Must-See Times Square
by nycgo.com staff, 12/25/2012
Billboards in Times Square. Photo: Willie Davis
Times Square Billboards
As anyone who has walked through Times Square can attest, the neon wonderland—a blazing collection of brightly lit advertisements that recalls the art direction in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner—is a sight to behold. It should come as no surprise to learn, for instance, that there is 115,000 square feet of LED billboard space in the area, and that's not even to mention the traditional signage, street pole banners, trash-receptacle advertising and other displays positioned throughout the neighborhood. (In Times Square, if there's a surface, it can be sponsored.) With an average of 365,000 visitors to the area per day, competition for attention is intense.
At the Crossroads of the World, bigger is always better—as is brighter, louder and, lately, more interactive. Take MTV 44½, the digital display outside 1530 Broadway, across the street from the headquarters of the youth-oriented television network, which broadcasts the channel's programming live to the street below. Then there's retailer Forever 21's 61-foot-wide digital signpost. The models featured on it will take a photo of the crowd assembled below and display the image back; occasionally they'll single out an individual and drop him or her into a virtual shopping bag, which makes the news ticker at 1 Times Square seem positively old school. Speaking of 1 Times Square, that building—formerly the headquarters of The New York Times—now hosts some of the most valuable signage on the planet. Among its offerings are the Fox Screen by Sony, which plays high-definition video, and Walgreens' 17,000-square-foot display space, which weighs a staggering 250,000 pounds. —nycgo.com staff