Sunday, August 2, 2015

Public Buildings as Promotional Vehicles

The Discovery Channel implemented a large-scale video projection promotion yesterday to highlight an upcoming series on endangered species. Using dozens of video projectors aimed at the world-famous Empire State Building, it showed a rotating series of 400-foot-high images of endangered animals over a three-hour period. This promotion drew the attention of passers-by and made news internationally.

You can see a video about a similar projection on the United Nations building in New York City here.

The Discovery Channel has projected images and video onto public buildings for some time as it seeks to engage the public in its programming. One promotion in 2013 drew criticism because it showed flames seeming to engulf Battersea Power Station in London--prompting onlookers to call firefighters.

In general, such large-scale promotions on public buildings illustrate the power of understanding consumer behavior: The images catch the eye and generate comment because they are unexpected, vivid, and colorful. For example, to promote Shark Week, Discovery Channel projected shark fins moving atop New York City skyscrapers.

The Discovery Channel also promoted Shark Week using 3D fins and other shark parts attached to its headquarter building in Silver Spring, MD. What could be more incongruous--and therefore attract attention?

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