Clear Channel Unveils ‘Spectacular’ Board

NEW YORK Clear Channel Outdoors’ Spectacolor division plans to announce in the coming weeks the fall launch of one of the outdoor industry’s first high-definition “spectacular” digital boards.

Located in New York’s Times Square at 47th Street and Broadway, the Spectacolor HD board will sport the highest resolution possible and be equipped with the latest interactive technologies, such as Bluetooth, SMS messaging and free broadband wireless access from Duffy Square across the street from the 40-foot by 40-foot screen.

Along with displaying full-motion video ads in high-def, the new board will stream news, weather and sports content along the bottom one-third. The company, which teased clients in a multimedia release last week, is currently lining up content partners.

Clear Channel, like other outdoor media companies, has been rolling out digital boards across the country, changing the way outdoor companies sell inventory and how advertisers use it. Although the boards cost more to erect, the payoff is the ability to sell to multiple advertisers, increasing ad revenue by as much as 10 times. Advertisers, in turn, can change creative quickly and target messages by daypart, much like TV.

“The outdoor medium is meshing with the TV medium, bringing TV to the streets,” said Diane Cimine of Cimine Enterprises, an out-of-home consultancy.

The Spectacolor HD board also promises to take the transformation of the outdoor medium one step further to engage the consumer through interactive features. Using mobile phones, passersby will be able to listen to audio for the board, play games on the screen, send text messages or download audio and video files.