We will probably never get a public story about the three-dimensional, robotic direct view LED display that Coke spent an unknown PILE of money on for Times Square.
If you were a contractor and influenced the decision to do that, you’re keeping quiet and saving face.
If it is your tech, you are definitely not saying anything.
If you ever want to sell display tech to Coke and maybe fix what was done, you’re staying quiet.
And if you are Coke, you’re probably not going to get into it.
So … all we know is that the crazily shape-shifting, undulating, 100s of moving parts thing that Coke lit up in Times Square is now one static, never-moving LED board. As was well-documented here, just about anyone with an ops background looked at that thing when it launched, and thought, “That will end badly.”
From an industry friend who knows Times Square, LEDs and outdoor advertising:
I was in Times Square end of last week. Here is what I saw:
- No movement on the tiles – It would appear as though this has been shut down
- They have added a 3D component for the Coca Cola logo. I saw the attachment points below the stand-outs and thought it was bad modules because you can’t tell from a distance this is raised out. I didn’t really notice it until I was underneath – wasn’t effective at all in the daytime. Will have to view at night but I doubt it will be any different.
- Only running simple “stick figure” creative. No commercials, no scenes of people having fun – I watched for about 15 minutes.
- The photos may not really reflect the presentation. Good news is all the modules were working. Bad news the board had no “pop” or clarity. Take a look at one of the photos where I show the Samsung board right above it. Much clearer, much brighter – better across the board.
Still a disappointing presentation. The 3D embellishment has done nothing to enhance the look. I guess either Coke have resigned themselves to mediocrity or the lawyers are busy chasing the guys in Shenzhen – maybe both.
What it looked like when launched …
The crazy thing is that MOST of what was done mechanically can be done compellingly in the creative. I have a podcast up tonight with the guy who does that, arguably, better than anyone …
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.