Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, May 12, 2021

As retail outlets go out of business and leave behind storefront shells, that empty big-window space is getting repurposed into prime street-level advertising space:

“The way I look at it, when somebody moves out of a space it looks terrible,” said William Walther, the president of Granite Companies Asset Management, which owns several buildings in Manhattan. “Retail use is animated, because you see all the things that are in the space and people are in the space, and coming and going. When people move out, it’s just a big, vacant room and not very attractive,” he said.

Though advertisers pay only 10 to 15 percent of what a retailer would, Mr. Walther says he will take that. “We still have taxes, we have insurance, we have electricity that we have to pay on the property,” he said. “The market started to change, so now we look at it as, ‘When’s the next campaign, fellas?’”

And this isn’t just a temporary, jerry-rigged affair. Inwindow Outdoor is dedicated to this sector, even designing specific supergraphic ads for store-window configurations. It’s tons cheaper than conventional billboards, and can even make use of the extra “depth” behind the windows:

The potential is even bigger when marketers incorporate technology, said Steve Birnhak, the chief executive of Inwindow Outdoor. “If you look at vacant real estate as a shell, it’s the perfect environment to safehouse any technology you want that lives within the confines of that building,” he said.

The Intel ads house screens displaying slightly time-delayed text messages from passers-by about their hopes for the future. And for “Coraline,” a fantasy movie, Inwindow created holograms in dark retail spaces. “Children would appear out of thin air in an environment that looked to be 20 feet deep, and float up to the window,” he said.

Neat. If you overlook the irony that all those ads are literally taking the place of actual brick-and-mortar places to buy what they’re selling.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 05/12/2021 11:14am
Category: Advert./Mktg., Business, Creative
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