Sightings: Projection ad window in Toronto PATH system

January 21, 2010 by Dave Haynes


Much of the day was spent in downtown Toronto – first at the AGM for the Canadian Out Of Home Digital Association and then hanging out with Arsenal Media’s Denys Lavigne and keeping him out of trouble.

Some good things coming with CODACAN, and I will flesh that out at some point. Busy. Busy.

Denys and I walked from One Stop Media’s offices over to the huge underground walkway system underneath Toronto’s Financial District. I can walk that “PATH” system pretty much blindfolded because I started a DOOH network there six years ago (waaaaaaay too early for the ad market), and I know an entrepreneur who sees the advertising opportunity as well … but has the benefit of a maturing market that actually buys DOOH, and way more compelling technology.

Square Foot Media, a start-up run by Michael Budd, leases vacant retail storefronts in the teeming walkway system and uses projection film to blast large format motion ads and ambient visuals on a window that would otherwise be papered up, waiting for a tenant. He’s been pulling the pieces together for months, and now has a four window panel thing happening underneath the Commerce Court office tower, HQ of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, in the bustling food court. The duplicated audience is 85,000 eyeballs a week. 

This concept borrows on the sort of work companies like Monster Media and InWindow do in the DOOH sector in the US, but would definitely be among the first of this scale done up here among the polar bears and narwhales. I like this sort of thing because it has visual impact in a way that’s just not going to happen with much smaller screens hanging from the PATH walkway system. That was a cool idea in 2004, but this sort of thing is so much more noticeable if the content is done right.

Lavigne, among the smartest guys in the DS content space, was a little underwhelmed by the spots. But saw the potential.

Square Foot is chasing other propertiues and I know Budd, based on an update email, is also chasing up a second investor round for expansion. Placeholder website here:




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