A&E Promos ‘Andromeda Strain’ With Billboard

To promote the upcoming Memorial Day premiere of the miniseries re-make of The Andromeda Strain, A&E is taking its marketing to the streets. Through a partnership with Pearl Media/Motomedia U.K., Horizon Media converted vacant storefronts into an interactive street-level billboard in Manhattan.

A first for A&E, the street-level billboard is located on 8th Ave. near Columbus Circle at 56th St. The display, which debuted May 6 and will run through the month of May, includes a video projection that will continuously play a trailer for the program as well as dynamic ambient sound.

In an industry first, the board will also include tiny, hidden scanner cameras to capture audience data and gauge pedestrian reaction. The cameras, which use intelligence software to scan passersby will give Horizon and A&E hour-by-hour analysis of how many people viewed the ad, how long they looked at it and their gender.

“Combining this state of the art technology with the opportunity to measure consumer interaction provides a tool to measure the effectiveness of our medium and produces a comfort level never before seen in the out-of-home market,” said Joshua Cohen, president of Pearl Media.

Street-level advertising is an emerging trend in the out-of-home business. Inwindow Outdoor pioneered the format in 2002 in New York, and now offers inventory in seven other major markets. Pearl Media, which launched a year and a half ago in the U.S. after developing its approach in the U.K., is also in eight major markets.

“A&E is always looking for innovative ways to reach viewers,” said Lori Peterzell, vp of marketing for A&E. “The street level billboard offers us a breakthrough, high-impact opportunity to portray The Adromedia Strain as a cannot-be-missed event.”