If they’re coming, he will build it
Ginormous, interactive LED screens perched high atop venues like Toronto's Dundas Square aren't new. Temporary versions of same - capable of capturing action in real time, and assembled Lego-style right at the hot spots where huge throngs of people will soon show up - are.
'We say 'where is a big crowd going to be, what's its demographic makeup?' And then we go after advertisers who'd like to reach those particular people on our screens,' says Paul Riley, president of Jazz Media Group, who launched his Toronto company last October.
Ginormous, interactive LED screens perched high atop venues like Toronto’s Dundas Square aren’t new. Temporary versions of same – capable of capturing action in real time, and assembled Lego-style right at the hot spots where huge throngs of people will soon show up – are.
‘We say ‘where is a big crowd going to be, what’s its demographic makeup?’ And then we go after advertisers who’d like to reach those particular people on our screens,’ says Paul Riley, president of Jazz Media Group, who launched his Toronto company last October.
Since then, his crew has transported the huge components of their giant screens, which can be as large as 208 square feet when constructed, to more than a dozen major events in Toronto and the U.S.
‘But we don’t think our clients would get their money’s worth if we just stuck their ads up on the screen,’ Riley explains. ‘We have three cameras at every event and a professional crew capturing the action while it happens. That gives people something compelling to watch, and then we run the commercials intermittently.’
At Toronto’s recent Pride Parade, for example, he says Jazz Media’s screen ‘became a focal point for thousands of people standing around who couldn’t get into the venues.’ For that popular annual event, the advertisers included Schick, Magnotta Wines, Medieval Times, Via Rail, Labatt, Vonage and CTV.
This week, a huge screen will beam out live performances at the Beaches Jazz Festival in Toronto’s east end, interspersed with messages from WestJet, Seagram, Quizno’s, Vonage, CTV, Tre Stella and New Orleans Tourism (pro bono as a means of helping the hurricane-battered city). And next month, a Jazz Media screen will broadcast highlights of, and be the main message board for, the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto.
In the U.S., Jazz Media – which has an office in New York City – has set up its screens at such events as the Super Bowl, the Atlanta Jazz Festival, the NBA All-Star Game in Denver, Colorado, the Fort Lauderdale Air and Sea Show, the Los Angeles Marathon and various state fairs.