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Sunday, January 27, 2021

replicatedThe future is arriving for Los Angeles, in the form of those skyscraper-sized video ads that opened the dystopian cityscape of Blade Runner. Inspired by that very movie, businessman Sonny Astani is planning to include such ads on a 33-story condo he’s building in the city’s downtown.

If it comes off, it would be just the tip of the iceberg:

Astani’s plan seeks the creation of a special district where at least two high-rises could be partly covered with rows of tiny panels embedded with LEDs, or light-emitting diodes — a concept viewed by some at City Hall as the next frontier in outdoor advertising.

Although office towers in Los Angeles already have “supergraphics” — enormous vinyl sheets stretched across one side of a building — those images are static. Should Astani succeed, sign companies looking to show animated advertising could view the city’s high-rises as enormous blank canvases.

What could derail this plan for in-motion, larger-than-life advertising? Nothing, unless that alleged product-placement curse from the film is actually true:

Someone once noticed that a number of the companies whose logos appeared in BR had financial difficulties after the film was released:

- Atari had 70% of the home console market in 1982, but faced losses of over $2 million in the first quarter of 1991.

- Bell Telephone lost its monopoly in 1982.

- Pan-Am Airlines filed for bankruptcy protection in 1991.

- Coca-Cola released their much-hyped “new formula” New Coke, resulting in losses of millions of dollars. (It is interesting to note that since then, the Coca-Cola company has seen the biggest growth of any American company in history.)

- Cusinart filed for bankruptcy protection in July 1989.

Not that all of the above actually appeared on those massive cinematic adscapes. Just the same, Astani’s gotta hope none of his prospective advertisers run across the list.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 01/27/2008 10:26:54 PM
Category: Advert./Mktg., Movies, Tech
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