From inception, PMD was built around one foundational premise: Get our clients SEEN. Despite living in an industry that changes year in and out, this guiding principle has, and always will, remain the same.
Which is why we’re excited to introduce our newest service, EDGE. The largest format, storefront-dominating billboard you’ll ever see. Taking our advertising medium to the EDGE of maximum visibility.
While our signature WindowPoster™ Displays are ubiquitous, seen in tens of thousands of independent storefronts across the U.S., EDGE displays will be more exclusive, 10X larger, framed in high-resolution vinyl, and 10X more visible.
Your message will never be bigger, or more SEEN. Take it to the EDGE.
I have my own personal issues with social media, always have. I try to be as funny, outgoing, and transparent as I possibly can, on all channels; Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Tumblr. But it’s hard coming from an inherently private person like me.
The recent news has not helped me or millions of other Americans move towards sharing more. Everyone’s favorite social-punching-bag-du-jour, Facebook, has taken a lot of hits lately; Russian fake news, pyschographic ad targeting with stolen data, Mark Zuckerburg dragged before Congress and the EU – it all seems bleak for the world’s largest social media platform, and sharing as a whole.
So it may come as a surprise that there are actually positive things coming out of Menlo Park lately.
In the last few months, Facebook has created and produced events for a new initiative focusing on small businesses called Facebook Community Boost. Set to visit 30 cities in 2018, Facebook Community Boost is on a mission with a few goals in mind; 1. work with local organizations to provide digital skills and training for people in need of work; 2. advise entrepreneurs how to get started; 3. help existing local businesses and nonprofits get the most out of the internet.Since 2011, Facebook has invested more than $1 billion to support small businesses. Research results by Morning Consult, showed 56% of U.S. small and medium-sized businesses on Facebook said they have increased sales because of the platform. Additionally, 42 percent said they have hired more people due to the growth they’ve experienced since joining Facebook.
So what’s Community Boost all about?
If you’re looking for a job, Facebook will provide training to help improve your digital and social media skills.
If you’re an entrepreneur, Facebook will have training programs on how to use technology to turn an idea into a business, they will also show you ways to create a free online presence using Facebook.
If you’re a business owner, Facebook is going to offer ways your business can expand its digital footprint and find new customers around the corner and around the globe.
If you’re getting online for the first time or you want to support your community, they will provide training on digital literacy and online safety. They will also be helping community members use technology to bring people together, with features like Events and Groups
So … why am I writing about this? What better way to target small businesses and community members across the U.S. than with an outdoor advertising platform that consists of more than 50,000 small businesses?
PMD has partnered with Facebook in cities across the U.S. to raise awareness of this new initiative. Targeting areas near the event locations, in cities such as Houston, Des Moines and Denver, PMD has helped get Facebook SEEN outside of the computer or phone screen in a way that is beneficial to both company and community.
Avengers: Infinity War … PASS! Solo… NO Thanks. Jurassic World ... YAWN!
DEADPOOL 2 – Absolutely.
Summer 2018 is packed with BIG action movies. Dinosaurs, a superhero war, an origin story, but is that all there is? What about that wisecracking man in the red suit? You know, the one who KNOWS that he’s not a real person? The one who will often break character so we know he’s in on the joke?
Deadpool 2, opening May 18th, is the return of our mutant hero. Well aware that he is a fictional comic book character, Ryan Reynolds is back as Wade Wilson, Deadpool. Forming the “X-Force” a team of mutants, set to protect a young mutant from the time-traveling soldier, Cable. (Josh Brolin).
Much like the first film, Deadpool 2, is promised to be full of non-stop action and R-rated humor that breaks the fourth wall, something done by few other characters in the Marvel universe.
To promote the film’s May 18th opening, a 21 and over Deadpool 2 Pop Up Bar is heading to Downtown LA. After a run at Brooklyn’s Alligator Lounge in late April, the pop up will open in LA from May 10th through the 12th at Slipper Clutch from 7 – 11:30 pm each night. Better known as “Sister Margaret’s School for Wayward Girls” by Deadpool fans, these bars will transform, for a short time, into the manipulative mutants favorite dive bar and break the fourth wall better than Deadpool himself.
Attending will get you free chimichangas (a Deadpool favorite), and proceeds will benefit the Downtown Film Festival LA, who are cohosting the event. Both New York and LA events are being sponsored by Fox and Mike’s Hard. Attendees will be served Deadpool inspired Harder cans with limited edition flavors like black cherry and blood orange. Mike’s Hard will also be hosting contests where fans can win an all expenses trip for two to the Deadpool 2 premiere and red carpet event AND a trip to San Diego’s Comic Con this July.
For all the wisecracking, wall-breaking-dark-humor-loving fans, Deadpool 2 opens May 18th everywhere.
The international touring exhibit that showcases Mr. Bowie’s transformation throughout the years, with hundreds of artifacts that he himself collected, is being seen at its final venue, the Brooklyn Museum. A fitting end to the 5 year tour that brings him back home.
Traveling the world since 2013, DAVID BOWIE IS … the first retrospective on the life and career of the music legend. It’s truly an iconic show – like the man. The idea for the project first took life when Bowie gave permission to Geoffrey Marsh and Victoria Broackes, curators from London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, to explore his personal artifacts, stored in a secret location in New York City.
This exhibit features more than 400 pieces pulled from the artist’s personal archives, including handwritten lyrics, over 60 stage costumes, album artwork, diary entries, and photography. There’s also footage from select films, performances, and music videos, such as The Man Who Fell to Earth and Bowie’s 1979 Saturday Night Live appearance.
For this final Brooklyn stop, 80 new pieces have been added to the show, focusing on Bowie’s years in New York City, including the backdrop from the Broadway production of “The Elephant Man,” which starred Bowie in the ’80s, and large-scale film projections from his 1990 “Sound+Vision Tour.”
Most important, from my perspective, is the music. Visitors are provided custom headsets, to wander among the displays, listening to interviews, and Bowie’s music. I often found myself stopping in the middle of one room or another, closing my eyes, and enjoying the soundscape.
Room after room is packed to the gills with memorabilia. Everyone has their favorite David Bowie moment: The Thin White Duke. Ziggy Stardust. The Goblin King. The “Life on Mars” ice-blue suit. The Aladdin Sane knit jumpsuit with one shoulder. The Ashes to Ashes clown suit. They are all represented in this exhibit.
Since Bowie’s career has such longevity, there is always more to discover. Because of the headsets, each visitor experiences their own individual journey, finding new versions of Bowie to love.
DAVID BOWIE IS … currently on view and running until July 15th. Tickets start at $25.
Brooklyn Museum is a long time friend and partner of PMD Media. While this exhibit is a special one, we would be remiss not to mention the other exhibits on view, including the upcoming Radical Women: Latin American Art exhibit, and the amazing Visible Storage in the Luce Center for American Art.
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!
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.
Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN.
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!
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.
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 alive 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.
Way back when, PMD Media started with a poster advertising the Grateful Dead performing at Madison Square Garden. Like many of the artists we work with, you might say we have roots in rock and roll!
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.
Film Center Cafe, 9th Avenue, NY (1933-2011)
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.
If the key to a successful advertising campaign is capturing attention with multiple touch-points, the first step towards reaching your desired audience is getting your message SEEN in places where people live, work, and play … and what better way to do so than by placing your ads in storefront windows and on their mobile devices?