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Times Square: the World’s Most Expensive Billboard Advertising

Posted December 31, 2010  |  written by  |  Promotional Products

times square advertising

Advertising in Times Square is not nearly as cost-effective as advertising with promotional products.

How much do you think it costs to advertise in Times Square? According to Lisa Chow’s recent article for WNYC, “companies will pay as much as $4 million a year and commit to 5- to 15-year, non-cancelable contracts to secure one of the 12 coveted spots on One or Two Times Square.”

On average, Times Square sees over 5 million tourists in the month of December alone. Add to that the number of live newscasts, talk shows, and New Year’s Eve countdown specials that take place in or near Times Square, and the amount of potential viewers of that billboard balloons to numbers that rival the population of a small- to mid-sized country. To wit, renting a billboard in Times Square is similar to airing a television commercial during the Super Bowl.

Let’s assume that you don’t run a large multi-national corporation like Toshiba, Coca-Cola, or Budweiser, and so you don’t have the extra $20 million  it costs to secure a contract at 1 Times Square. How can you get your message out there without breaking the bank? 

Half a Penny Is All It Takes

This graphic from the Advertising Specialty Institute’s latest Impressions Study contains insights on the effectiveness of different types of promotional products in increasing brand awareness and brand goodwill among recipients.

Promotional Products Cost By Impression
That’s right. The average cost-per-impression for promotional products is less than 1 penny, which means products like Customized Journals, Imprinted Promotional Pens, or Personalized Backpacks can do more for your advertising dollar than a radio spot, TV commercial, or print ad. What’s more, a person’s added interactivity with the product featuring your brand or logo will help him or her better remember your company.

Give your prospects an item they can use, and they will thank you for it. When was the last time you thanked a company for one of their television commercials or highway billboards?

The Bottom Line

Advertising in Times Square is a costly venture but one that pays off, says Dunkin Donuts, a recent addition to the pantheon of companies advertising in Times Square. If you don’t have a marketing budget that large, then think about using a promotional product instead.

Costing less than a penny per impression, interactive and useful, Discount Promotional Items mean more business for your marketing dollar than advertising in Times Square.

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  1. Comment by I Dare You To Bid on December 31, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    I’ll have to implement this into my new advertising campaign for 2011. :)

  2. Comment by Promo Addict on February 10, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    I think it’s absolutely amazing to see the 1/2 a cent cost per impression for a promotional product, especially when compared to the high cost of more temporary media, such as TV, print ads, etc. If every small business owner understood this, they would spend their dollars more wisely with promotional products that remain in their prospects and customers hands!

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