times square advertising billboards

Times Square Advertising: Top 7 Mind-Blowing Facts

What is so unique about Times Square advertising? Continue reading to learn more!

Times Square is a major commercial intersection, tourist destination, and one of the most iconic neighborhoods of New York City known for its numerous billboards and advertisements.

With more than 360,000 people passing through Times Square daily, it is no surprise that companies are spending millions of dollars per year to showcase their products and generate brand awareness for their business.

And to entice passersby on Times Square, eye-catching billboard designs or videos are a must.

times square advertising

Times Square Advertising. Image from koreaboo.com

For this reason, today we are going to see 10 awesome things about Times Square from the perspective of advertising that will absolutely blow your mind.

1. How much does it cost to advertise in Times Square?

How much it will cost to advertise in Times Square will depend on a variety of factors, including the media format, the size of the billboard, the exact location and visibility of the ad, as well as the length of the campaign. Generally, the price for a billboard can start at $5,000 per day as the minimum amount required, and reach up to $50,000 per day.

When it comes to Times Square advertising, it’s important to keep in mind that one of the biggest reasons why prices are so high compared to prices for billboards elsewhere is the amount of visibility that companies are getting.

This visibility is capable of spreading incredible brand awareness that it’s difficult to get with traditional billboard advertising, and many businesses are willing to pay huge amounts of money for that. But let’s see how much visibility a company advertising on Times Square can expect to get exactly.

2. How many ad impressions does Times Square advertising generate?

According to Times Square NYC, over 360,000 people visit this tourist attraction every day, a number that can go as high as 450,000 on the busiest days of the year. While the global pandemic registered smaller numbers over the last 2 years – between 125,000 and 190,000 pedestrians daily, they are still quite impressive.

times square new york

Times Square average daily visitors from 2017 to 2020. Source: timessquarenyc.com. Times Square Advertising.

This means that a company dedicating budget to Times Square advertising can expect to get at least 200,000 unique daily impressions if each visitor sees their ad at least once. For a campaign duration of 2 weeks, this would amount to the incredible 2,800,000 impressions for this location.

For example, a billboard for the price of $7,000 per day running for 1 year would generate 150,000 million impressions (considering 400,000 impressions per day), making the price per impression 1.7 cents.

To put things into perspective, here are the costs per impression for other Marketing and Advertising channels:

  • Facebook: an average of $0.0071 cents per impression ($7.19 per 1,000 impressions)
  • Instagram: an average of $0.0079 cents per impression ($7.91 per 1,000 impressions)
  • LinkedIn: an average of $0.00659 cents per impression ($6.59 per 1,000 impressions)
  • Broadcast TV: an average of $0.0126 cents per impression ($12.60 per 1,000 impressions)
  • Magazines: an average of $0.0084 cents per impression ($8.24 per 1,000 impressions)
  • Billboards: billboards placed elsewhere in the US range between $0.02 and $0.05 per impression

3. Which is the most expensive billboard in Times Square?

The largest and the most expensive billboard in Times Square is a 125,000-square-foot screen at 1535 Broadway, which is impressively eight storeys high. It was rented for the first time by Google in 2014 for the mind-blowing price of $2.5 million for four weeks of display time, and it continues to be one of the most iconic advertising places on Times Square.

times square advertising - the biggest and most expensive billboard

Source: timeout.com

4. Why is Times Square full of ads?

Times Square is full of ads because of the growing tourism and the high traffic in the area, averaging 360,000 pedestrians per day before the global pandemic. Combined with the prominent media coverage of New Year’s festivities, seen by a wide audience every year, its incredible visibility opportunities for businesses make it one of the most valuable public advertising spaces in the world.

In fact, one of the first electronic billboards on the tower (back in 1997) revealed a net revenue of $7 million yearly for advertisers, which incentivized more and more companies to start spending budget on Times Square advertising.

Companies such as Google, Samsung, Budweiser and Apple are just some examples of organizations that have advertised their products in this iconic location of New York.

5. What is the average size of a Times Square billboard?

According to Business Insider, one of the most surprising facts about Times Square is that billboards on average have more square feet than the average New York City apartment. To put things into perspective, the average size of a Times Square billboard is 2,013.25 square feet, while a one-bedroom New York apartment barely exceeds 784 square feet.

This is particularly impressive, and only shows the huge amount of visibility that Times Square advertising brings for companies that are willing to invest a good amount of budget on it.

times square advertising billboards

6. What was the first advertising ever on Times Square?

According to Wikipedia, everything dates back to the first advertising ever done on the One Times Square Tower, which was installed in 1996 by Cup Noodles and featured steam effects that really drew the attention towards the billboard. Later, it was accompanied by an animated Budweiser sign, and soon more companies followed including ITT Corporation, Panasonic, Sony, General Motors and many others.

Two years later, Discover Card replaced ITT corporation as the main sponsor and operator of the most popular screen on One Times Square, securing a deal for 10 years. The company also became the official sponsored of Times Square’s New Year’s Eve 2000 festivities.

Times Square Advertising: the first advertising billboard by Cup Noodles in 1996.

7. Who rents the billboards on Times Square?

Times Square advertising is covered by multiple companies, including ABC Supersign, American Eagle Times Square, Branded Cities, City Outdoor USA, Clear Channel Outdoor, Express Screen, Neutron Media, New Tradition, Outfront Media and more. To rent digital screens, billboards, full motion digital displays and experiential Marketing events on Times Square, you can get in touch with any of these individual signholders.

As we mentioned earlier, the price for advertising will depend on a variety of factors, and one of them is the particular media that you will be using to rent your billboard as each one of them will have different options to offer.

While the prices to advertise on Times Square may be higher than many other places on the world (and higher than some digital platforms too), there is a reason why it is so popular and why so many companies are looking to use it for business opportunities.

And that was all from me for today! As always, thank you for taking the time to read my article on Times Square advertising, and I hope I will see you in the next one! In the meantime, if you have any questions or doubts, don’t hesitate to leave me a comment down below, or send me an email to mktoolboxsuite@gmail.com.

Additionally, you may also like taking a look at my articles 101 Brilliant LinkedIn Ad Examples to Spark Your Creativity and 53 Awesome Google Display Ad Examples to Get You Inspired.


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