The world is entangled with networks and grids: the Internet has reached even the remotest Bangladeshi villages, mobile phones work on the North Pole, and babies learn the word “infrastructure” right after “mom”. What began in the early XX century at Henry Ford’s car plants has now been introduced at practically every workplace and is cleverly called “systemic approach to business”? Mergers, acquisitions, incorporations are so common that nobody pays the slightest attention. The network principle has triumphed! A network of hotels, a network of boutiques, a network of drugstores etc. It is clear that the tendency to increase, expand and link together could not miss the financially most lucrative area of advertising: outdoor advertising. Large cities now have two-three large advertising company, as a rule, with several dozen small agencies picking the crumbs.
The time has come when it was profitable to link electronic outdoor screens and displays into networks. Outdoor screens are expensive and only the largest capitals may boast the number of advertizing screens in excess of ten! Thus, the agencies have appeared that started linking operators of individual screens from different towns into a single country network. You can watch CNN in practically every hotel in the world. Radio stations are also trying to expand to national level and even go beyond borders. For example, a popular station covers more than 1400 towns, large and small. Naturally, the larger the network, the more effective and expensive the advertising.
Electronic screens linked in a network also become an effective means of spreading the news, be it commercials or social information. The audience covered is huge, the attention is attracted by dynamically moving pictures, and the novelty of screens in our cities so far has not worn out.
Several months ago we could mention outdoor electronic screen networks only with reference to the USA, Japan, Korea, Brazil, and South Africa. The time has come to include Russia in that list. In eight largest cities the outdoor advertizing screens have been linked into a network. The latest acquisition is the screen in Volgograd. Perfectly selected site, large linear dimensions, successful technical and engineering solutions make this screen a valuable addition to the network.
The screen manufacturer has developed a unique engineering design for the support that allows turning the advertizing screen and orienting it towards the largest transport and passenger flows. As far as we know, this is the first such working system in the world.
The expenses for maintaining the outdoor screen network are negligible compared to profits. Therefore, the screens are linked into networks – so far city-wide and regional, although give it another several years and we will have some country-wide and world-wide screen networks, too. But it starts small.
A good example is a Russian advertising company that has installed several outdoor advertizing screens in the key positions around Moscow. Unfortunately, the screens are not sufficiently large and get lost among the multitude of city-size 3x6 meter boards. Such advertizing screens are better suited for small concert halls and stadiums, but on the avenues and squares of a huge city the contact time with such outdoor screens is fairly short. To be properly noticed these outdoor screens have to be at least 6x8 meters or better still 9x12 meters.