Giant outdoor advertizing screen in Chelyabinsk

Chief editor - Vladimir Krylov
Deputy chief editor - Michael Nikulichev

It is extremely pleasant to write this report. Firstly, our technical group was directly involved in the event, and, secondly, this event directly confirms many of our conclusions and analytical research of our magazine. We have made predictions about modern tendencies in “building outdoor advertizing screens” and also suggested certain approaches to selecting and installation of large outdoor advertising and informational systems. Here are some essential ideas that are being gradually implemented all around the world:

  • larger advertizing screen linear dimensions translate into bigger audiences;
  • advertisers prefer large screens that sell time better;
  • large lamp screens are ideal for higher roof installations and LED screens should be installed closer to traffic and pedestrians;
  • screens are not only prime advertising media but a means of displaying important information for local communities.

Let us get back to the news at hand. Chelyabinsk is an average-sized town in the middle of Russian Siberia. It has the population of 1.2 million people and is mostly known for the concentration of industrial and heavy machine enterprises. A group of local entrepreneurs (“Chelyabinsksvyazinform” and its subsidiary “Scrin”) installed the first outdoor advertizing screen in town. It is a giant lamp screen with 9x12 meter image area. The installation site was carefully chosen. The outdoor screen crowns the semi-circular building on the central town square. It overlooks the huge square and several streets that lead to the square. All major transport flows cross in this area. As a result, most inhabitants pass by the giant advertizing screen at least twice a day. On weekends and during holidays the square turns into a non-traffic zone, where huge crowds pour for various entertainments. So, the audience of the screen is really massive.

Giant outdoor advertizing screen in Chelaybinsk Giant outdoor advertizing screen in Chelaybinsk
Giant outdoor advertizing screen in Chelaybinsk

The Chelyabinsk screen is an updated model of the large advertizing lamp screen that was installed in Moscow in March 2001. Compared to the Moscow screen, the one in Siberia is better in its design, brightness, and structural innovations. The weight of this huge construction was reduced to only 7.5 tons. The giant outdoor screen is now a real decoration of the building, square and whole city. The installation also proves that large outdoor advertizing screens may be successfully used not only in large cities like London and Moscow, but in regional centers and much smaller towns.

Strangely, the Siberian towns lead the way in the area of digital electronic advertising in Russia. At present, advertizing screens are already installed in Novosibirsk, Yekaterinburg, Norilsk and Chelyabinsk. As far as we know, this list will continue to grow fast shaming Moscow and St. Petersburg.

There are good reasons for that. Lively business tags along advertising activity and larger advertising budgets. Since electronic digital advertising has already proved its efficiency, clients eagerly agree to initial high expenses that are returned fast. Russia has demonstrated extremely fast return-on-investment (ROI) rates for outdoor advertizing screens. Naturally, financial information is sensitive and may not be disclosed. However, we were told that the screen in Chelyabinsk started earning sufficiently to return its cost in less than a year. Such returns are never dreamed of in Europe, for example.

It’s very important to mention a whole series of records set by specialists responsible for the giant outdoor screen installation. The construction work was conducted by local subcontractors. A unique lightning protection system was created to protect the elevated screen. The screen was manufactured in only 1.5 months. It was carried in trailers from Voronezh, a city 2000 miles from Chelyabinsk, and lifted to the roof directly from trailers. The complex engineering operation took only two days!

It is interesting to quote one of the local newspapers that reported the event: “Yesterday the façade of the central building on Vorovskogo Street was decorated by a huge outdoor screen. In approximately three weeks it will be able to display advertising.” A day after this article was published: “The screen was commissioned and put into operation. It started working not in a test mode, but in a fully operational mode that allows live video and TV broadcasts.”

Recently, city authorities requested permission to show a city running competition on the screen. It was broadcast live and large crowds assembled in the square watching the competitions on the giant outdoor screen. All that served as an additional promotion for the advertizing screen – which is now being called “super-television” in town.

Gradually the number of outdoor advertizing digital screens in Russia and other countries is growing. Technology is also developing fast, and each new screen comes out better than the previous. That is progress at its best!