How do you get New Yorkers’ attention in the middle of Times Square? Try building a 341-foot digital billboard. And if you’re lucky, maybe (just maybe) they’ll slow down long enough to take in the brands on display. Walgreens, the drug store chain, made its “spectacular” return last week to One Times Square (the building made famous for its annual drop of the New Year’s Eve ball).
With the help of branding strategists Gilmore Group and the technology firm D3 LED Walgreens can claim bragging rights to the largest electronic billboard in the country: consisting of 13 digital signs, which take up 17,000 square feet and sparkle with 12 million LED lights. And who says advertising budgets are tight?
Unlike San Francisco, where there seems to be a Walgreens on every block, the drug store chain doesn’t have much of a presence in the Big Apple (it only has 12 stores in Manhattan), but has big plans for expansion.
One can argue that Walgreens is adopting the old-fashioned approach of ‘hit em over the head with your brand’, however, with a modern technological twist.
Walgreen’s President, Greg Wasson is quoted as saying, “this sign represents a tremendous opportunity to catapult Walgreens brand amongst the most recognizable icons in the world.”
Forget the Statue of Liberty or The Empire State; get yourself down to 42nd & Broadway.
An estimated 1.6 million people pass through Times Square on a daily basis, so the potential to make a brand impact is huge for Walgreens, and not to mention for the other ads that are displayed in living color. In this economic climate, it will be interesting to see how the store will fare, as well as how susceptible we will be at blatant attempts for our patronage.
Have to admit that I couldn’t resist the glitz. Doing my bit to stimulate the economy, I bought a Burt’s Bee lip balm.