5 min read

Transforming Urban Landscapes: The Impact of Digital Signage on Cityscapes

Written by
Pavlo Fedykovych
Published on
July 19, 2023
May 29, 2024

DOOH digital signage has been with us for a few decades now. When you think about the look of the biggest cities in the world, screens form a great part of their branding and their identity. In 2023 multi-screen outdoor digital signage is not a rarity, it’s an organic part of the cityscape. And as we’re moving towards more digitalization, we can expect more exciting DOOH projects.

Let’s take a look at how the DOOH digital signage transforms the look of the cities and review the best examples of the digital in the cityscape.

Introducing a new kind of engagement

Since the dawn of time, billboards have ruled the cities. They have taken many forms and incarnations, but they were always there. As commerce developed, the signs developed along. 

The medieval guilds used special signage to distinguish themselves from one another. Products used outdoor advertising in the 18th century in the form of wall paintings on the streets of France and England. The US has been peppered with roadside billboards as the car age of the 20th century unfolded. 

Today we’re in a digital era. Static billboards do exist but it’s the new beast that has taken over the streets in the world’s top commercial centers like New York, London, Tokyo, and Toronto. DOOH is a new standard of advertising. 

Sizes may vary, and content is different, but one fact remains the same. We’re officially in the new era of engagement. And the future is digital no matter how you look at it. 

New York Times Square is the best example of this development. A pumping heart of America’s most famous megalopolis, it sparkles with thousand lights. Brands compete with each other for space. And the face of the city is completely changed thanks to the power of the screens.

Cityscape that interacts

While Times Square is always used as a poster child for DOOH digital signage hegemony, it’s an exaggeration too. It is made to be sparkling, it is made to be over-the-top, and it’s supposed to take your breath away. The digital signage-driven transformation of the cities is far more than that. 

Times Square represents an advertising part of the movement. However, digital and static coexists in many other ways to create a better urban experience for people. Here are some of the ways DOOH digital signage is transforming the cityscapes around the world. 

1) public transport stops 

In the 90s an interactive screen on a bus stop or on the metro station would be considered a show-stopper. In 2023 it’s a norm. Screens show the waiting time, they are used for advertising, broadcast news, and show alerts.

Within the framework of public commute, the screens are assisting people in their day-to-day lives thus becoming an indispensable part of the city experience. 

2) art installations 

City digital signage is not necessary about commerce. There are instances when it is used to broadcast art and serve as a sort of “open-air” museum extension of the public space. We could have seen it with the Flamingo Point condo in Miami where the screens are used for the purposes of showing the pieces of art. 

3) attraction in itself

Some screens are made better than others. This is the case when the DOOH digital signage becomes an attraction in itself for the city. Las Vegas is the best example of this kind of digital signage application. It’s hard to imagine this city without the many state-of-the-art screen installations that not only engage with the locals and the visitors but also lure tourists just by existing. 

Actually, let’s take a close look at the Las Vegas approach to using outdoor digital signage as part of the cityscape.

Outdoor digital signage in the cityscape: Las Vegas case study

Sphere at The Venetian Resort

Why: 16K resolution wraparound LED screen that is both the largest and the highest-resolution one in the world. Plus the 580,000 square feet of programmable lighting. That’s Sphere, the newest addition to the exciting Las Vegas outdoor digital signage landscape and its most grande project to date. Not only will it draw tourists as an attraction, the screen in question will become an integral part of the city’s skyline.

Resorts World Las Vegas Gigantic Screen

Why: how about a 100 000 square foot LED screen that covers almost the whole entirety of a hotel? Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas and the Resorts World. So bright that it’s seen far from the desert and so impressive that the city visitors take myriads of photos and videos when the show is on. That’s how you change the cityscape.

Fremont Street Experience

Why: it’s not one wall or one billboard. It’s a whole street that’s been turned into one big DOOH power show. Fremont Street Experience boasts a 419 meter-long barrel vault canopy with 130,000 square feet of display space and 49 million energy-efficient LEDs it’s an all-day kind of attraction and an integral part of Las Vegas urban cityscape.

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