Astral to erect colossal digital screens

Drivers in Toronto and Vancouver will no doubt get kinks in their necks, as Astral installs new digital screens that reach up to 48 feet.

Astral Media Outdoor is expanding its digital out-of-home network into Toronto and Vancouver.

The Montreal-based company announced yesterday that it is erecting 12 digital LED screens, capable of reproducing millions of colours in high-resolution, creating considerably sharper images. Each unit costs approximately $500,000 to build and install.

In Vancouver, Astral is adding nine 10-feet by 34-feet digital screens at key locations near the Burrard Bridge, the Lions Gate Bridge, the Second Narrows Bridge and the Sea to Sky Highway en route to Whistler. The signs will boast a combined daily reach of about 338,000.

Astral will also install three 14-foot by 48-foot screens in Toronto – two adjacent to the heavily trafficked Gardiner Expressway and a third on Finch Avenue. The Gardiner signs are a conversion of existing superboards, while the Finch Ave. sign is new. The Toronto screens will boast a combined daily reach of roughly 508,000.

The 12 new screens will complement the 10 screens Astral introduced in Montreal earlier this year. The company says it expects to have the digital network completely operational by the end of the year. Nathalie Doré, general manager, marketing and media creativity for Astral, says there will be no impact on ad rates.

The screens are capable of displaying six static images that refresh every 10 seconds. They are all controlled from Astral’s broadcast facilities in Montreal, enabling advertisers to change creative concepts on the fly.

In Montreal, for example, recent creative for the Rogers Cup tennis tournament was updated daily to reflect that evening’s matches, while the grocery chain Metro ran ads suggesting a different food choice every day.

‘If you’re a good advertiser, and you play with it, people are going to notice,’ says Doré. ‘It’s changing the way of looking at a board.’


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