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Pair Launches Medium for High-Rise Commuters

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Captivate Seeks to Place Ad-Supported Video Monitors in Elevators
BOSTON--If Michael DiFranza and Todd Newville achieve their goal, passengers on high-rise elevators will never have to stare uncomfortably at their shoes or the floor numbers again.
The two have launched Captivate Network, a Westford, Mass.-based company that installs flat-panel screens in elevators of office buildings and hotels to deliver ad-supported news, weather, entertainment, stock market and traffic information from various online sources.
Captivate expects to place screens in about 50 high-rises this year in Boston, New York, Chicago and Stamford, Conn. The company has inked deals with content partners such as Accuweather, SmarTraveler, Sidewalk.com and Reuters.
Content shown on two-thirds of the screen is formatted and edited by Captivate; the bottom third is a banner ad. Each silent image is shown for 10 seconds and the information is updated throughout the day so passengers see new information on each ride.
Advertising rates will vary depending on the size of the high-rise, the frequency of the ad and the region, according to Nancy Jackson, Captivate's vice president of marketing and programming. Revenue will also be generated from building managers, who will be charged about $200-250 per month per elevator.
Captivate will profile the tenants of each building so that advertisers know exactly who will be seeing their ads. Average Captivate users are likely 25-54-year-old Web-savvy professionals who ride elevators an average of eight times a day, spending 30-45 seconds each time, according to the company's research. The average worker, DiFranza reasons, could read up to 32 screens each workday.
"This is an opportunity to reach a very qualified audience," said Barry Kurland, Boston general manager at Sidewalk.com. Kurland hopes the content will pique the interest of executives enough to head to their computers and log onto the site.