Damn near anyone who has done digital signage or digital OOH ops work will have seen Coca-Cola’s impressive, ambitious 3D robotic LED board in New York’s Times Square and thought, “Oh, that’s going to be an uptime nightmare.”
Anything with that many moving parts, out in the elements, is going to need a lot of TLC – and based on some emails from people who pay attention to this stuff, that indeed seems to be happening.
I got emails last week with pix of crews working on the beast, and an email today from a media guy who said the robotics are off – he watched for a good 10 minutes – and there are number of LED modules out.
As noted in the past, it looks amazing and applause for giving it a crack, but a lot of the flash and sizzle of all those 3D visuals could have been done with content, at a fraction of the cost and with exponentially fewer technical risks.
Adds the Digital OOH media vet: The board is already looking “tired.” No pop in the colors or sharpness in the resolution. If I wasn’t aware of what was going on I’d have said the board has been up for a couple of years – it’s been what? About 4 months?
I tried but couldn’t find a Times Square webcam looking that way.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.