I had a few hours after my speaking thing Tuesday in Silicon Valley, so I went in to San Francisco and had a great walk through the business district.
The signage nerd in me wanted to see the big fine pitch LED walls at the Salesforce towers, and they were pretty easy to locate, as one of the CRM company’s buildings has this unmissable Eye of Sauron look to it.
I was prepared to not really like the original one, which wraps around elevator lobby entrances on a street-level feature wall. The install has looked impressive in videos, but I have mixed feelings about things like digital waterfalls and other trickery that look cool but have no ties to the brand or building.
BUT … what Salesforce had up was a large format cartoon animation that is part of some larger brand campaign, and the creative extended thematically into the lobby decor. It looks amazing.
Across the street, another Salesforce tower has a big feature wall LED that runs a series of three-dimensional animations that are generated by real-time data. This is art, full stop. But it is so visually interesting and different I think that works. I think most untrained eyes would not even pick up that the content is flat, and the dimension is all just done in brilliant content.
If you are in San Francisco some time, make the effort to have a look.
Nearby, Wells Fargo had a financial district branch that wrapped the ATM lobby on two sides with an LED banner. Good content but the physical features of the building kinda get in the 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.