On a recent trip to New York I was amazed at the sheer number of banners. Now, I knew that advertising was big in the Big Apple, but I never realised just how big it actually was… they are HUUUGE!
I was also under the impression that all of this ‘big’ advertising would be some new fangled technology such as flat-screen TV’s the size of a small country. However, what I was pleasantly suprised at, was that the majority of this ‘big’ advertising was made up of banners. Sure there was the odd over-sized TV screen (and the odd small one, like the one outside the Scientology building which also came with ‘your-life-could-be-better-sound’) interspersed amongst the vast number of adverts, but banners certainly ruled the roost.
I must admit that I felt a little proud that the business that I am involved in, is such a big part of one of the biggest cities in the world. Obviously, banners are not why people go to New York, but I defy you to not notice them when you go, they are there for everyone to see.
It being America, I think I was expecting things to be bigger and better. I was half right. Things were certainly bigger but pleasingly, not better. The quality of the print did not exceed the quality of the banners that we produce, but then, because of their sheer size and location – being placed above shops and high up on the side of buildings – they did not need to be.
The banners themselves looked amazing, their sheer size adding to the awe-inspiring environment which is New York. I am glad, however, that not all of New York was banners, banners, banners – it’s nice to go somewhere and not have work stare you in the face. But banners were there and provided a nice example of how to make you stand out from the crowd. Times Square, was probably a bad example of this as it seemed everyone was standing out and in turn NOT standing out, so they go even BIGGER!
One thing that stood out for me, other than the sheer number and size of the banners, was the framing system for these banners. The banners were wrapped tightly around a frame and secured around the back. Now, as most of us know, the biggest killer of banners is wind, and the wind can really whip around the buildings of New York, but these banners didn’t even flinch. There was no way the wind was getting behind these banners to cause them any damage whatsoever.
Another thing that impressed me about these frames was the lighting attached to them. At night, the lamps flooded the banners with light making things even more contrasting, and they needed it. With the amount of light produced from the shops and TV screens and various other sources, the lights on the banner frames would seem to be a standard, otherwise they would just get lost. This is something that I have not seen in use over here but think that it would be a great idea for any business, especially at this time of year when the night draws in a lot earlier, to light up their banner. Please be aware that this is not something I would recommend doing without first contacting your council as it could be up one week and then down the next.
Another popular banner in New York, was the humble lamp-post banner. With the numerous lamp-posts in New York it would seem that they are prime advertising space. The classic double-sided PVC was a perfect fit for this. Each lamp-post banner, no matter who was advertising on it, was of the same specification – stitched pole pocket with an eyelet in each corner, and most importantly, wind-slits. Each banner had eight wind-slits which really protected the banners. As mentioned earlier, the wind can really come through those streets and avenues straight off the sea and these wind-slits took nearly all the pressure of of the banner.
On the less windy days (we only had one really windy day when we were there) the wind-slits on some of the banners were almost invisible – this made it quite difficult to actually get photos of them, but thanks to a clear blue sky and rogue gust, I got one.
The advertising on the lamp-posts was certainly taken up by the big boys and girls of New York business, with this example of Macy’s being quite prominent around New York. The banners themselves shouldn’t be too expensive but I would imagine the real-estate certainly is.
Banners are big in New York and consequently, big business. The majority of businesses around New York utilised a banner to some degree, whether it was to raise brand awareness or to act as a temporary sign over the shop. Banners are abundant, and I am sure the banner market in the UK will continue to grow as more and more businesses see banners as an important part of their awareness and sales marketing.
Before the end of this post I would just like to highlight just how big they do the banners in New York. The photo I’ve included here is a banner advertising the new Harry Potter film. It was on the blank side of a sizeable building, with a few windows cut out. What made this banner so special, was the fact that we saw it from the top of the tallest building in New York, the Empire State Building and it clearly visible to us, I doubt few people on the ground would miss it.