Flat-screen TVs enter eateries 

Having already conquered the office-tower elevator, the gymand the supermarket, flat-panel advertising monitors are now popping up in independent San Francisco eateries.

The new screens are the work of Danoo Inc., a company headquartered on Sutter Street attempting to expand local advertising in retail spaces.

The monitors hang on walls behind counters at eateries and in other venues, with a screen divided roughly in thirds. One-third of the display is devoted to advertising, menus or other features for the store in which it’s located, while the larger section displays outside advertising and promotional content, ranging from trivia about Hawaii to video of people having fun in the back patio of a nightspot.

Earlier this month, Danoo posted on MyLocalBands.com to entice musicians to submit upcoming gig information and promotional materials, which the company said it would display on its network of screens, called DanooTV.

"Our mission at Danoo is to put S.F./Bay Area locals in touch with cool happenings in their city that don’t normally garner huge press coverage," company employee Ellery Allen wrote in the posting.

Danoo co-owner Anoop Sinha declined to comment for this story, saying Danoo is in a quiet period and doing beta testing. One of the firm’s several Web sites, www.danoospot.tv, says that Danoo will provide retail businesses with the monitor and Wi-Fi service for free, as well as a variety of advertising options.

"They pay for the Internet. Plus, this part of the screen is mine," said Nabeel Abdallah, owner of Sausalito Espresso on Mission Street. "It’s just regular, decent ads. If I see anything I don’t like, I can call and cancel it right away."

The medium received mixed reviews from local advertising executives. Elevator advertising, such as the 342 San Francisco screens maintained by Massachusetts-based Captivity Network, is a great way to "catch people on the go," said Maiden Lane Chief Strategist David Cumpton,who has pitched the option to several clients.

Evan Peter, creative director for Visual Resource, said location and whether the screens offered immediately useful information, such as price specials for the café, would make a difference in consumer acceptance.

The key for determining their worth, however, will be tracking viewership, Eleven Inc. Director of Communications Strategy Karen Halstead said.

"The whole trend in advertising is proof of performance and measurement," Halstead said. "The question is how many people are paying attention to the monitors ... in those environments."

kwilliamson@examiner.com

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