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MTA video ads cash in on station walls


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MTA video ads cash in on station walls

By Marlene Naanes

amNewYork Staff Writer

January 11, 2008



Projection advertisement for Travelzoo.com in the corridor between the shuttle train and

the Lexington Ave. line in Grand Central Photo by Jefferson Siegel


Projected high-definition video ads on walls throughout the subway system are the MTA's newest attempt to attract more advertising revenue as well as the often-elusive attention of New Yorkers.


At Grand Central, where it costs $200,000 to saturate the subway station with ads, an 8-by-20 foot video projection on a passageway wall is enticing riders to travel to Chicago, Toronto and even far off Bali. The Travelzoo commercial, which kicks off the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's projected ad campaign, has been on the wall since the start of the month.


MTA officials are looking to expand the campaign into 19 other stations, including Union Square and Herald Square.


The ads are meant to entice advertisers to spend their money in the subways rather than a billboard elsewhere, said Rocco Krsulic, the MTA's real estate chief.


"They get your attention because they look like a TV," said George Boseman, 25, as he headed to an acting job on the 42nd Street Shuttle. "If they make more money, that's good."


The video projections are now a part of the MTA's station-blanketing ad efforts, which is expected to boost revenues between 15 and 20 percent through this latest promotion avenue. Besides Travelzoo, BMW already has signed on for a wall in Union Square for the month of February.


"People are used to looking at posters and I think they'll notice this more," said Jorge Cuello, 15, as he wandered through the travel ad in Grand Central, where when passersby walk through the light stream from the projector, digital snow globes are shaken up to reveal fares for different getaways.


"It's cutting edge technology," the teen said.


The MTA is also scoping out the infrastructure on highly-trafficked station platforms to see if it can support equipment for projections onto adjacent tunnel walls, Krsulic said.


Projected commercials is a growing medium, particularly in a city that offers a huge canvas, said Jeff Golimowski, spokesman for the Outdoor Advertising Association of America.


"It's the reason why outdoor advertising is the fastest growing advertising media outside of the Internet," Golimowski said.


The Municipal Art Society, a group that has denounced the overabundance of subway ads, thinks the MTA's new move for moolah is too intrusive.


"At least if there was an occasion where you felt you needed to turn them off then you could do that," said Vanessa Gruen with the art society. "It's a slippery slope."

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Now make a virtual map with the subway system, or a thing showing delays, announcements service changes etc. would also be great. :cool:


that's an awesome idea. they could just add a sponsor to it and make money off of it.

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