Controversial Skoollive kiosks bring advertising into school hallways.
From Jim Metrock:
Skoollive is an in-school marketing firm. Such companies by definition suffer from a split personality.
On one hand, the company has to sell advertisers on its ability to place advertising in front of “X” number of schoolchildren, while at the same time it has to sell itself to school boards as a company primarily dedicated to helping students and schools.
It’s a difficult task for any school marketing company; it’s nearly impossible for Skoollive.
Skoollive first has to sell school boards on the idea of placing giant new “things” throughout their school buildings. Then they must sell them on the potential benefits of the electronic monoliths. Skoollive is trying its best to sell school boards a solution to a nonexistent problem.
Hats off to Skoollive’s sale representatives. For what they do, they’re not paid enough. (I don’t know what they are paid, but whatever it is, I know it is not enough.) To convince a right-thinking school board member to agree to place numerous billboard/kiosks, filled with advertising, in their school hallways takes incredible salesmanship. It also helps not to tell that school board member the whole story.
Above is an image on Skoollive’s website. It is from the part of their site aimed at potential advertisers.
Advertisers are told they can feature not just static billboard-type advertising, but also powerful and much more effective TV commercials. Think “coming soon!” movie trailers and ads for TV shows coming on that night.
Were school board members told by the Skoollive sales rep that the billboard/kiosks would be playing video content with voices and sounds adding to the cacophony of school hallways? Nah, probably not. That information is just for advertisers.
School hallways may not be cacophonous, but there is a sound level between classes that would normally drown out any commercials being played on Skoollive’s billboard/kiosks. That’s why schools that fall for Skoollive’s sales pitch need to understand advertisers and their marketing agent Skoollive will do what needs to be done to make students aware of the advertisers’ messages. After all, the advertisers are paying the bill. If students aren’t drawn to the ads, the advertisers are wasting money with Skoollive.
Video commercials on Skoollive’s equipment must be dynamic and eye-catching: Bright lights, distinctive sounds, strange images, rock and rap music, anything to attract the attention of media weary, hard-to-impress teens and preteens.
Notice the term “interactive screen.” That feature is sold to schools as a way for students to call up more information about a school event or an announcement. However, this feature is much more important for advertisers. For a company that seeks to sell students products or services, RIGHT IN THE SCHOOL BUILDING, having an interactive screen is almost too good to be true. Advertisers will benefit from students entering personal information and instant feedback on its advertising campaigns. Schools with Skoollive could easily become “advertising laboratories” where companies experiment on students as taxpayers foot the bill. An advertiser could debut a new ad campaign for an expensive athletic shoe and ask students for feedback. If students don’t like the ads, the company could go back to the drawing board.
Skoollive has been unclear about whether students will be able to buy products from the billboard/kiosks and if so will it only be school merchandise or stuff from national advertisers. If the machines are used to actually sell products, school boards risk a world of hurt when parents find out about it.
Skoollive might not tell school boards about “Call to Action” marketing campaigns made possible by their billboard/kiosks, but advertisers know.
Notice too a small feature that school boards might not be told about: Your Brand Here.
I hadn’t seen this before. It appears to be a new idea of Skoollive. Potential advertisers now have the additional option of putting their company branding on each individual billboard/kiosk. This advertising would be seen at all times as students and visitors walk through the school. This shows how Skoollive exists for the benefit of the people who pay them: the advertisers.
The billboard/kiosk is a metal monument to sales pitches. Skoollive shouldn’t be allowed in a school.