Catching up on news screens and old

December 1, 2006 by Dave Haynes

I am in downtown Toronto a lot, but usually driving in and getting out of Dodge as soon as I can to miss rush hour. I took the train in yesterday and actually had some time to see some things for either the first time, or the first time in a while.

I saw those little screens mounted in the back of taxis. Tiny, tiny ad screens. A buddy had one in front of him for a ride home yesterday and it was stuck. Taxis are a tough environment on a whole bunch of levels.

obn.jpgI saw the screens OBN has mounted in the walkway at the new north end of Eaton Centre. They look really good. Full screen and nice protective surrounds. I wonder where Peter and Brian, who signed my paycheques a few years ago, got the idea for a series of screens in a public concourse. Hmmm …

That walkway leads to a downtown Mark’s Work Wearhouse, which has massive 62 inch plasmas in each of its major areas and behind cash. I had not seen this store yet, and it is great to see a retailer really build screens into the overall design, since precious few are doing anything yet (disclaimer: my client).

In the subway, the One Stop Network screens still look crisp and great … but BUSY. The screen design has nine content elements and the relationship with broadcaster CITY-TV, with all of its stuff on the screen, kind of overpowers ad messages. That said, they seem to have a good number of advertisers and Lord knows a lot of eyeballs passing through Toronto subway stations.

sp1.jpgI also jumped into an elevator cab at Scotia Plaza, one of the big trophy office towers, to see the screens Bell Globemedia put in a few weeks ago. They are nice and crisp and well integrated into the cab design. But they are incredibly busy.

This is a pure fee for service deal with no ads, so the focus is on content. But there are 10 content elements, which is way, way too much for the eye to take in during a ride up or down. This would be deadly if it was an ad-based model.

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