How To Skirt City Billboard Bans, Using Projection Mapping


Here’s an interesting way to get around a city’s billboard advertising laws – use projection and make the windows of rented commercial space the billboard.

That’s what Citibank has done at its high profile branch on Faria Lima Avenue in São Paulo, Brazil.

São Paulo banned all billboards in 2007 to fight what it saw as the growing problem of “visual pollution” in the sprawling city. So the bank worked with systems integrator Founders and projection technology firm Christie to come up with a digital canvas and plan that got approved by the Clean City Law. It is now the only billboard in town.

“When we received the assignment to turn the branch into a digital landmark, we analyzed the branch´s architecture and developed specific solutions that use the front and sideward glass façade to create a digital billboard,” says Leonardo Chebly, CEO of Founders, in a Christie press release.

The installation uses 19 laser phosphor projectors that generate 100,000 lumens of projection mapped content, over a  250 square metre canvas. The projectors run 24/7, hence the value of running laser over short-life bulbs, and shows a variety of content. There’s the obligatory weather reports stuff, but also local information. Local media artists, poets and designers are invited to create unique digital content stating their views, opinions and love for São Paulo.

It’s a clever job on at least a couple of fronts:

  1. It gets around municipal laws, with a green solution (if you overlook the 24/7 energy consumption);
  2. It’s now something of a local attraction.


Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

Editor/Founder at Sixteen:Nine
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than a decade. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He's based near Toronto.
Dave Haynes


12+ year-old blog and podcast about digital signage & related tech, written by industry consultant, analyst & bullshit filter Dave Haynes.
Coming next week on 16:9 Podcast, @TanvasLabs explains how its tech adds feel to touchscreen experiences in… - 1 day ago
Dave Haynes