N.Y.’s Times Square Owners Create Ad Network

A group of five media companies controlling some of the biggest digital spectacular signs in Times Square is making it easier for brands to put their name in lights across multiple signs, all at the same time.

Called Times Square Domination, the networking effort, announced at a press conference Wednesday (Sept. 23) in New York, offers marketers a one-stop shop for creating an unprecedented campaign in the nation’s largest out-of-home arena where 565,000 people pass through each day.

The network will be able to sync a marketer’s message across many of Times Square’s most captivating video signs, including Clear Channel’s Spectacolor HD sign, ABC SuperSign, the NASDAQ sign or News Corp.’s Astrovision sign. As part of the package, TSD offers accompanying marketing and event initiatives such as sampling and the use of street teams to create a total brand immersion.

“Sometimes, the benefits of coming together as an industry for customers are so compelling that even strong rivals see the value,” said Harry Coghlan, president of Clear Channel Spectacolor, one of the companies participating in the network along with ABC Regional Sports & Entertainment Sales, NASDAQ, News Corp. and Reuters.

TSD will also include the Times Square Network, a fully integrated platform created around Clear Channel’s Spectacolor HD sign at 47 Street at Duffy Square. When it launches next year, Clear Channel is hoping to turn the sign into a new entertainment source, complete with live, original programming broadcast from a Times Square Studio and streamed on a companion Web site. Short programming segments will focus on any number of popular interests, including segments supporting major product launches or interviews with people on the street conducted by street teams armed with cameras. Sponsored advertising will air in pre-determined slots and can be combined with live event marketing, mobile messaging, polling and contests.

“When we build SpecHD, we knew this attraction could also support a new model,” said Coghlan. “We knew that we could enable true interaction with the audience, going beyond traditional one-way broadcasts to create true two-way conversations.”