What’s Park Place Media’s metric for advertising? The meter.
The parking meter, that is.
The New York firm is one of two who have been given the go-ahead to test advertising on 500 parking meters along a stretch of Third Avenue on the Upper East Side between 67th and 86th streets. Snap Marketing has permission to sell advertising on parking meters on a stretch of Broadway on Manhattan’s West Side. The one-year test began Oct. 1.
The company sells a set of eight meters on one side of a block for one month. Each unit, which attaches to the parking meter, has three six-by-eight panels on each side. There are 24 panels on each block. Park Place Media sells the pole for $95 each month with discounts for larger buys. There would be a premium for messages that follow a driver or pedestrian up or down the street, a kind of modern-day Burmashave sign. The messages are changed manually right now but there are plans to go electronic in the future.
Park Place has already signed up a local advertiser – New York apparel retailer Scoop – and has two national advertisers who are close to making a deal, said Park Place Media President Chip Fischer. They are a major communications company and an upcoming movie but Fischer declined to identify them further.
“A couple of major advertisers are ready to commit but we won’t see a lot of advertising until the first quarter,” Fischer said.
Because of the space involved, Fischer sees mostly branding messages in a format that’s less cluttered than some urban advertising.
“This is really an extension of the street furniture of bus shelters and kiosks,” he said.
For New York City’s part, the 500 parking meters that are being tested for advertising potential is a fraction of the 64,000 single-space meters in the city. If all 500 hold advertising the city stands to receive $90,000, said Tom Cocola, spokesman for the New York City Department of Transportation.
Fischer said advertising on parking meters isn’t a new idea – it had been done in Baltimore about 20 years ago – but it gained steam three years ago when Park Place Media and another company tried it in Springfield, Mass. The test there ended when the city’s downtown underwent a revitalization, he said.
A test has been conducted in Miami and a decision is winding its way through Miami-Dade County, which regulates parking meters in the city. Fischer said Park Place Media is close to having deals with two unnamed Western cities and it could spread to five to 10 other cities in the United States.