Pearl Media Attempts to Spook Subway Riders at Columbus Circle for ‘Witches of East End’

By Erik Oster 

Pearl Media’s interactive billboard at Columbus Circle attempts to spook passing subway riders with a large screen ad that responds to their movements.

The gesture-activated, multimedia billboard has been promoting Witches of East End since September 13th. As Pearl Media CEO Josh Cohen puts it, “The video walls are designed to get busy Upper West Side commuters to put down their small screens and spend time with cool content on a really big screen so that they’ll tune in to their medium-sized TV screens when the series premieres on October 6.” Phew. I think Louis C.K. would probably have something to say about that one.


At any rate, the billboard features two nine square-foot walls, comprised of nine screens each. An extreme close up of a woman’s green iris appears to follow commuters as they walk by, masses of crows fly out of her pupil as the scene changes to trees slowly being consumed by fire. The more movement from those passing by, the more the scene changes. Music and sound are also integrated into the interactive billboard.

The billboard didn’t seem to actually scare anybody (nor, I think, will Witches of East End), but it did stop some people in their tracks and get them to interact with the billboard. Some of them seemed to be having fun. Whether that will get anyone to actually tune into Lifetime is another story.