ross McNee, from HABS Digital.

By | 2018-06-11T15:58:39+10:00 June 11th, 2018|Digital Education, Digital Signage Research, Retail Digital Signage|0 Comments