Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Google Digital Signage

Google is aggressively turning into a broad media company. They have shown the flexibility in their organizational structure (strange for a public company) to try new methods for selling advertising.

Google Advertising Sales Examples:

-- Google Might Sell TV Ads

-- Google is testing a cost per thousand methodology for selling internet advertising.

-- Google is selling rich multimedia advertising banners on their search pages. Google has always been known as the fast search engine because of zero multimedia advertisements.

-- Today we read that Google is selling print ad inventory for consumer and business magazines. See the story Google Readies 'Phase Two' Of Print Ads Project.

Hey Google. Is digital signage media buying next?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Viacom Outdoor becomes CBS Outdoor

CBS will separate from a new Viacom Inc. at year-end 2005. They are planning to re-brand the outdoor division as "CBS Outdoor". Though this seems to be a small change to us, media analysts are speculating what impact this name change may have on sales.

Typically - on advertising billboards (electronic billboard or vinyl) - you will usually see the media owners name on the bottom of billboards.

CBS will need to consider if they should place "CBS Outdoor" on their billboard. Why? Because competitors may hesitate to advertise on their billboard. As an example of this potential backlash -- do you believe ABC, NBC or Fox Television will advertise their TV programs on CBS billboards? We're not sure - but it does raise the argument of changing the nameplates on the billboards.

Mediapost has a good read on CBS Outdoor.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Nielsen Measures Opportunity To See A Digital Sign

Nielsen Outdoor and its technology partner, RDP Associates, have developed a proprietary GPS device – the Nielsen Personal Outdoor Device, or Npod™ - about the size of a cell phone, which people carry in their pockets, purses or wear like a cell phone.

The Npod measures the opportunity to see an outdoor digital sign.

We're not clear about how this will effect digital signage for our LCD and Plasma screen digital signs, but it looks promising for roadside LED billboards. Read about the Nielsen Npod.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Cramer Bullish on Roadside Digital Billboards

Surprisingly, Cramer commented about the potential of the electronic billboard market. On Cramer's CNBC show 'Mad Money' Tuesday, Cramer said buy Lamar and wait for Clear Channel Outdoor.

Billboards are making a comeback, said Jim Cramer on "Mad Money" Tuesday, and he wants viewers to buy Lamar Advertising (LAMR:Nasdaq ). Lamar has ad space on billboards, buses, bus shelters and benches -- all places you can't miss, Cramer noted. Because of the increase in the use of digital video recorders such as TiVo, advertisers are moving away from TV advertising. Other forms of advertising, such as the Internet and billboards, are gaining share.

"You can't TiVo a billboard," he said. Lamar is adding digital billboards, which allow it to show multiple ads on one space and should increase sales. And Nielson is coming out with a rating system for billboard advertising, Cramer said, which should make advertisers more comfortable as the can quantify the effectiveness of their ads.

In response to a question about fellow advertiser Clear Channel Outdoor (CCO:NYSE), which went public last month, Cramer said the IPO pricing was disappointing, and he would avoid the stock. He would look to buy the shares around $16 or $17. Clear Channel Outdoor closed Tuesday at $18.87.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

King Kong takes over Times Square

Well yesterday was the premiere of Peter Jackson's remake of the 1933 classic King Kong. In fitting fashion, the premiere was held in Times Square. This was a grand event that featured an unveiling of a huge statue of Kong. In addition, promoters arranged for all the (standard format 4x3 or 16:9) LED signage in Times Square to simultaneously display a three minute video clip of the ape in action played back to back. There are a total of 19 LED displays in Times Square that met the qualifications for display, which made coordinating this a monumental effort. Webpavement managed signage was controlled real time and remotely from our network support center in Georgia using our powerful Sign Administrator and Sign Server software.

It was pretty exciting here at Webpavement. There was a conference call with all of the other major times square LED sign operators. Clear Channel, MTV, LG, Reuters and many others were on the phone synching up our clocks. At a set time, we all displayed a black video clip - then launched the King Kong promotional video at the same time.

You can imagine the scene at night time. Times Square goes DARK - then King Kong is blasted to all of the screens. Very Cool.