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Thread: Dazzling new supersigns in Times Square

  1. #16
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    Hello guys from the other side of the globe! Guess what I heard on the radio today?
    The Nasdaq building is claiming to have the largest, and now also tallest Billboard in the World. Official opening of the Disney Sign will take place today in the late afternoon, in attendance of a large Media crowd, ad companies, environmetalists and major dignitaries of New York City.
    Last edited by michelle1; April 21st, 2005 at 05:29 PM.

  2. #17


    Hello from Australia,
    I come here each day hoping to read further comments on the Lumacom sign atop 4TS. But, alas, tis a forgotten subject.

    Well, just in case someone is still watching; In the night time display, does the Lion King just get bigger and smaller, or is there a wide range of advertising?

    I downloaded the company's video of the sign at night, but truthfully it was fairly ordinary.

    Lumacom's technologly is very green in that it uses far less electricity to run and less goodies to make, hence Durst's interest, and why I am interested too. But, does it work well enough to catch on. I'm trying to access from this side of the planet whether this technology can produce readable messages displayed so high up.

    All the best from Riverview

  3. #18
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    If Bigger Is Better, NBC Is Moving Up

    NBC Universal
    A rendering of a sign set to appear in Times Square next month.

    September 4, 2006

    After a decade of promoting its television programs on a giant Times Square sign, NBC Universal is moving a block away to a bigger space, co-sponsored by a different maker of TV sets.

    The NBC Universal AstroVision video screen on 1 Times Square, co-sponsored with the Panasonic division of Matsushita Electric, has been a visible part of the neighborhood since 1996. With the 10-year lease on the sign expiring, NBC Universal sought a larger presence in the Times Square media gulch, said John Miller, chief marketing officer at the NBC Universal Television Group, particularly after 1 Times Square became covered with video screens for other brands like Budweiser and Discover Card.

    “It looks like a shelf at Best Buy with monitors stacked atop each other,” Mr. Miller said. “It became a little bit less special.”

    NBC Universal, part of General Electric, is teaming with Sharp for its newest screen, which is scheduled to go live sometime in October. The new screen, sandwiched between two oversize billboards that will also advertise NBC Universal, will be above the Champs Sports store at 5 Times Square, on the southwest corner of 7th Avenue and 42nd Street.

    The screen and billboards will total almost 3,500 square feet, compared with the 1,400 square feet of the AstroVision sign. Neither NBC Universal nor Sharp would discuss the financial terms of the lease, also for 10 years, although it is estimated to total in the eight figures.

    The new screen will carry the Sharp Aquos brand name, after the Aquos line of flat-panel TV sets with liquid-crystal display screens. It will be Sharp’s debut in Times Square.

    “It’s all about the showmanship in Times Square, one of the most-visited areas in the U.S.,” said Bob Scaglione, senior vice president and general manager for marketing at the Sharp Electronics Marketing Corporation of America. “We were notably absent.”

    Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

  4. #19
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Video (short, fun, informative) from Creative Time on the Supersigns / Advertising in Times Square ...

    A Consumer's Guide to Times Square Advertising

  5. #20
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    Charmin to New York: ‘Go in Style’

    A rendering shows what a toilet paper will do to get noticed over the holiday season in New York. Twenty
    stalls will be available.

    November 15, 2006

    NEVER stand when you can sit, and never pass up a chance to go to the bathroom.

    It’s the kind of oft-repeated advice that New Yorkers find useless. In Manhattan, chances to get rid of that morning coffee are few and far between.

    But the search for relief is about to ease, at least for the 15.3 million people who the New York Travel Advisory Bureau predicts will visit New York over the holidays. From next Monday through Dec. 31, the Procter & Gamble Charmin brand will operate a public restroom in the heart of Times Square, amply stocked with Charmin Ultra, and complete with attendants who are assigned to clean up after each use.

    “Let’s face it — there aren’t a lot of environments where a bathroom tissue message is relevant,” said Dennis Legault, brand manager for Charmin. “But the message is very relevant when people really need to go.”

    The 20-stall restroom will be at 1540 Broadway, between 45th and 46th Streets, in space formerly occupied by a bar, Bar Code. It will be open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. (except for Christmas Day, when it will close at 6 p.m.). Two of the stalls will be accessible to people with disabilities, and baby changing stations will be available. There will also be a seating lounge, with its own photo-op: A six-foot stuffed Charmin bear, just waiting to have its picture taken with a visitor.

    It is not on street level, but it will be hard to miss. Charmin representatives will be roaming the Times Square streets dressed as toilets, handing out fliers advertising the restroom’s location. Electronic billboards at local airports will announce it, too, and Charmin will prominently post the location on its Web site. Doris Roberts, Raymond’s mom on “Everyone Loves Raymond,” has agreed to do the ceremonial first flush on Monday.

    A huge billboard over the door to the restroom itself will say “You are in New York. Go in Style.” Right under that will be a sign saying Charmin Restroom.

    “Think of it as our holiday gift to New York,” Mr. Legault said.

    Brand specialists say it is actually New York’s holiday gift to Charmin. “Really, how often do you get to introduce your product in a one-on-one fashion, to a highly motivated audience that is almost certain to respond with gratitude?” said James R. Gregory, chief executive of the brand consulting firm CoreBrand.

    Charmin first tested the idea of free bathrooms in 2000, when it refurbished a restroom at the Ohio State Fair. “It was a way to try the idea without investing lots of money,” Mr. Legault said.

    Follow-up research showed that there was a definite increase in Charmin’s sales, and that even three months later, people remembered the Potty Palooza, as Charmin calls its spiffed-up johns. The research showed that people even stayed longer at the fair. “In the past, they stayed as long as their bladders held out,” Mr. Legault said.

    But a Times Square restroom is a bigger gamble for Charmin. This is the first time the brand will operate a restroom for longer than a few days. And, since Times Square gets visitors from all over the world, it will be hard to check whether the restroom has pumped up Charmin’s image, let alone its sales. Charmin representatives at the site will try to talk to visitors as they go out, even get e-mail addresses or phone numbers so they can contact them down the road. Still, Mr. Legault concedes, “evaluating this is going to be a challenge.”

    Mr. Legault declined to discuss budget, except to say that the restroom is second only to television advertising among this year’s promotional costs.

    Neither Charmin nor Vornado, the real estate company that owns the space, would divulge what Charmin is paying in rent. But upstairs retail space in the area goes for $150 to $225 a square foot per year, and the restroom will occupy from 7,000 to 8,000 square feet.

    Cost, in fact, was the main thing keeping Charmin from doing this sooner. “Real estate is so expensive in New York, we just couldn’t be sure the economics would work,” Mr. Legault said. “But we know that New York is the center of the universe, so we just had to give it a try.”

    Branding experts say it is money well spent. “This will provide a much-needed service for women, who I suspect are Charmin’s main buyers,” said Judy Hopelain, a partner at the marketing consultant Prophet Brand Strategy.

    Michael Watras, president of the brand consultant Straightline International, figures that the costs, no matter how high, are a pittance for what the promotion will glean. “They’re showcasing their brand to a gazillion people in the toughest place in the toughest city,” he said. “They’ll get more publicity than any advertising campaign could ever provide.”

    Still, it is not a risk-free approach. If those attendants fall down on the cleaning job, or if the lines at the restroom are too long, there could be a backlash, the branding specialists said. And, when Charmin closes the Potty Palooza at year-end, gratitude could quickly become resentment. “When you introduce something that people like, it’s never a good idea to take it away,” Mr. Gregory warned.

    Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

  6. #21
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Stuntman Blaine to hang from hook in Times Square
    Fri Nov 17, 2006 4:21 PM ET

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - In his latest stunt, U.S. magician David Blaine will be shackled to a spinning gyroscope hanging some three stories above Times Square as he tries to escape before a three day deadline.

    The 33-year-old, whose previous stunts include 61 hours encased in a block of ice and one week buried in a coffin, will be hoisted 40 feet above the ground just off New York's Times Square on Tuesday.

    Blaine will be secured in a three-ringed gyroscope spinning continuously in all directions and retailer Target Corp. has challenged the magician to escape from his position by 5 a.m. Friday.

    "There will be no barriers to protect him from elements like wind, rain, snow or freezing temperatures," Target said.

    If he succeeds, Blaine will then accompany 100 families chosen by The Salvation Army on a shopping spree at Target. The department store said it will give each family a $500 giftcard if Blaine completes the challenge.

    Other stunts Blaine has done include a week living underwater in a clear sphere and 44 days in a box suspended over the River Thames in London.

    "This is my chance to give back to The Salvation Army and to benefit other families," Blaine said in a statement. "It's my goal not only to successfully complete this challenge, but to help give others an extraordinary holiday season."

    © Reuters 2006.


    Target Challenges David Blaine with a Spectacular Thanksgiving Mission

    News Release
    November 10, 2006

    David Blaine, The Salvation Army and Target Kick-Off the 2-Day Sale to Bring Joy to Deserving Families This Holiday Season

    WHAT/WHO: This Thanksgiving, Target is presenting David Blaine -- the world's greatest endurance artist and magician -- with one of his biggest challenges yet. As part of his challenge, he will attempt to escape from shackles while dangling four stories above Times Square in time for the Target 2-Day Sale. Target and David Blaine are joining together to present this event to benefit The Salvation Army and kick-off a dazzling holiday shopping season. If David Blaine successfully completes this feat, 100 deserving children will have a surprising and unforgettable start to the Christmas season. Target and David Blaine will reveal the closely guarded details of Blaine's new challenge at this not-to-be-missed press conference.

    David Blaine and John Remington, VP of Events Marketing and Communications for Target will meet the press on Friday, November 17 to take the wraps off of Blaine's new challenge.

    WHEN: Friday, November 17

    • 11:00 a.m.
    • West 46th Street
    • (A lot on the south side of the street between Broadway and 8th Avenue) New York, NY
    • The location of David Blaine's next extraordinary challenge
    • Q&A with David Blaine
    • Q&A with John Remington of Target
    • The day after Thanksgiving is one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Only a stunt on the world's biggest stage is spectacular enough to kick off the Target 2-Day Sale.
    • Target has partnered with The Salvation Army to specially select 100 deserving children who will benefit from Blaine's successful completion of this challenge.
    • David Blaine has accepted this challenge as a way to give back to The Salvation Army, an organization that had memorable impact on him as a child.
    CONTACT: Elisabeth Opalka Target Media Relations Kaplow Communications (612)696-3400 (646) 747-3530

    SOURCE Target
    11/10/2006 P 3266 11/10/2006 12:05 EST

  7. #22


    November 20, 2006

    Charmin's Times Square Bathrooms Are Open For Your Business

    Posted by Jen Chung

    In time for the holiday season, the Ultimate Charmin Family Experience is here! And by "family experience," Charmin means going to the bathroom together in delightfully clean (at this point) bathrooms in Times Square! There are 20 clean and comfortable restrooms, open from 8AM to 11PM through December 31 (well, the potties are closed on Christmas and will close at 6PM on December 24 and 31), but there's also a waiting room with flat-screen TVs and a fireplace.

    Workers will be cleaning the bathrooms after each use (and it's probably considerate of you to flush), so these might be the cleanest bathrooms in the city. And don't forget to take your picture with a Charmin bear!

    The Charmin facilities were designed by the Gigunda Group, which has designed other Charmin promotions (like the mobile restrooms) before.

    2003-2006 Gothamist LLC.

  8. #23


    David Blaine Hangs Out

    by Josh Grossberg
    Fri, 17 Nov 2006 02:55:14 PM PST

    Things are starting to look up for David Blaine...or down, depending on his point of view.

    For his next feat, the illusionist/performance artist/masochist will dangle from a hook five stories above Times Square while shackled to a spinning gyroscope. He has three days to escape.

    The challenge, sponsored by Target to kick off the holiday shopping season, will get underway at 10 a.m. Tuesday, when Blaine is slated to be hoisted by crane to his destination, 40 feet above West 46th Street near Eighth Avenue.

    There, he will be strapped in to a giant three-ringed gyroscope—said to be inspired by Leonardo da Vinci's famous Proportion of Man drawing and akin to the crazy carnival contraptions that make people sick on sight—and spin continuously, without protection from the elements. (Blaine has apparently lucked out, weather-wise: The extended forecast calls for mostly sunny days with temperatures in the low 50s, before rain moves in at week's end.)

    His task: to make it safely out of the gyroscope by 6 a.m. on Nov. 24, aka Black Friday.

    Should he make it out in one piece and be able to stand upright, Blaine will then escort 100 children and their families—chosen by the Salvation Army—on a shopping spree at the Times Square Target store.

    "This is my chance to give back to the Salvation Army and to [help] benefit other families," Blaine said in a statement, giving a nod to the organization that helped clothe him as a child. "It's my goal not only to successfully complete this challenge, but to help give others an extraordinary holiday season."

    And an extraordinary sight. The last time the 33-year-old performer cheated death was during a seven-night stint last May in a water-filled acrylic ball outside Manhattan's Lincoln Center. The stunt was capped with an unsuccessful bid at breaking the world record for holding his breath underwater.

    Blaine's previous endurance tests include encasing himself in a block of ice for 61 hours, fasting for 44 days in an acrylic box, being buried alive for seven days and perching himself on a tiny platform overlooking the Big Apple's Bryant Park for 35 hours.

  9. #24


    Quote Originally Posted by BigMac View Post
    There are 20 clean and comfortable restrooms, open from 8AM to 11PM through December 31 (well, the potties are closed on Christmas and will close at 6PM on December 24 and 31), but there's also a waiting room with flat-screen TVs and a fireplace.

    Workers will be cleaning the bathrooms after each use (and it's probably considerate of you to flush), so these might be the cleanest bathrooms in the city. And don't forget to take your picture with a Charmin bear!
    I am SO going to use these facilities on my way to work in the morning at, uh, 7, am... Damn.

    Well, I will catch them on the way home then, after the bar closes, at, uh... Damn.

    These are tourist bathrooms, aren't they?

    Not that there is anything WRONG with that ... but how about some safe, resaonably clean restrooms available at least at Times Square for Godsakes! 24X365. Is that too much to ask?

    Man, and cleaning after each use? They must have a veritable army of, uh, pot scrubbers? That is quite an undertaking...

  10. #25
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daver View Post

    David Blaine Hangs Out

    I WONDER where he got that idea from?

  11. #26
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    M&M World at 1600 Broadway has just put up a wild new pixalated mother ...

    Just in time for the Thanksgiving Day Parade down Broadway

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  12. #27
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    A Glitzy (But Temporary) Answer to Nature’s Calls in Times Sq.

    November 21, 2006

    Standing before 13 television cameras and roughly 50 journalists yesterday, the actress Doris Roberts recalled her son’s “little tinkle dance” during a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade years ago.

    “There was nowhere to go,” said Ms. Roberts, one of the stars of the television sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond.” So, she said, she marched the boy, Michael, who was 8 at the time, into Central Park and declared, “Try behind that tree.”

    Ms. Roberts delivered her anecdote at what surely had to be one of the splashier grabs for publicity in the recent history of Times Square. Ms. Roberts was the V.I.P. for the ribbon-cutting and ceremonial first flush marking the opening of 20 public toilets near 46th Street and Broadway. The luxurious-looking restroom complex was installed by the Charmin brand of toilet paper, which has leased the space until Dec. 31.

    In a restroom-challenged city, Charmin’s marketing ploy impressed many people, including Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. “The mind boggles,” Mr. Bloomberg said when asked about the Times Square event during a news conference in the Bronx. “The person that sold that is somebody I’d love to have come to work for my company.”

    Tim Tompkins, the president of the Times Square Alliance, the business group that, among other things, organizes the city’s New Years Eve celebration, said, “I’ve never seen so many television cameras in my life, not even on New Year’s.”

    Charmin, which is part of Procter and Gamble, had broadcast the arrival of its Times Square “Potty Palooza” with a giant billboard above the entrance. The plan was widely reported last week.

    A long escalator ride from the sidewalk takes people to a large waiting area furnished with flat-screen televisions, couches and a fireplace. Beyond are the bathrooms, numbered 1 through 20, each equipped with gleaming white porcelain sinks and, of course, Charmin toilet paper (six rolls per stall.)

    Some are theme bathrooms, with wallpaper depicting Times Square, Wall Street and Grand Central Terminal. There are changing tables for children, and toilets equipped for people with disabilities.

    The restroom complex, which is in a space formerly occupied by a bar, will be open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., except on Christmas Day, when it will close at 6 p.m.

    Charmin’s gift opened at a time when the city, after years of squabbling, was in the process of selecting 20 locations for public pay toilets that were to be installed, sometime next year, under a contract with a Spanish company.

    Mr. Bloomberg has cited the shortage of public toilets for visitors and shoppers as a serious issue, which has been alleviated only slightly in recent years with an invasion of Starbucks coffee houses, chain bookstores and other businesses that make their facilities available to the public.

    In 2002, the mayor said addressing the public restroom shortage was one of his three highest priorities, behind improving city schools and grappling with the city budget.

    Charmin said it had hired 30 workers to clean its new bathrooms after each use.

    “These are 20 fabulous, free, fantastic restrooms,” said Ms. Roberts yesterday. Then, as she struck a radiant pose, one hand atop the toilet handle, her inaugural flush was captured by the cameras.

    Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

  13. #28
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    It's potty time for 50,000 on B'way

    Throng waits for hottest seats
    on Broadway - Charmin's brand
    new rest rooms in Times Square.


    One of the biggest new tourist attractions in Times Square isn't a Broadway show or a theme restaurant.

    It's a toilet.

    More than 50,000 people have visited a 20-stall potty palace that toilet paper giant Charmin opened at 1540 Broadway last Monday - and it's not just for the novelty.

    The rest rooms, which will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. through the end of December, are a much-needed amenity in a city famously lacking in public rest rooms, said people waiting to use the loos.

    "If this wasn't here, I would have gone in the street," said Jason Dunne, 32, of Ireland.

    About 50 people stood between Dunne and the bathrooms yesterday - but many more people were behind him in line.

    "I just gotta go," said Michael Brown, 19, of Baltimore.

    The Charmin toilets are disappearing by 2007, but New Yorkers shouldn't have to wait too much longer for public rest rooms.

    Self-cleaning, 25-cent kiosks are scheduled to be on the streets in the spring, thanks to a deal the city signed in September 2005 after years of delays, screwups and redesigns.

    "It took Charmin three weeks to build this space, and it's taken the city 15 years to create public rest rooms," said Tim Collins, a manager at the site.

    The city's public johns likely won't offer as surreal an experience as Charmin does.

    Visitors must take an escalator to the second floor of the building, where the entire space is decorated in blue and white. Toilets No. 1 and No. 2 are designated "Gotta Go Stalls - For Little Squirt Emergencies."

    Dancing bathroom attendants clean each gleaming stall after every use.
    "It was the strangest toilet experience of my life," said Alex Lofthouse, who was visiting from England. "It makes you smile."

    Originally published on November 26, 2006

    © 2006 Daily News, L.P.

  14. #29
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    On Friday I thought I'd give these things a "go" ...

    But the line was all the way down the block ...

    Back to Starbucks

  15. #30
    The Dude Abides
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    Hottest Ad Space in Times Square May Be on Tourists’ Cameras

    Published: December 11, 2006

    Advertisers have long been drawn to Times Square as a valuable place to reach consumers, paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for space on billboards and blazing video screens.

    But recently they have discovered that down on the ground, new technology has given low cost, face-to-face marketing campaigns something of a cutting edge as consumers spread their messages on the Internet.

    Take the recent display of public toilets set up by Charmin bathroom tissue: Used by thousands in Times Square and viewed by 7,400 Web users on one site alone. Or Nascar’s recent display of race cars; videos of the event have been viewed on YouTube more than 1,800 times. More than 60 people wrote about the event on their blogs and 60 more spread the word — and pictures — on the Flickr Web site.

    “The great thing about the digital world is you can capture these events,” said Christian McMahan, brand director for Smirnoff Ice, owned by Diageo. “People can see them whether they were there that day or 3,000 miles away.”

    As a result of the growing popularity of consumer-generated pictures, videos and e-mail messages on Internet sites like YouTube and Myspace, advertisers are getting consumers to essentially do their jobs for them.

    When Target, the discount store operator, suspended the magician David Blaine above Times Square for two days during the week of Thanksgiving, videos shot by viewers were posted on YouTube and viewed more than 19,300 times.

    “Times Square is becoming, in a way, a publishing platform,” said Peter Stabler, director of communication strategy for Goodby, Silverstein and Partners, an advertising agency that is part of the Omnicom Group. “What happens in Times Square is no longer strictly the province of location. You can experience things that are happening there, even if you’re not there.”

    On sites like YouTube, Flickr and MySpace, an army of tourists and residents are spreading advertisers’ messages well beyond Manhattan, using their cell phones and video cameras as they walk through the marketing crossroads of the world.

    Consumer brand companies are taking advantage of that by hosting elaborate events, fully aware that those events are great fodder for footage. Hosting events in Times Square, advertisers said, is like buying product placement in a TV show or a movie — except the cameras are held by consumers and the placement is on the Internet.

    Experiential marketing, as the ad industry calls such campaigns, is intended to give people something they can tryout and photograph. Companies are holding such events in cities around the world, but advertisers said Times Square was unparalleled in its reach. People around the world recognize Times Square in photos and videos online and are more likely to view them, marketers said.

    Charmin’s bathrooms, which opened on Broadway near West 46th Street on Nov. 20, generated traditional coverage with more than 80 articles published about the fancy toilets. But consumer videos posted on YouTube alone have been viewed more than 7,400 times.

    Hundreds of other people each week post photos and videos on their blogs and MySpace pages. One blog post last week, “Der New York Trip Part II”, written in German, shows a young couple posing with the Charmin bear. Charmin is a brand of Procter & Gamble.

    Another post about the Charmin toilets last week on a Web design blog wondered, “Could this be too much marketing?” Christian Montoya, the site’s author videotaped the bathrooms when he visited Times Square on Thanksgiving, so that he could post the footage online for his roughly 700 daily readers. Though Mr. Montoya, a senior at Cornell University, said he was skeptical of marketing but thought the Charmin bathrooms were effective.

    “It was more than a billboard because you could actually try the product,” Mr. Montoya said.

    It is difficult to count exactly how many people pass through Times Square each day, but foot traffic by some measures has nearly doubled. In 1997, the Times Square Business Improvement District counted 8,702 people an hour passing through the most crowded parts of Times Square during the busiest times of year. This year, the Times Square Alliance found that nearly double that amount — about 15,000 people — passed the Virgin Megastore on Broadway during busy hours.

    But, advocates of experiential marketing say headcounts in Times Square underestimate the district’s impact. Face-to-face interaction with customers is more powerful than traditional ads, they say.

    “What people do is geometrically more powerful than what they are told,” said Brian Collins, chief creative officer of Ogilvy and Mather Brand Innovation Group, a part of the WPP Group. “Feeling something, picking it up in your hands, walking into an environment is a far more powerful brand promise than anything you are simply told through traditional media alone.”

    On the day after Thanksgiving, Diageo’s Smirnoff Ice brand held a tongue-in-cheek rally featuring about 30 paid actors as “core protestors.” The theme was “save the mistletoe,” a slogan for a holiday campaign for Smirnoff Ice. Smirnoff estimates that 60,000 people passed by its four-hour rally.

    “When you go into an arena that is so iconic like Times Square, people are looking to be entertained,” said Christian McMahan, brand director for Smirnoff Ice. “And they’re looking to be part of it.”

    In April, General Electric rented nine digital billboards in Times Square and displayed photos of people passing by. People on the street photographed themselves standing below the billboards when their images appeared. Soon, those images were circulating online.

    “It’s much more interactive,” said Judy Hu, the global executive director for advertising and branding at G.E. “You’ve got people who are e-mailing, sending messages, they’re involved with your brand personally as opposed to just viewing it.”

    G.E. and other companies that hosted recent events would not divulge their costs, but they said the total came out surprisingly low compared with other forms of marketing.

    The mayor’s office said permits to use Times Square areas started at $25,000 but often cost $50,000 or more for a day, and that 112 marketers had paid for permits this year.

    The amount of marketers in Times Square has soared this year in large part because three traffic islands there were made available on a regular basis this year for the first time as part of Mayor Bloomberg’s broader initiative to attract more tourists to New York City.

    In February, Walt Disney World sent Hans Florine, the X-games gold medal climber, scaling up a billboard to promote Expedition Everest, a new Animal Kingdom park ride. Mickey Mouse was also there, but he stayed on the ground.

    In early December, MasterCard carolers sang holiday songs and passed out hot chocolate; street vendors sold coffee in Ann Taylor Loft paper cups; and a Sovereign Bank team rode red Segways passing out shopping bags and subway maps.

    But some advertising executives wonder if it might be reaching the saturation point.

    “It is now getting to the point,” said Lori Robinson, senior vice president of Hill and Knowlton, the WPP Group agency that helped produce one event, “where there just might be a little too much going on in Times Square.”

    Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

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