Billboard in NY's Times Square is world's largest high-def display

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 18, 2014 2:09 PM

By Sebastien Malo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The biggest advertising billboard in Times Square history, longer that a football field and eight stories high, will light up for the first time on Tuesday.

The world's largest high-definition video display will turn on its nearly 24 million LED pixels at 7:30 p.m. EST and make its debut with an exhibition of digital art by Universal Everything Studio. Next week Google will become the billboard's first advertising client, said Clear Channel Outdoor, the firm selling the gargantuan ad space.

The billboard, hovering over the Marriott Marquis Hotel, was commissioned by the Vornado Realty Trust, which would not reveal its cost.

"When it comes to making an impact in Times Square size does matter," said David Grabert, a Clear Channel spokesman.

Google has signed a deal for an undisclosed amount for an ad campaign that runs through the New Year, Clear Channel said. The rate for a four-week advertising blitz is $2.5 million, according to the New York Times.

The new billboard is located in the heart of Times Square and faces the intersection passed every day by an average of 300,000 pedestrians and 115,000 drivers and passengers, according to the Times Square Alliance.

Vornado said in 2012 it was building the sign as part of a $140 million project to expand and redevelop the Marriott Marquis' retail space.

Times Square Alliance President Tim Tompkins said the high-tech screen would enhance the appeal of New York's most renowned intersection as a tourist destination.

"This is the one place on the planet where people seek out, take pictures of and then transmit advertisement," Tompkins said. "The phenomenon that happens in Times Square is that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts."

(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Bill Trott)