Walgreens Claims Prime Real Estate

The new Walgreens electronic display at One Times Square embodies the term “spectacular.” The blow-your-socks-off display, launched Nov. 20, is the largest and most-advanced digital video spectacular in the most prime location in all of New York City, and is expected to deliver 1.6 million daily impressions. Serving as a beacon for the Walgreens brand, the spectacular also is home to a new, three-story Walgreens store, returning the retailer to the same space it vacated back in 1970.

“Even before it opened, we had people knocking on the glass to get in,” said Craig Sinclair, vp, advertising at Walgreens.

Larger and taller than the current record holder, the Walgreens spectacular is seven stories high (212 feet). It’s also the only spectacular in Manhattan facing three locations. Designed by the Gilmore Group with D3, passersby may need a pair of shades to view the 12 million-plus LEDs creating more than 16,000 feet of high-resolution video display.

At street level, there are 13 60-inch plasma screens along the three sides of the building. Advertising runs across all electronic elements of the sign in one-hour blocks, which include 30 minutes of paid advertising (six minutes per hour, per brand), plus Walgreens branding and promotional material.

ABC New Media Sales, which is handling ad sales, has signed four charter advertisers: L’Oréal, Kraft, Johnson & Johnson and Colgate, all of which sell brands in the store. “It’s the biggest point-of-purchase display in the world,” said Sinclair. “If they’re in the store, you can engage them and give them the chance to buy right there.”

Like other retailers, Walgreens is finding that point-of-purchase OOH is meeting its marketing needs better than traditional media. Said Sinclair, “You can buy a spot on TV and hope that the consumer gets off the couch and buys something. The number of people going through our stores is bigger than the audience of the three networks combined. The whole concept of the 30-second TV spot is dead.”