• Make Them Look – The Weather

    Weather AppPeople love weather information.  It doesn’t matter if they’re standing on top of a hill in a room with bay windows; if the weather forecast pops onto the screen they take interest.  Muzak’s digital signage allows you to easily display weather information for your location.  There are several feeds available to use including current weather and three day forecasts.  Recent studies have shown that including weather information in your digital signage campaign can increase attention paid to your screens up to 37%!  It’s as easy as entering your local zip code.  You’ll have customers riveted to your screen, making your sales and branded campaigns that much more effective.

    Contributed by Joe Hall, Muzak Product Line Manager

  • Core Programming Revamp

    Courtesy of D Sharon Pruitt

    Courtesy of D Sharon Pruitt

    Every once in a while we like to shake things up a bit. So earlier this year, our Audio Architecture team took a look at the 90 Core Programs that they lovingly curate. Was anything missing? What programs were the most popular with Core Program listeners, and which were the least?

    After a lot of hard work and creative development, our team selected nine programs to take off the air. (But don’t worry–they’ll still be available on disc based systems.)

    In their place, I’m excited to announce nine all new Core Programs, which will be available beginning January 3rd.

    Below are our working program descriptions, along with a few of the artists you can expect to hear. We hope you enjoy!

    The New Wave: The New Wave captures the absolute anthems of the early years of true Alternative rock—along with all of the dissidence, experimentation and attitude that defined this genre of music. Much more than skinny ties and Doc Martens, The New Wave features artists like the Ramones, The Cure, Talking Heads, The Smiths, Blondie and Elvis Costello.

    The Beach: Perfect for enjoying while at an outdoor bar or deck with friends, consider The Beach your soundtrack to a year round vacation. Classic laid back beach sounds mix with Reggae, Country and World music to form an experience best suited with relaxation in mind.  Memories of favorite vacations and outdoor concerts come to life with artists such as Jimmy Buffett, Bob Marley, Kenny Chesney and Jack Johnson.

    Martini Time: Smoking jackets and ascots are optional, highballs and Dirty Martinis are the order for the evening. Whether you prefer yours shaken or stirred, Martini Time delivers a full menu of retro cocktail music that’s sure to satisfy everyone. Timelessly cool, novel and kitschey, Martini Time is sure to set the mood for fun with artists like Les Baxter, Esquivel, Quincy Jones and Henry Mancini.

    Toned: An alternative and fun high-energy fitness program, Toned offers listeners a slightly lower impact option to The Circuit, in the medium (120) BPM range. Mixing dance, pop, rock and classic favorites, Toned delivers consistent energy across multiple genres.

    Shine: Shine delivers the best and the brightest of today’s current Adult Contemporary sounds. Perfect for retail, grocery and casual dining establishments, Shine is positive, comfortable, consistently upbeat and easily familiar to a wide audience of listeners. Featuring artists such as Colbie Caillat, Train, Feist and Gavin DeGraw.

    The Party Playlist: If you’ve ever tried to put together the ultimate party playlist, look no further! The Party Playlist offers non-stop, high-energy party anthems—the classics, rock, pop, disco and soul—all blended together to keep spirits high and the party going. Artists include: B-52’s, Prince, Kool & The Gang and the Black Eyed Peas.

    Country Gold Focusing on the 70’s and early 80’s when Country music provided a raw, authentic soundtrack to everyday America, Country Gold celebrates the true heritage years. You’ll hear the legendary pioneering voices like George Jones, Tammy Wynette, Merle Haggard, Don Williams, Conway Twitty and Dolly Parton.

    The Cafe: The quintessential coffee house program, The Cafe is perfect for enjoying with a cup of joe and the paper in an overstuffed chair. This blend of classics from multiple genres and generations features artists including Norah Jones, Ray Lamontagne, Dave Matthews, Bob Marley, John Mayer and Ray Charles.

    Ambrosia: Ambrosia is a celebration of the classic soft rock and pop sounds that defined the easy rock explosion of the 70’s and 80’s. Featuring memorable melodies and lyrics, Ambrosia offers familiar, light tracks from the most loved and familiar artists of the era, including: Chicago, 10cc, Journey, Linda Rondstadt, James Taylor and America.

  • Music and Exercize

    old bikeWhen my sister and I were small, our mother had a strange rule for our new Sony Walkmans: no jogging or biking with it (she claimed we’d be too distracted to hear any oncoming traffic.) This seemed weird, since the name sort of implied that you should take your music with you when you exercised. Fast forward to today, and I rarely, if ever, see people jogging without ear buds. Portable music has become as necessary to our exercise routines as comfortable sneakers.

    And according to researchers from John Moores University in Liverpool, UK, music has a measurable impact on the way that humans exercise.

    Researchers asked three subjects to ride a stationary bike for 30 minutes at a pace that each found comfortable, over a period of 3 days. Their equipment proved that the test cyclists rode farther with more pedal power and had higher heart rates when riding to high-tempo songs. The positive effects of music narrowed at the higher end of the workout spectrum, so a little Lady Gaga might not help an Olympic sprinter. But if you’re planning to head out for a jog after work, some up tempo tunes could help you reach your goals faster.

  • Enigmatica


    Enigmatica is a research / art project from Kit Webster. It features a series of frames that display light and motion. The frames also shrink in size as the progress down a gallery. Webster explains Enigmatica as:

    “An experimental platform for the combination of light, sound and space in order to develop immersive synthasthetic environments.”

    We’re always thinking about how to design unique experiences or our clients, so Enigmatic and many of Webster’s other pieces were interesting because they demonstrate the power of a well-executed concept.

    ENIGMATICA from Kit Webster on Vimeo.

    You can find out more about Kit Webster at www.kitwebster.com.au/

    Contributed by Steven Pilker

  • Can’t Buy Me Love?

    BMW Joy

    I’m an avid commercial analyist. When other people zone out, I’m tuning in. I don’t see as many since the divine intervention of DVR; however, I’ve been watching the Olympics in real time, and I stumbled upon a new campaign that caused me to hit the seldom used “Rewind” button: BMW’s “Story of Joy” campaign, which is called the “largest brand awareness campaign in its history” by BMW itself.

    It was really the final statement in the ad that caught my attention: “We realized a long time ago that what you make people feel is just as important as what you make. And at BMW, we don’t just make cars. We make joy.” Whoa, now! Joy, BMW? Then is joy just German engineering and lavish leather seating? Or is it the organic, pure, unrestrained and sometimes elusive joy that makes us feel… human. Alive.

    According to Merriam-Webster: Joy is the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires. According to Lauren Cribbs: joy is the feeling associated with hard-earned accomplishments, wedding days and watching children grow. Joy is an emotion of goose bumps and unrelenting smiles. I’d say that’s a pretty lofty goal, BMW. And I applaud you for your high standards.

    What does this say, foremost, about the brand? The VP of Marketing for BMW’s North American division, Jack Pitney, shared in a press release, “The ‘Story of Joy’ encapsulates the sentiment shared throughout BMW that we are more than a car company. We are creators of joy. All of our efforts in engineering, design and technology are about one thing, which is creating moments of joy.” The brand is proclaiming to be more than the sum of its parts. More than a sleek ride; more than a status symbol. A BMW car is an opportunity to make room for joy in your life.

    What does this say about the viewer? We’re a highly-media-exposed breed of consumers. Traditional sentiments of luxury just aren’t doing it for us anymore. We get that BMW equals status and a little indulgence. We need something more to engage our attention – and our bank accounts. At the same time, BMW is artfully tying itself to a down-to-earth persona, pulling on our heartstrings and appealing to our human spirit. Pitney shed some light on BMW’s consumer approach: “Given recent trends in consumer mindsets, the campaign refocuses BMW on the joy of driving and sharing those moments in an upbeat, humanized and refreshing fashion.”

    So there you have it, Paul McCartney. Money can’t buy you love, but it just might buy you joy.

    Contributed by Lauren Cribbs

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