Rear Projection Displays In Empty Storefront Windows Are Back

February 27, 2024 by Dave Haynes

OOH Today has a piece up about a start-up in Chicago that has revived and probably evolved the established notion of using street-level shop windows as advertising displays once the sun goes down, via rear projection and window films.

The post is about a campaign run by Live Nation for the legendary rock band Pearl Jam’s new album and ensuing tour, was run on shop windows in Chicago using Visual Feeder’s projection technology.

US companies like InWindow Outdoor and Monster Media were doing similar things years and years ago, but the technology has matured with time (as happens) – probably most notably the emergence of laser projectors that don’t need require expensive bulbs to be changed out regularly. The cost of brightness has also come down, as has the ability to more effectively project images from short “throws” (distances).

The business model is built around finding distressed, empty storefront on thoroughfares with lots of vehicles and pedestrians, and setting up inside, projecting on the inside of windows. The benefit to landlords is seeing “rent” from spaces that aren’t otherwise doing anything but costing money.

An interesting wrinkle with Visual Feeder is that it got $100K in startup money last year from the Halperin Emerging Company Fund, an investment fund developed to back students and alumni of Chicago’s DePaul University.

From OOH Today:

This immersive initiative will light up Chicago’s bustling streets with dynamic visuals and album-themed content, allowing passersby to experience Pearl Jam’s “Dark Matter” in a novel, engaging format. The campaign aims to reach fans and the wider public by turning everyday urban landscapes into interactive art displays, merging the realms of music, technology, and urban advertising.

Visual Feeder’s projection technology utilizes strategically selected retail windows, ensuring maximum exposure and engagement.  Eddie Yang, CEO of Visual Feeder, elaborated, ” Our initiative goes beyond simply filling empty retail spaces; we’re creating a vibrant, interactive experience for everyone in the city”

The campaign highlights the evolving use of urban spaces and offers a creative take on utilizing vacant retail windows, aligning with Pearl Jam’s forward-thinking marketing approaches that extend beyond traditional boundaries.

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