Google Ad Campaign Set to Debut on Times Square’s Biggest and Most Expensive Billboard


Google has been named the exclusive debut advertiser to display its ad on the biggest and most expensive billboard on Times Square, with its campaign scheduled to run through the New Year.

Both Clear Channel Outdoor and Google declined to comment on the terms of Google’s deal. However, Ad executives said that Google snapped up the display as soon as it went on the market for an exclusive, long-term commitment, so the negotiated rate could have been much lower than the $2.5 million price tag.

The billboard, which has stirred much sensation within the industry, stands eight stories tall and is nearly as long as a football field, spanning the entire block from 45th Street to 46th Street on Broadway — the center of the Times Square “bow tie.” Nearly 24 million LED pixels, each containing tiny red, blue and green lights, make up the display, giving it higher resolution than even the best of today’s top-of-the-line television sets.

According to marketing executives, the screen which sells at a going rate of more than $2.5 million for four weeks, ranks as one of the most expensive pieces of outdoor ad real estate on the market,. A digital art exhibition by the critically acclaimed Universal Everything studio collective will animate the screen from Tuesday night until Nov. 24, when Google will take over.

According to Harry Coghlan, President of Clear Channel Outdoor New York, the company selling the ad space, “Size matters in Times Square…..Sometimes it just comes down to wanting to stand out, and it comes down to ego.” he said.

Each day, more than 300,000 pedestrians are estimated to enter the Times Square “bow tie,” where Seventh Avenue intersects with Broadway between 42nd and 47th Streets. About eight in 10 people in Times Square reported that the signs and the advertisements add to the appeal of the destination, according to a survey of 2,000 respondents in Times Square commissioned by Times Square Alliance and other groups. About half of the respondents reported taking photographs of the signs, and 60 percent said they had spent more than five minutes looking at them.

One of the oldest forms of advertising, billboards are attracting new attention as digital displays allow for new levels of real-time interactivity. Marketers increasingly are deploying new social media and mobile components that allow viewers to engage in activities like broadcasting their faces on a billboard or downloading coupons because they walked past an ad.

Billboards previously were arduous to buy, with advertisers forced to broker deals with an array of companies that owned the space. Today, advertising groups are working to automate the buying process. Advertisers can now update digital campaigns on the fly, giving them more flexibility.

Source: New York Times