EK3 and Wal-Mart Canada Announce First-of-Its-Kind Customized Digital Merchandising Programming For Wal-Mart Canada Stores



    
    Wal-Mart Canada Executive to Speak to NRF about New Digital Signage
    Strategy
    

    LONDON, Ontario, Jan. 8 /CNW/ -- EK3 Technologies Inc., a global leader
in digital merchandising, today announced a first-of-its-kind original
in-store program recently launched in Wal-Mart Canada stores. An executive
from Wal-Mart Canada will address the National Retail Federation show next
week to discuss the company's use of a new in-store narrowcasting strategy,
which revolves around "Lisa," an animated character designed to build customer
loyalty and improve the shopping experience.

    Mike Dombrow, Director of Marketing for Wal-Mart Canada Corp., will speak
at the NRF show on January 14 at 2:30 p.m. at the Jacob Javits Convention
Centre, New York Expo Hall 3D08. He is scheduled to talk about the company's
new narrowcasting strategies following the deal reached with EK3 and its
wholly owned subsidiary ShopCast, which oversees the Wal-Mart Canada program.

    EK3 is using its industry-leading narrowcasting solutions to help
Wal-Mart and other like clients engage customers with meaningful and
informative content. Narrowcasting uses a company's unique customer data and
other factors to reach a captive in-store audience, delivering the right
messages at precisely the right time to help influence buying decisions.
Because Lisa is based on Wal-Mart Canada research, surveys and customer buying
data, the shopper will feel a connection to the character while also tying
together other elements of Wal-Mart Canada's in-store narrowcasting
strategies.

    "We want to communicate to our customers that we care about their likes,
their tendencies and what they are seeking in the shopping experience. Lisa
and her family are already helping us do that. We've done some digital signage
in the past, but that industry is changing about as fast as our customers'
habits and this program will allow us to keep up," Dombrow said. "We think
this innovative program will enhance the Wal-Mart shopping experience while
building customer loyalty. We look forward to discussing this unique,
innovative merchandising strategy at NRF."

    Lisa "hosted" Wal-Mart Canada's narrowcasting content in 60 stores during
the critical holiday season. ShopCast designed five 30-second holiday-themed
"shows" shown on 42- and 48-inch monitors throughout the stores. The
animations were featured along with national advertisements and other
narrowcasting elements, such as store-specific content and local information.

    Under the agreement between ShopCast and Wal-Mart Canada, digital
displays will be installed in all Wal-Mart Canada stores by the end of 2008.
Sixty stores have already been wired and began airing "Lisa" episodes -- which
include the central character, her husband, three children and a family.
Future "Lisa Family" shows are slated to be introduced in early 2008 in
Wal-Mart Canada stores.

    "EK3 and ShopCast are excited to pioneer a new and innovative in-store
program for Wal-Mart Canada and their vendors," said Nick Prigioniero,
President and CEO of EK3/ShopCast. "In-store narrowcasting is quickly becoming
the advertising choice of retailers and brands alike for its effectiveness,
flexibility, and the sheer numbers of qualified buyers it can reach. Using
Wal-Mart's marketing data, EK3 and ShopCast have produced content that will be
helpful to Wal-Mart, their brands and most importantly their shoppers."

    Initially, the episodes have not endorsed specific brands or included
product placements. The "Lisa Family" shows included a storyline in which
Lisa's husband Bob hides holiday gifts and the two oldest children -- Jack and
Jenn -- yearned to find them.

    "The most progressive and innovative users of digital signage are
realizing its amazing potential as a digital merchandising tool and we are
happy Wal-Mart shares our vision for a narrowcasting network," said Camilla
Gergely, Marketing Communications Director for EK3. "This program has begun to
build a nationally recognizable character associated with Wal-Mart but at the
same time allows for a distinctly local feel within each location."

    Wal-Mart Canada officials said customized content -- beyond traditional
advertisements -- is the best way to maximize digital merchandising products
and programs.

    EK3 narrowcasting solutions are also used in thousands of locations
including, Tim Hortons coffee shops, The Home Depot Fuel stores and soon in
over 100 nations as part of a recent deal with gas pump manufacturer Dresser
Wayne. EK3 narrowcasting has enabled global, national, regional and local
brands to build customer loyalty, sales and their bottom line.  By early 2008
EK3 will be managing an install base that will generate over 150 million views
per month, making it one of the largest narrowcasting networks in the world.

    About EK3 Technologies, Inc. Founded in 1998, EK3 is a leading global
digital merchandizing company. Its narrowcasting products are driven by
sophisticated software that choose and deliver marketing messages at the right
time to the right location. EK3 provides complete end-to-end digital
merchandising solutions for businesses. EK3 has one of the largest
installation networks in North America, with over 3,000 locations worldwide.
Headquartered in London, Ontario, EK3 provides worldwide installation,
maintenance and support for its products. ShopCast, a subsidiary of EK3, is a
full service digital media provider that offers customers a non-traditional
media buying opportunity through its EK3 narrowcasting network.

    ShopCast enables vendors to target their communication through the
purchase of advertising space specific to their product/category in identified
zones of national retail stores.


    About Wal-Mart Canada Corp.

    Founded in 1994 and based in Mississauga, Ontario, Wal-Mart Canada serves
more than one million Canadians each day at its 270 discount stores, 17
Supercentres and six SAM'S CLUB operations. With more than 70,000 associates,
the company is one of Canada's largest employers and has consistently been
listed among The 50 Best Companies to Work for in Canada, as published in
Report on Business Magazine. Wal-Mart Canada operates one of the strongest
community involvement programs in Canada. Through its 2006 "Good Works"
activities, the company raised and donated more than $15 million to causes
nationwide, nearly $300,000 weekly. In recent years, more than 100 Canadian
communities have lobbied or petitioned Wal-Mart to build a store locally.
Wal-Mart Canada has committed to three long-term sustainability goals: 1.
Produce zero waste; 2. Use 100 per cent renewable energy; 3. Make
environmentally preferable products available to Canadians.

    Note to Editors:  Photographs of Lisa and other characters, and a sample
"episode" are available at
http://www.ek3.com/narrowcasting-services/advertising-sales.htm








For further information:

For further information: Michael G. Ettlemyer of Environics 
Communications, +1-203-325-8772, x. 15, for EK3 Web Site:
http://www.ek3.com/narrowcasting-services/advertising-sales.htm

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EK3 TECHNOLOGIES, INC.

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