Do you remember high school? Do you remember that teacher who changed your life, who helped you become the person who you are today?
RISE, the newest prestige drama from NBC, is the story of this kind of teacher, and the students who take the journey with him to places they will remember for the rest of their lives.
Josh Radnor stars as Lou Mazzuchelli, a dedicated educator who has to look beyond his personal issues to transform a high school theater department. Mazzuchelli pushes students to explore self-expression and to unleash their creativity. Students discover talents and desires they didn’t know they had, and while not everyone is happy about this, RISE explores notions of individual and community identity through the lens of a small, blue collar town.
RISE is scheduled to premiere tonight (March 13), following the season finale of NBC’s blockbuster hit This Is Us. After the first airing, RISE will take over the time slot – so it has big shoes to fill.
Bold, brash, and unafraid to address social issues and hot topics of the day, RISE is exactly the type of show that we love being a part of.
How PMD Media is Helping Get RISE Be Seen
When PMD first approached NBC Entertainment about their advertising, we had a unique angle to help sell their prime time lineup. We were thrilled when the marketing executives at NBC’s Universal City pointed to the look and feel of our local, independent storefront billboard network with clients such asBAM, St Ann’s Warehouse, UCLA Center for the Performing Arts, The Kennedy Center, American Repertory Theater, to name just a few. This was exactly what RISE was striving for.
For over 25 years, we’ve focused on local, outdoor advertising, and more recently, programmatic digital advertising, in major American metropolitan cities – and one of our specialties has always been the performing arts.
Using our experience in the world of television, performing arts, and Broadway, we developed a customized campaign for RISE, displaying our WindowPoster™ advertisements in every corner of Brooklyn & Manhattan, in more than 35 specific neighborhoods.
By placing our advertisements in independent cafes, storefronts, and other heavily-trafficked areas, we’ve been able to build interest in an organic and thought-provoking way.
How can we help you with your projects? Feel free to shoot me a note and start a conversation.
RISE premieres tonight at 10 p.m. (9 p.m. central) on NBC. Don’t miss out on the first season premiere – we know the entire team at PMD Media will be tuning in!
From the beginning of my career, I’ve been giving – and getting – advice on what kinds of ad campaigns work and why. What’s the point? Why spend the money?
Keeping your eye on your ad campaign’s goal (whether it’s ticket sales, awareness, branding, or all three) is vital. Only through this awareness can one effectively create an advertising campaign worthy of the dollars it commands.
This being said, there is another way to gauge success: after all is spent and done, will you have made a palpable difference? Will you “feel” your campaign? Will your target consumer “feel” it?
In other words, does it make an impact?
This is where I can make a case for mass media on a massive scale, in the sense that blasting a market or an entire metropolitan area with a message will get the job done. But that’s not the point.
Ad dollars are too precious to waste on carpet bombing a DMA. But the media you choose can create a sense of really “feeling” a campaign without an indiscriminate amount of cash.
Does digital, broadcast, print, or outdoor media get you to this point? Will your marketplace be touched enough times on their mobile devices to pull the trigger on your product? Will your call to action in that newspaper ad or 15 second radio spot make the difference?
After all, at the end of the day, if a tree falls in a forest, and no one is there to see or hear it, does it hit the ground?
I would love to continue the conversation with you. Shoot me an email or give me a call anytime 🙂
CEO | PMD Media
The 60th Annual Grammy Awards air live this Sunday, January 28th – and for the first time in fifteen years, the National Academy of Recording is foregoing sunny Los Angeles and holding the event on the freezing East Coast at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.
Nominees this year brought their A game – and we’re excited about “Best Album” category – though not for the reasons you might think.
While the sounds of “Best Album” nominees Childish Gambino, Lorde, Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z, and Bruno Mars all deserve praise for sonic artistry and emotional reach, as poster people, we can’t help but focus on the creativity evident in these artists’ respective album covers – and how the compelling designs generated publicity for these albums long before they hit the shelves.
If we were judging album covers like a red carpet, we’d say there are three big trends this year: the use of light, the color blue, and typeface (or lack thereof). Here are – in our opinion – the top “looks”.
Childish Gambino’s Awaken, My Love! first entered the public consciousness via a tweet that linked to what would later be revealed to be the record’s cover. The linked image – featuring the face of a black woman, cast in a cobalt blue light, her eyes rolled back and mouth open as if in ecstasy – instantly evoked curiosity amongst fans, who were particularly fascinated by the intricate headdress adorning the disembodied head.
A small internet conspiracy grew from this initial frisson of mystery – intrepid fans of Gambino (aka the writer-actor-producer and “Friend of PMD” Donald Glover) noted the image appeared again as a prop in Glover’s television show Atlanta. By the time sleuths had traced the headdress back to Brooklyn artist Laura Wass, Gambino covertly announced a series of secret concerts to promote Awaken’s release – effectively harnessing the buzz generated by his mysterious artwork drop into a three night experiential bonanza.
In a stark departure from the minimalist, text-only cover of her debut album Pure Heroine, Lorde (aka 20 year-old Ella Yelich-O’Connor, another “Friend of PMD”) embraced the delicacy of portraiture for her sophomore record Melodrama.
The cover of Melodrama features a painterly representation of the artist (an oil composition by Brooklyn-based Sam McKinnis), her head cradled in a mess of pillows, the light illuminating the exposed half of her face.
Intended to capture “the last two wild, fluorescent years” of Lorde’s adolescence, the record’s synth-heavy beats and new wave sound back heady vocals. Lorde’s lyric abilities shine just as brightly as they did on her much heralded debut – perhaps even more so. To crib Pitchfork’s assessment of the album: it’s nothing less than luminous.
Compared to the relatively contemplative hues employed in Awaken! and Melodrama‘s artwork, Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. is loud and abrasive – and that’s just how designer Vlad Sepetov, a long time Lamar collaborator, envisioned it.
After the initial album preview, Twitter lit up as fans questioned the album’s minimalist look… or what some perceived as “bad design”. Sepetov fired back, noting, “Just given the bare bones, we fleshed something out that has a lot of people talking.”
Indeed: DAMN. managed to make perhaps the greatest cultural impact of the year. While Jay-Z’s 4:44 succeeded as a marketing effort before the album’s release, inciting curiosity among the general public by plastering transit stations and billboards with the cryptic numbers (or is it a time?), Sepetov’s bright red lettering incidentally aided a sustained marketing campaign – the instantly “memeable” typeface continues to appear across the internet, months after Lamar’s album dropped.
What were your favorites this year? Want to chat about good design? Drop us a line! In the meantime, and enjoy the Grammys!
The Advertising industry’s oldest and most trusted partner, Nielsen, just released the definitive study on outdoor poster advertising. You’ll want to take a look!
We thought we’d share some top line facts & figures:
AUDIENCE: Poster viewership is highest among young adults ages 25-34, with 71% of survey participants in that age group reporting having viewed a poster within the past month.
REACH: 94% of those who noticed a poster report that they look at the advertising messages either all, most, or some of the time.
ACTIVATION: Posters drive consumer action – both online and off. After viewing poster advertisements:
– 40% of those surveyed visited the business advertised
– 40% talked about what they saw with friends and/or family
– 30% searched online for more details about the message
– 24% made a purchase at the business advertised
– 18% attended the event advertised
Download the full study Nielsen OAAA Poster Advertising Study
Every night, 62,000 New Yorkers sleep in a shelter. Over one third – 23,000 – are children. With just a simple gesture, YOU can keep them warm.
This winter, PMD Media has teamed up with New York Cares to promote their 29th Annual Coat Drive. Over almost three decades, New York Cares has collected nearly 2 million coats. We’d like to make this year their most successful yet.
There are a few ways for you to help – and most of them don’t cost a cent.
And for those of you not in New York, keep reading – we’ve got you covered as well!
If you’re breaking in a new jacket or parka, please consider dropping off one of your older, gently loved coats at the many designated donation locations, all handily mapped out here.
Still sporting your trusty winter wear? With a quick text message, you can provide a coat to someone in need – just text “COAT” to 41444. Your $20 donation will furnish a NY neighbor with high-quality, warm outwear to get through the coldest months of the year.
Finally, the easiest way to participate is to spread the word! Tweet, Share, and Post about the Coat Drive across platforms using the hashtag #CoatDrive.
Not in New York? We’ve posted a list of coat drives occurring across the country. And for those of you lucky enough to enjoy sunny weather year-round, please consider organizations supporting ongoing relief efforts for Florida, Texas, and Puerto Rico, collected below.
Non-NYC Coat Drives:
One Warm Coat (Nationwide)
Salvation Army – Chicago Bears – Jewel Osco (Chicago and Denver)
NBC – Telemundo (Chicago)
Jersey Cares (New Jersey)
General Giving Opportunities:
Hispanic Federation (Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief)
Unicef Emergency Relief (Hurricane and other disaster relief)
Charity:Water (worldwide clean drinking water)
And here are some tips if you’re looking to making the holidays special for little ones:
Earlier this fall, we spent some time thinking about the alarming vacancy rate amongst retail storefronts in New York City. We were shocked at the volume of responses our post inspired: friends from across the country contacted us to express their anger at the difficulties faced by small businesses even in prosperous, cosmopolitan cities. This week, we’re happy to look at these vacancies in a different light: through the lens of art.
If you haven’t heard, we’ve developed a reputation for being pretty poster-obsessed. When we read about Poster House, a museum dedicated to the media we so adore, we couldn’t wait to check out their collection of vintage poster advertisements.
Though Poster House doesn’t officially open it’s doors to the public until early 2019, the museum’s staff organized a pop-up show, “Gone Tomorrow”, to honor New York’s iconic, now-defunct venues – and the posters used by local promoters to advertise the parties, “happenings”, and other events that occurred in these long-shuttered hot spots.
The exhibit features over one hundred posters and handbills, each providing a window into a particular moment in New York history.
Upon entering the gallery (housed in the former Tekserve space on W. 23rd Street, itself an out of business New York landmark), visitors find themselves at the southern tip of Manhattan via a conceptual floor map of the city of New York. The posters, displayed on temporary construction barriers spray-painted with “Post No Bills”, are arranged within the space according the general geographic location of the venue they advertise.
Featuring a mixture of well-known classics and one-off DIY works, the show highlights the democratic nature of poster art. Posters are at their very core a form of advertising: as a media that’s intended to sell, posters don’t necessarily receive their due in terms of artistic and cultural relevance. But because the nature of poster advertising is ephemeral – that is, poster advertisements go up and come down according to the needs of the campaign – the displays which survive their first life as an ad live on as snapshots of the past.
While some nightclubs highlighted in “Gone Tomorrow” – like The Bottom Line, recently honored by the Schimmel Center’s “If These Walls Could Talk” show – remain relatively fresh in the city’s collective memory, other venues have faded from the public consciousness.
The impetus for the show, according to curator Angelina Lippert, came from a single display: a movie-poster sized bulletin advertising “Circus of Power” at the Virgin Outlaw Club hosted by one Tommy Gunn. When Lippert couldn’t find details about the nightclub, she found Gunn via Facebook. Gunn was a notorious nightlife promoter in the 80’s and 90’s who started his career with posters: he worked with a printer downtown to produce eye-catching advertisements to drive clubgoers to the parties he threw. As time went on, he developed a keen eye for design and became known for the splashy posters that adorned the sides of NYC buildings. Reminds us of someone else we know!
For one night only last week, Gunn provided guests of the Poster House with an oral history of the venues – the Ritz, the Peppermint Lounge, and Danceteria, among many others – highlighted throughout the show. Though you may have missed the chance to be regaled with stories of vintage NYC, the exhibit is still open to the public via appointment!
After years of declining sales in the Music Industry worldwide, 2016 marked a turning point. The surprising savior? Streaming services – a technology some once predicted would kill the music business – which now account for 51.4% of U.S. music revenue.
Sales from services like Spotify, Apple Music, and Pandora are so strong that they more than compensated for the continued losses in both digital downloads (down 20.5% in 2016) and physical sales (down 7.6% in 2016).
This incredible growth indicates that even though the way we consume music has changed, the love is still there. The instantaneous nature of streaming services provides new listeners access to generations of music everywhere, as close as the device in your hand.
In order to meet consumer demand, and to entice newer listeners, some record companies are digging into their archives to offer re-mastered hits and previously unreleased tracks packaged in creative formats.
Case in Point: This September, Epic Records dropped SCREAM, an exclusive compilation of Michael Jackson hits, available via both digital download and licensed streaming services. The album itself, a mixture of MJ classics and Jackson Five hits, opens with international DJ Steve Aoki’s Thriller re-mix and features a new mash-up of “Blood on the Dance Floor” and “Dangerous” by electronic duo White Panda.
But SCREAM is more than album: it’s a multi-media collaboration, at once a throwback to Jackson’s heydey and a glimpse into a virtual future. On October 27th, Epic is set to release part two of the project, a collectible, glow-in-the-dark 2LP vinyl packaged with with a poster featuring AR (augmented reality) capabilities enabled by the Shazam app.
Epic and Shazam teamed up to place a limited number of these posters in cities across the U.S., tailoring the AR experience to particular geo-locations. Though mum’s the word on what the experience will ultimately entail, sneak previews released by the label indicate things will be spooky!
The shift in the way music is monetized dovetails with another trend: younger audiences tend to favor experiential modes of consumption. To capture the attention of millennials, artists and labels are releasing media to complement the instantaneity and immediacy that has made streaming so popular.
Here’s a brief run-down of how other musical clients are connecting with audiences through new and traditional media:
While music videos have long been an industry staple, 360 degree “interactive” videos are a relatively new way for fans to connect with their favorite artists. Live streaming channels also offer fans the opportunity to watch performances as they occur in real time.
The National recently offered both opportunities to fans to promote their latest album, Sleep Well Beast. The band released a 360 teaser interview on the New York Times and a live stream of their Paris concert on Pitchfork.
Though there’s nothing like being present at a studio session or front row at a show, these two virtual experiences hint that artists will continue to develop new and innovative media strategies that bring fans as close to a live set as possible.
And of course, there’s always our favorite media: posters.
To help promote album sales, two of our favorite artists – indie darling Josh Ritter and synth-pop stars Joywave – reached out to PMD Media to drum excitement for tour stops and to boost album sales. By papering the clients’ target DMAs with impactful WindowPoster™ displays, we helped Ritter and Joywave BE SEEN.
Though we may be moving closer and closer to a digital world, we suspect the classic form of the poster (and outdoor advertising) – in all of its adaptability – will persist… not unlike the music industry!
The last few years bear witness to the continued good economic fortune of New York: from the well-tended foliage at Madison Square Park to the throngs of tourists visiting the Williamsburg waterfront, the city remains not only a destination for culture, but for consumption.
So why, then, are the traditional retail corridors blighted with empty storefronts and red “FOR RENT” signs?
Economist Tim Wu, in a 2015 New Yorker article, speculates that many of these unfilled vacancies can be attributed to landlord greed: why lease your space to a mom-and-pop shop when you can hold out for the big bucks corporate retailers – like Duane Reade and Citi Bank – are willing to pay?
This tendency seems to be exacerbated in areas with landlords who hold mini-monopolies: dropping the price on a single storefront may cause the prices on nearby locations to fall. As Wu notes, “That suggests waiting for Marc Jacobs instead of renting to Jane Jacobs”.
That remark proved uncanny: In May of 2017, New York State Senator Brad Hoylman released a special report entitled Bleaker on Bleecker: A Snapshot of High-Rent Blight in Greenwich Village and Chelsea. The report detailed the unusually high retail vacancy rates along Bleecker Street between 6th and 8th Avenues: 18.44% of retail spaces (or 26 of 141 shops) were vacant in the spring of 2017.
Hoylman’s figure is astonishingly high (The New York Times cites 5% as the standard commercial vacancy rate associated with middle-class metropolitan areas) – and is even more extraordinary given the neighborhood’s reputation as a high-end retail destination. It seems that even Marc Jacobs has priced himself out – in the past two years, the company has shuttered five of its six retail locations along Bleecker.
Though Jacob’s team remains quiet on the brand’s exit from the neighborhood, the turnover rate of merchants is high, a symptom of what Wu termed “high-rent blight”, a phenomenon unique to upscale (and rapidly gentrifying) neighborhoods. On Curbed, writer Emily Nonko summed up the situation nicely: “High-end companies pushed out longtime, diverse businesses that called Bleecker Street home, and when the newcomers couldn’t get enough traffic to justify the sky-high rents, they shuttered and left the block empty”.
Unfortunately, this affliction has spread throughout the city. In early June, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer announced that Broadway, historically a prime retail corridor, currently features 188 empty and/or vacant storefronts. Fifth Avenue, another destination for high-end fashions and furnishings, saw vacancy rates increase year over year: according to real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield, the vacancy rate for 5th Avenue between 49th and 60th Street was 17.4% in the first quarter of 2017; the stretch of 5th Avenue between 42nd and 49th boasted a vacancy rate of 32.8%.
These vacancies are pervasive enough to inspire Vacant New York, a website run by one man intent on mapping all available storefronts in the city.
So why does this matter?
It’s discouraging to see beloved neighborhood establishments shutter their doors, only to be replaced by corporate chains. This erosion of local character makes the city less vibrant and diverse… and now that we’ve reached the point that the chains have priced themselves out, it’s time to reevaluate the way we approach local businesses.
Independently owned stores, cafes, salons and other small businesses are PMD’s business. We exist because our clients get SEEN in these windows; our outdoor advertising network is comprised of these same indie storefronts.
When our network partners move, close, or just disappear, we notice. And you should, too! Small businesses attract foot traffic, create jobs, and bolster neighborhood economies: 68% of money spent at independent businesses is funneled back into the local economy, compared to only 43% via big box chain stores. Most of all, they foster a sense of place and community – an invaluable service that neither Starbucks nor CVS can provide.
Over the years, we’ve come up with a few methods to demonstrate the real R.O.I. associated with WindowPoster™ displays – our favorite outdoor advertising media. Most recently, our Digital Integration capabilities have allowed us to collect data that underscores the impact our displays have on boosting ticket sales and raising awareness of events and institutions.This summer, we installed 350 WindowPoster™ displays in tandem with a digital campaign to promote Hansel & Gretel, an interactive exhibit at New York’s famed Park Avenue Armory. In addition to generating tens of thousands of dollars in direct Return On Ad Spend, the data from the digital campaign revealed just how effective our OOH efforts are:
Neighborhoods with WindowPoster™ displays composed 7 of the Top 10 performing neighborhoods in terms of conversion volume.
And those other 3 neighborhoods? They’re areas directly adjacent to neighborhoods where WindowPoster™ displays went up.
Updated September 27, 2017: To download your copy of “Digital Advertising: Turbo Charge Your Traditional Media Spend” fill out the form below.
That’s the estimated amount of effective consumer spend that the U.S. ad industry leaves on the table annually by opting out of integrated, multi-platform campaigns.
Studies continue to show that multi-platform advertising increases the reach, ROI, and overall efficacy of any campaign. But did you know that integrating just one other media form into an outdoor campaign can increase ROI and consumer engagement by 60%?[Upcoming: PMD White Paper – Guide to Maximizing Your Multi-Platform Campaign]
Adding digital to a campaign based on a traditional media platform like OOH produces a significant kicker effect (that magical 60%) that blows away the amplification effects of combining two or three forms of traditional media.
Keep your eyes on your inbox for the release up our upcoming White Paper on maximizing your multi-platform campaign
As memories of June Gloom fade, replaced by the sizzle of sun-bleached sidewalks and sangria-soaked afternoons, we’re excited to slow down and enjoy American cities by foot.
We’ve been told over and over that walking 10,000 steps a day is the key to better physical and mental wellness – and, as an informal survey of the streets of downtown Manhattan indicates, we’re not alone in taking this advice.
Walking isn’t just good for our hearts and waistlines – it’s great for selling your brand.
As marketers, we can’t help but notice the recent uptick in pedestrian traffic. More people on the street means more opportunities to connect your brand and message with consumers.
Don’t get us wrong, some of our closest friends occupy top positions at the biggest media agencies across the country. But last week, as we attended yet another meeting at one of the industry’s premier firms, we realized there’s a lot wrong with the big agency model.
It lead us to ask a very simple, but curious question: why do major clients – the Coca-Colas, Verizons, and Chase Banks of the world – keep bouncing from agency to agency?
The answer is simple but not so simple… these big agencies, in their relentless desire to maintain the status quo, lack the “secret sauce”, that special alchemy of risk and agility that can take an otherwise average campaign to the next level.
So how should they approach their media planning differently? Well, we’re glad you asked.
While the big guys are out buying billboard space, we’re on the street, looking for fresh ways to get our clients’ brands and messages directly in front of the customers they are looking to engage with. It’s so micro-targeted that we literally can’t miss.
Want to reach Spanish-speaking customers in NYC, LA, and Miami? We’ll post ads along the distribution routes of the top Spanish-language newspapers and get you front, center, and in their face.
Looking to get downloads for your fitness app? We’ll integrate digital contextual targeting to guarantee every cent of your outdoor media buy goes towards reaching the users that are 100% interested in fitness.
They go up as buildings go down. They line walkways and adorn construction sites. We know you’ve seen them – because they’re everywhere.
Wildposting – or “poster sniping” in Out-of-Home lingo, exists in almost every urban center. Wildposting is a part of a fly-by-night, grey economy that specializes in ephemeral advertising: hand bills and wheat-pasted one sheets that go up with the knowledge that the ads may very well come down just days – or hours – after they are posted.
The ubiquity of wildpostings has led many of our clients to ask us whether they’re worth it. We’re biased, of course, but at the end of the day, we’re poster people… so here’s our guide to evaluating whether wildpostings will work for you.
A few things to consider:
What kind of impact do you want to make?
The major benefit of classic, wheat-pasted wildpostings is repetition: the quintessential wildposting features a series of the same image (or a series of alternating, coordinated images) in a row, generally covering the walls of construction sites, abandoned buildings, or, unfortunately, in some cases, commissioned public art murals.
The reiteration of a series of images lends itself to emblazoning a particular image or message on the minds of passerby. But then to make an impact, your image or message has to particularly resonate. A major downside of repetitive wildpostings, especially in visually chaotic urban centers, is the tendency of these wheat-pasted displays to recede into the streetscape, becoming a backdrop to city life rather than a focal point.
Which brings us to quality.
How much do you care about it?
The practice of poster sniping is frequently associated with street artists and graffiti for a reason: what goes up usually comes down… or gets covered by something else.
Perhaps the biggest con of wildpostings is their short life span: wheat-pasted posters that are not removed by local authorities suffer from damage both from the elements and the whims of free-wheeling locals. If you live in New York City, we’re certain you’ve seen a, erm, phallic image scrawled across an otherwise PG-rated street-side wildposting at least once (if not a few times a day).
If you’re looking to max out an extremely tight budget, wildpostings seem like the obvious solution: as many highly profitable wildposting companies will tell you, low-quality paper and wheat-paste cost pennies on the dollar. For volunteer-run campaigns, DIY wildposting is the perfect option.
On the flip side – to mount a campaign with broad reach and sustained duration, wildposting services are not cheap – especially given the limited duration of sniping campaigns.
While these companies are paid to make sure a certain number of flyers or posters go up, they do not maintain or replace the inevitably lost or damaged papers – so a budget of thousands to cover posting only ensures a brief moment of visibility.
Finally: Are you willing to take a risk?
Because poster sniping companies typically do not possess their own inventory networks, clients may have limited ability to control where their message appears. Firms that specialize in poster sniping also generally do not compensate property owners for posting or for the damage these posts can cause (and, in some cases, these firms also neglect to compensate their contractors).
If you’re looking to mount a quick and dirty campaign, mix up some glue and get your staple gun ready: wildposting just might work for you! Otherwise, our recommendation is – as always – to diversify your media mix as much as budget allows. We’re biased, but these days, the integration of print and digital seems like a no-brainer for driving ROAS.