Philadelphia up for a digital signage facelift?

April 22, 2014

Digital signage may give Philadelphia's city center an extreme makeover.

The city could soon consider proposed legislation that would give the city a digital signage facelift, with three-dimensional "electronic sculpture displays" at several downtown locations, according to Catalyst Outdoor Advertising and Philadelphia Business Journal.

The proposed legislation would create a digital district in Philadelphia's Center City District that would allow shaped digital signage displays at seven locations within the boundaries of that area, according to the Journal.

The displays, called "urban experiential displays," are being proposed as a revenue generator for the city as well as a place-making mechanism and would be used for advertising, news and public service announcements, the Journal said.

Catalyst Outdoor is proposing displays like a giant, interactive LED globe atop a two-story sculpted hand at 12th and Arch Streets and an hourglass at 18th and Market Streets in Philadelphia.

"This is the evolution of communication in the public domain; these are not just signs — but unique, interactive communication platforms combining art, architecture and advertising artistically designed to reinforce a sense of place for our commercial centers," Catalyst Outdoor founding partner Thaddeus Bartkowski said in his company's announcement.

According to the announcement, the initial three proposed UED locations are:

  • The Note's three-dimensional staff installed at the Bellevue Hotel garage reinforces the identity of the Avenue of the Arts;
  • The Globe will welcome an annual 6.5 million visitors to the Reading Terminal and 1.1 million visitors to the Convention Center; and
  • The Hourglass at 18th and Market Streets reflects the commerce-driven landscape of Philadelphia's financial district.

Catalyst Outdoor said it has spent two years developing the UED concept, and the interactive, digital 3-D sculptures would be "the first of their kind in North America," it said.

Thirty-percent of the display's content schedule will be non-advertising, most of which is dedicated to the city and local non-profits, the company said. The displays could help the city gain millions of dollars in tax revenue, licensing and permit fees; provide city and local non-profit organizations with free advertising space; and provide residents, visitors and commuters with instant access to original local content, breaking news, weather, infotainment and emergency information, according to the Catalyst Outdoor announcement.

The legislation requires a minimum of $2 million dollars to be invested in each installation, the company said, claiming the UEDs should generate more than $1 million dollars for the city within the first year and $54 million over the life of the project.

The legislation has not been introduced to the Philadelphia City Council but is expected to be eventually, the Journal reported.

Watch a video from PBJ showing the proposed locations below:


Topics: Advertising , Digital Billboards , Display Technology , DOOH Advertising , Installation / Integration

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