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Thread: New Signs in Times Square

  1. #16

    Default New signs in Times Square

    Now that the giant coke bottle is truly gone, here are a couple of memorial shots:

    I believe it went up in the early 90's, maybe late 80's -- the first thing to appear on that skyscraper-high arrangement was the Japanese characters on the bottle of Suntory Whisky above, causing me to worry that the Japanese had succeeding in buying up most of NY -- it was at the height of their investment here.

    It took them a while to get the Coke Sign to go through its whole routine correctly -- at night, the neck of the bottle only would be lit, and the rest of the bottle dark as if it were filled with Coke. *Then the bottle cap would lift off and to the side, a big straw would rise up, and the rest of the bottle would be lit from top to bottom, as if the Coke were being drunk. *Strobe lights would fire on the sign above the cap when it lifted off, symbolizing the carbonation escaping. *

    At the time it was put up, it seemed to me like one of the great wonders of New York, like the McDonald's on Wall Street that had a uniformed doorman and piano player at lunch time. *And of course the Star Wars-like atrium of the Marriot Marquis with the free elevator rides.

    The Coke sign was gradually drowned out by the brighter and brighter signage that *came to predominate in Times Square.

  2. #17

    Default New signs in Times Square

    Remember that shot in Midnight Cowboy when Jon Voight leans out of a window halfway up some skyscraper and the camera zooms away from him and there is a huge cowboy smoking and blowing out smoke rings? Maybe my memory has got it wrong. I bet that sign is no longer there with all those health fascists around. Is it still there? A great moment in film. Great shot. Sums up the loneliness of big cities.

  3. #18

    Default New signs in Times Square

    Billboard advertising for tobacco products became illegal several years ago. *The cowboy had been removed long before that.

  4. #19

    Default New signs in Times Square

    What a shame. I think the film was made in 1968.

  5. #20

    Default New signs in Times Square

    The animated Coca-Cola sign in Times Square during the 2001 Christmas season.

  6. #21

    Default Current Coke Sign at Time Square...

    Does anyone have a shot of what Coke has up there currently?

  7. #22


    Aug 23, 2003

  8. #23

    Default anything more recent?

    I don't mean to sound ungreatful or picky, but do you (or anyone else) have anything more recent? (perhaps that was taken within the week)

    Thanks for the pic...even though half of it is covered up

  9. #24

  10. #25
    Senior Member DougGold's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    LA, formerly NY


    I know this comment has nothing to do with the point of this board, but what the hell is an advertisement campaign for the new $20 supposed to accomplish? They announced the change. We got it. We're not going to tear them up thinking they're play money. So who needs a multi-million-dollar ad campaign?

  11. #26


    NY1 News
    March 23, 2004

    Video Gamers Race On Times Square Billboard

    The bright lights of Times Square tend to draw the eyes of drivers and passers-by, but a new billboard is a whole new kind of distraction.

    High above Times Square, there is now a gigantic video car racing game that anyone with a cellphone can play. Of course, you need to be nearby to see the screen, at 43rd and Broadway.


    How do you stand perfectly still in the middle of Times Square while dodging traffic in a race car? NY1 Tech Beat Reporter Adam Balkin explains in the following report.

    Count them - there are more than a dozen, maybe two dozen television-like billboards in Times Square, but one may be of particular interest to you. That's because you can control it, as long as you have a mobile phone.

    The ad, by Yahoo! Autos, is actually a racing game anyone can play.

    “The game works by dialing an 800 number. You find out if you're in the queue line to play the game, and when you're next in line it'll tell you which car you are - the right or the left - and you use the ‘2’ button or the ‘8’ button to make it go faster or slower,” says Jennifer Aman of Yahoo! Autos. “You just race against the computer or someone else on the street with you.”

    You don't need the latest, high tech, state of the art cell phone to play - you just need any old cell phone and a warm thumb.

    The game is kind of like those old Hot Wheels games where you set up the track and just control the speed of the car, with no steering. If you try to floor it the whole way, watch out pedestrians!

    “I was a crazy driver, but it was lots of fun,” says one participant.

    “It was pretty cool,” says another.

    For the next month, the game will run for about 25 minutes out of every hour. The game will be up from now until April 22.

    And although you can play from anywhere in the world, if you're interested in winning, it’s best to be within sight of the screen.

    To play, call 1-800-660-4402.

    - Adam Balkin

    Copyright 2004 NY1 News

  12. #27


    New York Times
    April 8, 2004

    Mountain Dew Double-Dose for Times Square Passers-By


    Adjacent billboards in Times Square point to two competing hot-dog vendors. PepsiCo has started an advertising campaign to reinvigorate its Mountain Dew soft drink brand, which has lost momentum.

    At first glance, they look like a colossal case of overkill: Immense billboards in Times Square promoting, and actually pointing the viewer's eye down toward, two rival hot-dog vendors on the sidewalks below.

    What they are really meant to help achieve is a reinvigoration of the Pepsi-Cola Company's Mountain Dew soft drink, which has successfully spun off brand extensions but lost momentum for itself.

    "Mountain Dew has been one of the fastest growing brands in the Pepsi portfolio, going up to 2000," said Gary Hemphill, senior vice president at the Beverage Marketing Corporation in New York. "Then in 2001, 2002 and 2003, it's had slight volume declines." After Pepsi-Cola, a division of PepsiCo, concentrated on sibling products like Mountain Dew Code Red and Mountain Dew LiveWire last year, Mr. Hemphill said, "now is really good timing to attempt to re-energize the core Mountain Dew brand."

    As a result, passers-by in Times Square can see a red billboard emblazoned with the face of Angelo, one of the street vendors, saying, "I assure you, I serve my Dew far colder than John's. Buy your Dew from me!" Around the corner, a green billboard shows John, the other vendor, saying "I serve my Dew with such speed you'll be chugging its nectar in no time." There is a nominal cash prize for the vendor who sells more Mountain Dew during the promotion.

    A battle of "far colder" versus "such speed" may not be very likely to catch on with the larger public the way the imaginary "tastes great/less filling" contest did for Miller Lite. But it will accomplish its mission if it engages the people who see the billboards, said Bill Bruce, executive vice president and executive creative director at the New York headquarters office of BBDO Worldwide, which creates advertising for Pepsi brands like Pepsi-Cola, Diet Pepsi and Mountain Dew. BBDO is part of the Omnicom Group.

    "It just seemed to be an interesting notion to use this huge billboard to point people directly at what you want them to do," said Mr. Bruce, who has worked on Mountain Dew for a decade. Moreover, it allowed Mountain Dew to make use of Times Square without trying to create the most jaw-dropping billboard in Times Square, he said.

    "We decided to step back and not compete with the big productions," Mr. Bruce said. "It's not about production values, it's about big ideas."

    The soft drink industry is also about money; the industry sold $15.1 billion of fizzy drinks last year, roughly the same total as in 2002, according to Information Resources Inc. in Chicago, which tracks sales in supermarkets, drug stores and mass-merchandise stores other than Wal-Mart, which does not share its results with outside researchers. (Information Resources does not release sales figures for individual brands.)

    Last year, Pepsi spent $18 million advertising the core Mountain Dew brand, compared with $6.3 million for Code Red and $4.4 million for Live Wire, according to estimates by TNS Media Intelligence/CMR, part of Taylor Nelson Sofres.

    For all that, Mountain Dew and its spin-off brands claimed 6.4 percent of the soft drink market last year, measured by volume, according to Beverage Marketing, down slightly from their combined 6.5 percent share in 2002.

    Beyond Times Square, other elements of the Mountain Dew campaign are unfolding. The integrated effort also includes billboards near the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles, using a similar approach. Two commercials continue the running "Do the Dew" theme, although they scale back the role of the gnarly, extreme-sports-loving Dew Dudes characters.

    There is also television, radio and online advertising for Dew U, a new loyalty program that lets customers exchange codes from the inside of Mountain Dew caps for goods over the Internet. (There is no word yet on which institution is tougher academically, Dew U or MTV U, recently introduced by Viacom.)

    Then there is the half-hour late-night variety series planned for the Spike TV network this summer, called MDN, for Mountain Dew Network, said Steve Sears, vice president for Mountain Dew marketing.

    "The one thing that kind of links all the elements in the campaign this year is irreverence, which has been part of the Dew personality and strategy for a long time," Mr. Sears said. But the billboards, the reduced role for the Dew Dudes and the other initiatives are intended to keep the presentation of that Dew personality evolving, he said. "The challenge for this brand is to always stay one step ahead of the consumer."

    John Galanopoulos, he of the green Times Square billboard, said yesterday that his customers were surprised by the ads and were asking for Mountain Dew more than usual. "It's something interesting," said Mr. Galanopoulos, 38, who has been a vendor in the area since 1980.

    The broad Mountain Dew campaign does not mean the spinoff brands will recede. LiveWire recently returned to stores for another summertime-only run, and will appear beginning this month in a commercial created by Spike DDB in New York, a joint venture of Spike Lee and the DDB Worldwide division of Omnicom. The drink added more than 10 percent to the sales volume of the Mountain Dew group of brands last year, according to the company.

    Nor have marketers stopped trying to make the most of Times Square however they can. For nearly three weeks, Yahoo has been promoting its online automobile section with a live car-racing video game on the Reuters sign in Times Square, which allows passers-by to play using their cell phones. Yahoo developed the creative elements internally, while R/GA in New York, an interactive advertising agency, created the game screen.

    Yesterday, things got even more zany and "experiential," as marketers like to say, when Cunning Communications in New York deployed about 40 young people around Times Square, promoting the Toyota Scion TC sports coupe with ad copy written on their foreheads.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  13. #28


    May 14, 2004

    Suggestive bunny billboard in Times Square


    A new Times Square Swatch watch billboard featuring six pairs of rabbits in various sexual positions is seen May 12, 2004 in New York City.
    The controversial billboard promotes the new "Bunnysutra" Swatch watch line.

    NEW YORK -- Has sex returned to Times Square? An advertising billboard seems to suggest it.

    The ad, above a watch store at Broadway and West 45th Street, features a larger-than-life close-up of the "Bunnysutra," a watch which pictures two cartoon bunnies in what seem to be rather, um, intimate positions.

    People in Times Square on Friday seemed more interested in a man playing guitar in his underwear. For those who did notice the billboard, reaction was mixed.

    "I think it's hilarious," said Jason Ingle, of Seal Beach, Calif., in town with friends for a baseball game.

    "It's disgusting," countered Kim Hornyak, visiting from Travers City, Mich.

    The watch features Swatch's touch crystal technology. When the dial is touched, the watch hands spin around to land on different Bunnysutra positions, then return to the time.

    The ad was put in place to launch the new product and will be replaced no later than next month to mark a new watch.

    "It's a playful and fun launch," said Yann Gamard, president of Swatch Group US, Inc. "There is no sexual connotation to it, in my opinion."

    He said the use of "Bunnysutra" was merely a "humoristic reference."

    He said the watch had sold out, and the company had received only a few complaints about the ad.

    "It's a sad statement on advertising," said Hornyak. "I don't think that shock value is necessary."

    Gamard said he didn't consider the ad, which is across the street from the MTV Studios, to be any more suggestive than the billboards around it in Times Square.

    Other ads in the vicinity include a jeans ad with a woman bent over, and a huge billboard of a woman scantily clad in a miniskirt and bandeau.

    Pamela Silas, of Orlando, Fla., was originally thinking about buying the watch for her 9-year-old daughter, but then she realized what she was looking at and reconsidered.

    "I thought it might not be a big hit in third grade elementary school," she said.

    "If I didn't think my daughter was looking at it," she added, "I'd probably find it quite humorous."


    On the Net:


    Copyright 2004 Newsday, Inc.

  14. #29


    June 21, 2004

    Refashioned Face of Coke Rises in Times Square


    The space under construction in Times Square once held the sign that wore out in 2002.

    So far, Times Square's most complex new supersign - trumpeted as the world's most technically advanced billboard - looks pretty much like a wildly oversized arts-and-crafts collage.

    But just wait till they light the lights.

    Piece by piece, at 47th Street and Broadway, the Coca-Cola Company is erecting a 30-ton, $6.5-million advertising sign, traditionally called a spectacular on the Great White Way. Coke asserts that it is the first giant sculptural, interactive, high-definition advertising display on the planet.

    Right now, though, it mostly resembles a rambling jet-black assemblage of nothing very much.

    But when it is finished - and illuminated - the display will be "the most complicated Times Square sign ever made," said Barry E. Winston, a sign consultant who should know, having brought dozens of megabillboards to Times Square since 1954, including Coke's new extravaganza.

    Sections of the giant screen have been trucked 1,500 miles from a South Dakota sign maker to Broadway. There, they dangle from a crane at 2 Times Square atop the Renaissance Hotel, until riggers can bolt them to a 41-foot-by-65-foot steel grid above the Cadillac sign.

    "It's really beginning to look great," said Anthony S. Calvano, president of the Landmark Signs and Electrical Maintenance Corporation, the sign's installer.

    The remaining modules are to be put up tomorrow and Wednesday, and the unveiling will be on July 1.

    In upgrading its sign for the first time in 13 years, Coca-Cola is capitalizing not only on the 100th anniversary of Times Square, but also on the centennial of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of New York, which now has 3,800 employees. Once its entire work force consisted of one Arthur Pratt, a salesman who delivered his first case of Coke by horse-drawn wagon to Lower Broadway in April 1904.

    The new sign will also be a locus of the worldwide advertising blitz promoting the company's new Coca-Cola C2 brand, which offers half the calories and carbohydrates of Classic Coke.

    Javier Benito, chief marketing officer for Coca-Cola North America, said the sign would "celebrate the globalness of our brand," pointing to the estimated 30 million out-of-town tourists who swarm Manhattan's town square every year.

    More than 40 engineers and designers toiled to create the new display. Statistics-overloadwise, it incorporates 80,000 feet of wiring and uses 196 power supplies, each one controlling a yard-wide section of sign. Six video processors create images with a total processing power that is twice that of an ordinary flat-panel, high-resolution computer monitor.

    The complexity of the Coke display, though, "is in its shape," said Reece Kurtenbach, a senior manager at the sign maker Daktronics Inc., in Brookings, S.D. The sign's sculptural convex and concave surfaces required image-compensation software that could present the graphics differently than on a standard flat electronic billboard.

    The sign is actually two dozen bolted-together, sculpturally shaped jumbo screens studded with 2,646,336 light-emitting diodes, known as L.E.D.'s. Groups of red, green and blue L.E.D.'s are concentrated in minicircuits called pixels; the Coke sign has 882,112 of them. When the pixels are programmed to glow in different configurations, the brains of human observers interpret them as colors.

    Times Square is so competitive these days that yet another hyperpixel sign - a 127-foot convex band on the Reuters building at 42nd Street and Seventh Avenue - is under construction for J. P. Morgan Chase & Company.

    Exactly how Coke's new sign will vanquish visual clutter is a mystery that the company refuses to reveal until July 1.

    But it can be said that the focus of the unveiling will be a production that Coca-Cola executives call "Time Machine," a three-minute, documentary-ish evocation of Times Square past - specifically, the 10 decades that Coke has been a city player. Subsequently, the company will present "Time Machine" at the top of every hour.

    Admittedly, Coke's new display is a departure from mechanical classics like the Camel cigarette billboard from the 1940's, with its wafting smoke rings. Even the Coke sign's iconic predecessor - one of the most photographed signs in the world - combined mechanical and electronic elements when it began operating on New Year's Eve in 1991; Mayor Edward I. Koch and, yes, Dick Clark, threw the switch.

    Its centerpiece was a 40-foot-high Coke bottle fitted with strobe lights flashing to simulate carbonation. Automated controls enabled its bottle cap to pop, pushing a straw out of the top.

    The old sign wore out in October 2002, and a temporary replacement - a 41-by-52-foot vinyl image of Coca-Cola products with a color L.E.D. panel at the bottom - was in place until April, when rebuilding began.

    Coke has always tried to be the 800-pound beverage in Times Square, and the first of the company's billboards was installed atop the Astor Theater at West 45th Street in 1920, proclaiming that Coke was "delicious and refreshing."

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  15. #30


    New York Times
    July 1, 2004

    Target Aims at Times Square


    Ads for the Target Corporation on the new building at 7 Times Square. The company's nine signs will cover more than 23,000 square feet.

    A discount retailer with a penchant for making assertive marketing statements in nontraditional ways is drawing a big red and white bull's-eye on Times Square.

    That clue should reveal the retailer's identity: the Target division of the Target Corporation, which as its trademark uses - you guessed it - a target. (You were expecting maybe a roebuck?) Target is taking more than 23,000 square feet of ad space on nine signs on the exterior of the lower floors of the skyscraper at 7 Times Square, also known as Times Square Tower, which opened in April.

    The deal, to be formally announced today, is estimated to be costing Target $750,000 to $1 million in rent alone, in addition to production and maintenance expenses. It may be the first time one marketer will face the millions who daily traverse the cacophonous "crossroads of the world" on so many signs perched on a single building. (Wachovia, which is leasing space on a sign far above the Target signs, between the 33rd and 37th floors of Times Square Tower, will remain there.)

    The deal is the latest effort by an advertiser to extend a brand beyond conventional marketing methods like television commercials, coupons and direct mail. Target, in seeking to cultivate an image of cheap chic, has been a pioneer among retailers by experimenting with unusual promotional ploys. They have ranged from opening "pop-up stores" that temporarily rent sites in visible locations like Rockefeller Center to festooning telephone poles with posters about a "found" dog that turns out to be Bullseye, the Target mascot.

    "It's all about creating a wave of brand awareness to keep that 'buzz' alive," said Wendy Liebmann, president at WSL Strategic Retail, a consulting company in New York.

    "Traditional retailers do it where they live," she added, "but Target has a much bolder approach to getting the word out."

    The deal was arranged by Van Wagner Communications, which specializes in outdoor advertising, on behalf of the owner of Times Square Tower, Boston Properties. Van Wagner worked with Target and Haworth Marketing and Media, a longtime Target agency Target also worked with another of its agencies, Peterson Milla Hooks.

    Target is no stranger to Times Square. It leased a large sign - known in the parlance of the outdoor industry as a spectacular - at the northeast corner of 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue, one block west of Times Square Tower. Target's lease on the Eighth Avenue sign, featuring bull's-eyes and a Lava Lamp, has expired and is not being renewed.

    "We presented the idea to Target in December that instead of being one of many" advertisers on a building, as it is at Eighth Avenue, "it could be many on one building," said Scott Slater, out-of-home media specialist at Haworth, who described the nine signs, which together cover 23,234 square feet, as a "cityscape."

    "We're always looking for the next big, unique idea to showcase Target," he added, "and this is an opportunity to create impact in a very large way."

    The nine signs on the Times Square Tower are part of a campaign for Target, introduced in January, called "Raining Bull's-Eye," which transforms things like rain, water from a garden hose and shooting stars into its target logo. The signs extend from the lobby area as high as the sixth floor, 98 feet above the sidewalk.

    The signs are on three of the four sides of the building, which is bounded by 41st and 42nd Streets and Seventh Avenue and Broadway; the side facing 41st Street is bare of signs. Two signs - on the 42nd Street corners - will be equipped with fiber optic lights to let the bull's-eyes shimmer and shine; the one on the northwest corner is 78 feet wide and 72 feet tall, and the one on the northeast corner is 72 feet wide and 52 feet tall.

    The "branding ownership" aspect of the deal has "shattered the traditional outdoor thinking of 'onesies,' one display for one building, sharing consumers' eyeballs with the other advertisers," said Tommy Turner, senior vice president and partner at Van Wagner.

    "From now on," he added, Times Square Tower "will simply be known as 'The Target Tower.' "

    Well, perhaps it will at least through the term of the lease for the space, which runs through the end of the year with options for multiple-year renewals.

    The deal is part of "an integrated effort to create excitement in New York City," said Paula Thornton-Greear, a spokeswoman for Target in Minneapolis, and it "brings us even closer to Times Square" than it had been with the Eighth Avenue sign.

    Although there are Target stores in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens, with two more opening this month, Times Square's borough has none.

    "Manhattan is a very important market for us, and we're always looking for real estate opportunities," Ms. Thornton-Greear said, adding that "a number of factors have to come together" before a Target could open there.

    Ms. Liebmann, the retail consultant, said she did not believe Manhattan shoppers would be annoyed at seeing so many signs for a chain where they cannot readily shop.

    "It will have meaning to consumers whether Target is around the corner or they have to jump on a train to get there," she said. "For people who do shop Target," like the many tourists who frequent Times Square, "it's reinforcement," Ms. Liebmann added. "And for people who have only heard about Target, it will make them salivate even more at the prospect of an occasional 'treat trip.' "

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

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