Implementing Pop Culture Trends To Reconstruct Digital Signage Designs

Implementing Pop Culture Trends To Reconstruct Digital Signage Designs
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President of Visix and a veteran of the visual communications industry, Sean Matthews, discusses how to use pop culture to inspire your digital signage. He looked at movies, politics, video games, news and more.

Your organisation is made up of people, and so is your audience. When trying to engage them with digital signage messages, it’s crucial to keep this in mind at all times. One way to make your screens instantly attractive is to tap into the power of popular culture when crafting your digital signage designs,’ stated Matthews.

Pop culture covers a wide spectrum of categories, but the most popular ones are: entertainment, sports, fashion, news, politics, technology and slang.


Consider things like Game of Thrones – even if a person in your target audience doesn’t watch the show, they know it exists and are seeing references to it all the time in their online life. There are jokes and memes they are exposed to on a daily basis, so any reference to Game of Thrones is instantly recognisable and familiar.

Feed the fads

At the macro level, entertainment means films, TV series, music, video games and books. There is a tremendous amount of buzz around the latest movie release, which can be leveraged in your communications efforts. Some taglines and quotes from trailers and posters that have already been used and even converted into memes include:

Avenge the fallen. (This has already sparked a series of internet memes with this phrase over a picture of someone who has ‘fallen’ – Ned Stark from Game of Thrones, Bambi’s mother, Bing Bong from ‘Inside Out’, T-Rex from ‘Jurassic Park 3,’ John Wick’s puppy, etc.)

Pick the winners

Following awards ceremonies can also yield useful references. The Grammy Awards almost always yield some choice quotes and moments to use, and people are often re-using, re-mixing and referencing them for weeks after the actual ceremony.

Video games

Video games are now the number one form of entertainment in the U.S., in terms of sales, eclipsing even movies. Gaming made billions in previous year. One way to engage your audience is to ask your audience what games they play with a short survey online or face-to-face, or even using paper surveys placed near digital signs.

Sports is a type of entertainment, and team loyalties sometimes run very, very deep. This can be used to gain interest in your digital signage messages – acknowledging recent wins, displaying current standings, etc. If you have a large core of fans for a particular team, you’ll get them excited simply by mentioning that team, or a player, or a recent win.

Stay in the know

News items are great at drawing attention, sometimes in a bad way due to divisive politics. Because politics can be tricky, the safest thing to do is simply have news snippets as part of your layout, which will draw attention to the screens. Choose headline news from a fairly neutral source and you’ll reach the widest possible audience. And there are subscription services that have already curated and crafted news content to be neutral and widely appealing, so much of the work’s been done for you.

Keeping up on tech releases, slang, trending hashtags and internet jokes is also pretty straightforward. If someone on your team doesn’t already do this for themselves, a few quick internet searches will yield lots and lots of source material for you to use.

Take advantage of trends

The point is that people now spend a lot of time online, being exposed to all sorts of things, and you can leverage pop culture to create content and engage viewers. In some types of screen interactions (like watching the latest Netflix series), they spend 10 hours a day in front of a screen. And that’s outside of work. That’s a lot of content they’re exposed to. And they’re choosing to see it, actively engage and interact with it. Why not tap into that potential?

Activating your audience’s interests can be incredibly effective for getting your content noticed. Using pop culture on your digital signs almost guarantees people will look at your screens more often and for longer. They’re also more likely to talk about what they see there with others, further expanding the effectiveness of your messages.

Disclaimer: make sure you have the right to use any content you put up on your screens.

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