Google Puts Outdoor Advertising Budget to Good Use with This Unbelievable Interactive Billboard

Google Puts Outdoor Advertising Budget to Good Use with This Unbelievable Interactive Billboard

Times Square recently became the home of the largest billboard in history. This interactive billboard features a screen by Mitsubishi Electric that’s the size of a football field. The Diamond Vision AVL-ODT10, as it’s known, delivers a pixel density of 2,368 x 10,048, exceeding 4K display resolution by 15 million pixels.Google has become the first company renting this prime advertising space in a campaign that will last through January 31.


Not only do they get exclusive advertising rights to this space–through the prime holiday shopping season and Times Square’s New Year’s Eve celebrations–but the tech giant has unveiled new, state-of-the-art technological features, as well. One campaign, which ran for two days, offers consumers the opportunity to “Androidify” themselves on their own smartphone. By customizing OS android mascot, users can create an avatar that looks like themselves, their friends, or their family–and then project it on the largest billboard in the world through use of an exclusive Android app. They can also have their characters printed on t-shirts and postcards.

image source: BGR.com


Google’s plans for this expansive advertising space include other campaigns for their own products. But they also have their eye on charitable campaigns featuring the World Wildlife Fund, Charity Water, and more.


The billboard is located on 1535 Broadway, between 45th and 46th streets, about a mile and a half from Google’s New York headquarters and is owned by Clear Channel Spectacolor and Vornado Realty Trust. Of the space, a Clear Channel spokesperson told Mashable: This is the largest billboard on Broadway ever. [And] the largest digital billboard in North America.”


It’s unclear precisely how much Google paid for the space. However, reports to Ad Age state that ordinary outdoor billboard space in Times Square can run as high as $4 million a year. Dunkin’ Donuts, for example, pays $3.6 million a year for its One Times Square digital sign, and Brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev pays $3.4 million a year for neighboring space.

This Retro Advertising Method has Modern Appeal

When considering their advertising budget, many companies limit themselves to social media campaigns and costly TV and radio advertising. But road trip favorite Cracker Barrel is leading the way in craft an advertising campaign with timeless appeal. The restaurant commits nearly 50% of its advertising budget to billboard ads, according to eMarketer. Their charming, southern-style restaurants are often located near exits and major highways in order to attract travelers on long distance journeys, so an extensive billboard advertising campaign is a natural fit for their business. And it’s proven to be a very effective strategy. The corporation has experienced annual growth of over 10%.



Many companies overlook this strategy when crafting their advertising budget. But outdoor advertising such as billboards remain effective even in a modern climate. Although social media campaigns can target specific audiences closely, billboards–including digital billboards–can help your business gain exposure to a wide customer base. Here are four ways to ensure the effectiveness of your next outdoor advertising campaign:


1. Pattern your campaign after other successful brands


There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. When you see an advertising strategy that’s worked well for other brands, consider designing a similar campaign for your own product and audience. This strategy worked well for the grocery delivery app Instacart. According to an interview in AdWeek, their online media strategy was seeing declining returns in 2014. Their former media manager chose to pattern their new campaign after the subway billboard campaign he saw utilized by other companies. Though the subsequent growth was difficult to quantify, Instacart enjoyed a surge of online subscribers.


2. Create a campaign with visual impact


Unlike online advertising, an outdoor media advertising exists in a rich–and sometimes distracting–physical environment. To increase the impact of your billboards, use eye-catching designs that can be easily read from afar. And consider ways to increase user interaction with these ads. A hashtag campaign embedded in a billboard can increase reach, as consumers take quick snaps with their smartphones and share them in online spaces.


3. Consider the impact of travel time in your ad placement


Online ads on social media are viewed quickly and then dismissed. However, Americans spend huge amounts of time in their cars, particularly those in congested areas or with long commutes. Carefully placed advertisements in prime real estate could be viewed for far longer than other advertising. A deliberately planned outdoor advertising campaign can help even companies who primarily do their business online. According to Investor’s Business Daily, companies like Amazon and Netflix are some of the biggest spenders when it comes to outdoor advertising.


4. Combine retro advertising appeal with modern strategies


Just because you’re embarking on an outdoor advertising campaign doesn’t mean you have to forgo new strategies for interaction, design, and more. Smartphone and tracking tech can give you extensive data about who is viewing your ads and when. Outdoor advertising can be combined with interactive elements, like lights which illuminate when ads are being viewed, sample dispensers, and more.


By pacing your ads in outdoor spaces, you’re guaranteeing views–and expanding possible returns. Ads carefully placed on gas station pumps, subway cars and stations, and traffic tunnels integrate seamlessly into the modern landscape, increasing your returns on your advertising investment.



Clients of Veale Outdoor Advertising