Magazine

Advertising Comes to Parking Meters in NYC

Advertising has come to on street parking. Park Place Media in New York is providing advertising space on parking meter poles, collecting the revenue, and
providing income to cash-strapped cities.
According to president Chip Fisher, the company originated the idea in 1997 and has been negotiating with cities on the eastern seaboard. Their latest success is the city of New York where they are placing their triangular shaped signs on meter poles along Third Avenue, from 72nd to 96th streets. "We will be offering advertisers approximately 300 positions over a 1.5 mile stretch of this open and well-trafficked boulevard," Fisher told PT.
"The meters are a subtle way to do outdoor advertising. You're creating one-to-one contact in areas where people gravitate to and are always coming back to. For advertisers that have a strong outdoor commitment, meters make an unusual statement because they can give advertisers affordable sequential impressions."
Fisher's company negotiates a contract with the city to place their three-sided module on each meter post. The module strongly frames the advertising for increased feasibility. They were designed to focus on and meet the needs of both advertisers and municipalities.
Park Place Media includes a number of meters in their contract that are reserved to the city for public service announcements, and other municipal purposes (police, fire, ambulance, and local events).
Once the contract is reached, PPM takes full responsibility for selling the advertising, installing and maintaining the signs. "Maintenance is not really a problem," says Fisher. "The units are high-impact ABS, anti-graffiti plastic. We have had virtually no calls for maintenance or replacement in New York.
"One of the problems that merchants have in central cities is that there is little or no space for outside advertising. City codes restrict sign sizes and billboards. PPM modules are an alternative that businesses can use to promote their wares locally, just outside their stores. It's good branding, it's good advertising.
"We're encouraging advertisers to take full-block participation, which required you to do a lot more with these parking meter ads. It allows you to be creative. It allows you to have something that can be a little folksy and not necessarily a 'hard sell.' One interesting approach is the reemergence of the 'Burma-Shave' concept once seen on the nation's highways. You get to tell a short story in the space of a block."

The modules were first introduced in Springfield, MA,
in 1997. For more information, contact Fisher at
cfisher@parkplacemedia.com.

Article Abstract from February, 2003




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