Be Digital launches TehTarik.TV channel in popular mamak restaurants across Malaysia’s Klang Valley
Mamak restaurants all over the Klang Valley have gone digital. Visionary restaurant entrepreneurs have embraced the latest trend in new-age media through the deployment of dynamic digital signage networks in more than 12 chains of restaurants in over 40 locations across the Klang Valley.
Unlike any other eateries, mamak restaurants are culturally significant in Malaysia and derive their name from the owners or operators who are Indian Muslims, also called mamak. They have evolved from the traditional roadside stalls to modern 24/7 restaurants and café-type outlets that are popular hotspots for Malaysians of all communities, races and ages. Patrons come to hang out for a drink, catch up or watch a late-night football game while enjoying a cup of stimulating teh tarik or polishing off a piece of hot roti canai.
“Teh tarik” literally means “pulled tea” in Bahasa Malaysia, the national language. This all-time favorite Malaysian beverage is prepared by skillful hands that pour piping hot tea and condensed milk back and forth between two glasses from a height. The height of the “pull” determines the richness of the froth while effectively cooling down the drink. “Teh tarik” is an art form in itself, and the showmanship of its preparer can be quite captivating.
Taking its name from this well-loved local beverage, TehTarik.TV captivates audiences with its own distinctive flavor, charm and identity. The unique network aims to attract, engage, entertain, inform and influence a targeted audience in a sociable setting that is relaxed and easy. It deploys two to six dedicated branded screens which comprise 32”-42” LCDs and plasmas strategically placed in high-traffic areas in each location.
Heading the deployment and management of this innovative new medium of visual communications is Be Digital Sdn Bhd, an MSC-status digital signage solutions provider and network manager in Malaysia. TehTarik.TV was designed to be different. Says Mr. Ahmed Balfaqih, Technology Director of Be Digital, “We wanted a different digital signage network – one that’s engaging, useful and fun to watch. We did not want it to be like other digital signage networks where the traffic or content comes only from one direction, that is, from the owners to the audience. We wanted the TehTarik.TV audience to participate and engage in the content creation.” The network is designed with two unique features to create and build an audience community who not only watch the channel but who engage and interact with one another using simple communication tools such as short message services (SMS) and the TehTarik.TV portal. The first feature highlights a dynamic fusion of web, mobile and traditional digital signage tools into one platform which allows a free flow of content among the three. This combined platform enables designers from Be Digital to create content using Scala and other software, as well as to create a base for bloggers and forum members to discuss specific subjects.
The dynamic integration also allows audiences to participate and engage through short message services (SMS) in various contests or through the advertising of products and services. TehTarik.TV integrates with a web portal, www.tehtarik.tv, which builds a community with access to content shown in the screens or able to follow up on their SMS interaction online. The second unique feature highlights the content aggregation and creation that comes from all sources including the web, databases, the audience themselves and many more.
Although not used as a primary function, TehTarik.TV also acts as a digital menu board for some mamak restaurants. The flexibility of the system enables restaurant owners to adjust price changes or food offers immediately, driving better sales by adapting the menu content automatically to suit different customer demographics at different times of the day.
Be Digital chose Scala as the tool for the TehTarik.TV as it was a highly content-driven network that required a robust solution that would meet the objectives of the deployment. Scala’s powerful technology provided the ideal solution with extensible built-in scripting capabilities and support for other scripting languages that allowed the programmers to customize it for specific use.
Remarked Mr. Ahmed Balfaqih, “We are running this network in more than 10 different chains of restaurants where most are competitors. We wanted to avoid repeating the process of broadcasting common content ten times among the chains, while at the same time we did not want to make mistakes by sending the wrong menu to the wrong chain. Scala Content Manager took care of that need by allowing us to create one Master Playlist containing nested sub-playlists with conditions and scheduled parameters attached to each element within a playlist, and this saved us hours of work on a weekly basis.”
The intelligent playlist compiles content into a series of diversified categories ranging from business, sports, community messages, fun trivia, general news and others that run at a duration of 10 to 15 minutes per loop per category in each outlet. The diversified categories of content not only provide audiences with more interesting information but keep their attention riveted on the screens. The only content that is repeated are the advertisements and this works well with the advertisers as it amplifies their ROI for advertisements placed.
TehTarik.TV runs an average of 18 hours a day with a total of at least 70 loops played throughout. Content is refreshed and updated on an hourly, daily, weekly or monthly basis.
TehTarik.TV is wholly owned and managed by Be Digital with support from Click Grafix Sdn Bhd, the authorized distributor and certified partner of Scala, Inc. for South East Asia.
About Be Digital Sdn Bhd
Be Digital was incorporated in 2001 to spearhead the digital content development division of its parent company, Click Grafix Sdn Bhd. Existing as a primary visual communications company, Be Digital is dedicated to providing satisfying, quality, professional digital content and development services to the various industries in the local and regional market. Be Digital was awarded the MSC-status endorsement in August 2003 and is recognized in the industry for its strength and professional specialization in 3D animation, visual effects, broadcast multimedia, dynamic digital signage and the development of digital content particularly for training and visual communications. www.gotobedigital.com
In 2006, another milestone was marked with the collaborative partnership of CR Techmedia and Be Digital, uniting the strengths of both companies into one entity. The expansion of the company further cements its niche in the industry as a competitive player in the discipline of digital content development not just in Malaysia but also in the regional market and the Middle East.
About Click Grafix Sdn Bhd
Click Grafix has been in the forefront of the digital signage industry with a strong content development background since 1995. The company is firmly established in the South East Asia and Middle Eastern market as a premiere provider and system integrator for digital video, animation and multimedia hardware, software, solutions and services. Click Grafix is the appointed regional distributor and certified partner for NewTek Inc. and Scala, Inc., as well as Luxology, TVPaint and 12Inch Design. The company is currently represented in Singapore, Thailand, Philippines and India. www.clickgrafix.com