Commentary

DOOH Blooms On Post-Industrial Sites

It’s an unfortunate fact of our modern, post-industrial economy that buildings, like people, sometimes get left behind: just check out the abandoned steel mills of Pittsburgh or the vast, derelict spaces of Detroit Harbor. But abandoned buildings still have their uses, even when they aren’t candidates for full restoration or redevelopment. For one thing, they’re great backdrops for digital signage -- really, really big digital signage.

In London, Clear Channel and SIS Digital are using the Brentham Power Station, an abandoned utility building, as a support structure for a new, high-visibility digital sign overlooking the A40 trunk road, where it should be seen by tens of thousands of commuters daily.

The LED sign, measuring about 18 feet by 20 feet, is part of a general revamp for the exterior of the old industrial building, which dates to the early 20th century and has all the design flair one might expect (to wit: none). The project is coordinated with a larger industrial redevelopment of London’s Gateway, a new deep-water port.

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Back stateside, Atlanta is in the running for one of the world’s largest digital signs, thanks to local businessman Billy Corey, who wants to turn a disused 320-foot-tall smokestack, attached to an abandoned Georgia Steam power plant, into the backing for a giant digital billboard. And I do mean giant: Corey wants to create an LED display surface measuring 80 feet tall by 25 feet wide. Although Corey currently says he just plans to use the sign to display a logo for his business, Corey Cos., it would obviously make a great advertising surface, and Corey already has plenty of experience with out-of-home advertising in airports.

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