Who needs large electronic screens? Or advertising time is money!

Chief editor - Vladimir Krylov
Deputy chief editor - Michael Nikulichev

If you need a calculator, you can choose any at $5. If you need a VCR, it’ll cost you $200 or more. And the multitude of models will bewilder any customer. We live in a consumer haven. But how can one buy an electronic screen for outdoor advertizing? Where to start? As any serious business, installation of an electronic screen requires significant investments. Who would want to invest in a screen? There are dozens of screen manufacturers around the world and they fail to meet the demand! Isn’t it an indication of a booming industry trend?

Advertizing screen project profits

What makes large advertizing screens so attractive for investment? We are primarily concerned about Russia, But Russian is by no means a unique economy and the same factors apply to many other countries. All recent crises around the world have demonstrated the constant redistribution of finances from high-risk economic zones. One of the ways to minimize losses is to invest into the informational and advertising systems on the basis of electronic screens. Such screens are expensive and equal investments to real estate. However unlike real estate outdoor advertising remains profitable even during economic crises.

With the average 4-6% interest rate in Western Europe, a 20% return-on-investment is considered extremely attractive. However, even pessimistic scenarios and business plans demonstrate an amazingly high return within 10 to 18 months depending on the region, installation site and advertizing screen size. Translated into percentages in gives 60% return on the average.

New advertizing screen in Moscow

Once upon a time when the Soviet Union collapsed and Russia was struggling with the newly acquired free economy, one clever person Mr. Yashaev opened an advertising agency and unlike all others decided to try his luck with the new advertising carrier: outdoor electronic screens. He was the first to import an American electronic lamp screen from the company “White Way”. The screen was small and simple, with only 16 colors and low resolution.

Advertizing lamp screen by “White Way” – 1992 Advertizing lamp screen by “ATV Outdoor Systems” - 1999
Advertizing lamp screen by “White Way” – 1992 Advertizing lamp screen by “ATV Outdoor Systems” - 1999

But a novelty proved to be attractive and profitable. Mr. Yashaev soon realized that companies pay for commercials to be seen by the largest number of people, and moved on to the second stage of the project. He ordered and installed a Russian-made lamp screen of much larger size: 6x8 meters. A dynamic picture on the area of 48 square meters was well seen at long distances to drivers, passengers and pedestrians. The lamp screen was operating well, the advertising agency “RecMark” was growing and getting more influential.

Business does not allow idleness: competitors will throw you out of market place, especially such lucrative market as outdoor advertising. A few years later “RecMark” had to decide whether to lose to competitors or to invest in better technology. A lamp screen has an advantage of low price and large size but low resolution.

An LED screen is much better in this respect. So, Mr. Yashaev orders a modernization of his lamp screen to the well-known Russian company “ATV Outdoor Systems”. The reassembly took three days, and instead of the old lamp screen there now is a brand new LED screen. The resolution and brightness have drastically improved, commercials have become more interesting and life-like, the advertising efficiency has trebled.

Advertizing LED screen by “ATV Outdoor Systems” - 2002 Advertizing LED screen by “ATV Outdoor Systems” - 2002

Would advertizing agency “RecMark” invest into a new LED screen if it were not profitable? Naturally, the center of Moscow is the most attractive area for advertizing. But advertizing remains profitable even smaller cities. The return-on-investment (ROI) period in regional centers is longer compared to Moscow but never is longer than 1.5 years by the most pessimistic projections. The outdoor advertizing screens are successfully working in Krasnoyarsk, Norilsk, Chelyabinsk, Yekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Volgograd. The list grows. At last, Russia is getting closer to the Latin American countries where the electronic screen technologies have been developing at an amazing rate for the last decade. At last, Russian managers become professional, market-oriented and technologically-minded.