#3/2012

LED Screens “Elect” Our Presidents

Chief editor - Vladimir Krylov, PhD
Deputy chief editor - Michael Nikulichev, PhD

Over the last 10 years LED screens significantly expanded their presence in the outdoor advertising and DOOH fields. The most spectacular area is of course the world of sports, concerts and shows. A positive role in fast development of LED technologies plays highly profitable show business that can afford the expense. Manufacturing companies in a cut-throat completion also invest huge resources into development of new systems in the hope to offer show organizers LED screens with higher brightness, lower pixel pitch, higher resolution, better white balance, light weight, lower energy consumption, etc.

We are already used to see long-legged beauties in immodest skirts and flashy LED screens at various auto shows around the world. Naturally, the market of political advertising quickly realized how attractive and efficient LED screens are and embraced digital technology. Can you imagine a political rally without loudspeakers and comprehensive public address system? Speeches will be inaudible and ineffective. What about LED screens? Without them speakers appear tiny and hardly appealing.

Thus, LED screens and LCD displays became true supporters of politicians. Screens will warm-up the audience, to maintain the interest, to maximize the effect from presentations. Absence of charisma, lack of energy and drive, poor rhetoric of many modern politicians, all can be embellished and corrected by professional video engineers and LED screen special effects. LED screens scale up images and increase the impact of political addresses on the audience.

LED screens in the popular TV series “The Event” Outdoor LED screen by “Astravision” Network
This is how the effective political rally is seen by the authors of the popular TV series “The Event” that was recently shown on NBC Election campaign on the “Astravision” Network of LED screens in St Petersburg (Russia)

2012 is full of important political events in many countries. Primarily, these are Presidential elections in a number of rich and influential countries: France, Germany, India, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, the USA, Taiwan, Venezuela. Naturally, budgets allocated for political advertizing go to traditional media like TV, radio, and newspapers but progressively bigger amounts are set aside for digital advertising, namely outdoor LED screens.

The recently ended election campaign in Russia demonstrated high demand for outdoor LED screen networks that promoted different candidates, especially in large regional centers such as Yekaterinburg, Rostov-on-Don, Khabarovsk where placement of political ads on digital LED screens was conducted by large Russian media agencies “Mania Velichia”, “Cosmos”, “Don Media Group”, “CityVision”, etc.

For instance, in St Petersburg the Network of city-format LED screen positioned near metro entrances around the city by “Astravision” signed a contract with the PR company managing election campaign of one of the candidates.

Since politicians frequently choose stadiums as venues for their election rallies, LED screens installed there serve a very useful purpose. For example, LED screens at Luzhniki Sports Stadium in Moscow were used to whip up support for Vladimir Putin during the 24-th February rally.

LED screen at the rally supporting Vladimir Putin LED screens emphasize the importance of Nicolas Sarkozy
One of LED screens in Luzhniki Stadium (Moscow, Russia) at the rally supporting Vladimir Putin
Photo credit: dw.de
LED screens emphasize the importance of Nicolas Sarkozy
Photo credit: flickr.com

Unlike Russia, France is only entering the heated stage of the Presidential campaign. The first Officially the first round of the elections is scheduled for April 22-nd, and all candidates are canvassing support around France with the active help of LED screens.

Campaign managers use all available resources and rent stationary screens and additional rental LED screens to increase the efficiency of speeches, make them dynamic and visually enhanced. The front runner Nicolas Sarkozy obviously likes to emphasize his importance by renting huge displays.

Digital billboards become more and more important in the US presidential campaign. Today, the total number of digital billboards in the USA is estimated to be 3200 – a large resource with huge coverage of audience. Add to this rental LED screens that are frequently employed at the sites of small election meetings and stationary screens at stadiums and concert halls and you will have a powerful informational and advertising media resource that adds significantly to the frenzy of the political race.

LED screen in Iowa at Hilton Coliseum LED screen at the rally supporting Herman Cain
2011 Iowa Straw Poll held at Hilton Coliseum
Photo credit: flickr.com
Herman Cain announces his run for President of the United States
Photo credit: flickr.com

About 10 years ago TV remained the largest ideological resource during presidential elections: today LED technology helped to shift the balance of political advertising. Of course, we can find a lot of skeptics who argue that a TV ad is as effective as any similar ad on an outdoor LED screen. However, we should remember that we watch films in the movies because the effect of a large screen cannot be compared to what we experience at home watching the same movie. Advertisers know that large screens “sell” better whatever the product: toothpaste, luxury cars, or Presidents.

Advertising of one of the candidates on a huge digital billboard in the USA (Video: youtube.com)

Elections in France, in the USA and many other countries will happen later in the year, but it’s obvious that every tool available is used to promote candidates in presidential races. No public speech is possible without LED screens which means only that LED screens keep on “electing” our Presidents.