Maximizing the Bang for Times Square’s Buck

ImageAs part of my Spring Break this year, I spent a night in New York City with a few close friends. I saw my first NBA game at Madison Square Garden, I went to the top of the Empire State Building, and I saw the 9/11 memorial. As great as all of these moments were, my favorite part of the city, as usual, was seeing the advertisements in Times Square.

Advertising space in Times Square is really valuable, of course, because of the amount of people that are exposed to it. So, I decided to take a look at two ads that I saw and evaluate who is getting more for their money.




Corona Light has this billboard in Times Square. My initial reaction was pretty negative towards it. Corona is known for tropical settings. In fact, some of my favorite commercials are the Corona commercials that feature people on beaches. They stress that people need to “get away,” and relax.

Not exactly the environment that people in Times Square are in, right? I just thought that the Corona ad in such an urban area was a little counter-productive. It’s not the image of Corona that consumers have in their minds. 








Excuse the poor image quality, but in the center of that stack of ads is one for Bud Light Platinum, a new product that uses a very interesting strategy. Bud Light Platinum is supposedly targeted towards urban, young professionals. Their Superbowl advertisements both support that. 

For this reason, it seemed like Manhattan was a pretty good place to advertise the beer. 






After thinking about it for a minute, though, I realized one very important fact.

Times Square isn’t your average metropolitan area. It’s a tourist destination.

This article from MSNBC estimates that Times Square receives an average of 35,200,000 visitors annually. That makes a huge difference. The viewers of the advertisements in Times Square aren’t the people that live in the area. Not predominantly, anyway. They’re a lot different than those people, in fact.

Tourists come in a lot of different shapes and sizes, ages and genders. In other words, advertisers aren’t exactly targeting the most specific of groups. However, a lot of tourists travel with their family. More importantly, most tourists travel to destinations other than New York City. 

Basically, there might not be as many urban, young professionals seeing the Bud Light Platinum advertisement as I originally thought. Furthermore, the tourists that are seeing the Corona Light commercial might be taking their next trip to a beach.

I’m not saying that the Bud Light Platinum ad shouldn’t be in Times Square, because I’m sure there is a reason for it. I am saying, however, that knowing as much as you can about who is going to see your advertisement is crucial. And sometimes, more isn’t merrier. Just because a lot of people see your ad doesn’t mean it is going to be effective.

So who do you think is getting more bang for the buck, Bud Light Platinum or Corona?






About Jim Mignano

Jim Mignano is a young professional practicing and learning Public Relations in Rochester, NY. He is passionate about the possibilities that digital media provide and loves utilizing new platforms for a variety of functions. James' blog is about people and the technology they use. It's about communication and persuasion... the old and the new ways of doing things... the struggle between sticking to the tried, true recipes and experimenting with intuitive, innovative ideas. It's an extension and reflection of James himself: the convergence of ambition & ability.
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3 Responses to Maximizing the Bang for Times Square’s Buck

  1. Pingback: Slicing the March Madness Pie | Millennial's Marketing

  2. I’m glad you had a good stay and witnessed all that is TIMES SQUARE. It is and has been developed as a “Marketing Mecca.” Times Square from my childhood is not the Times Square that you can enjoy now. In this sense, the power and money behind marketing and the valuable of it in one (or in such a trademark) location not only changed the physicial presence of Times Square, it changed the whole experience of being there.

    Again, a great post of your insight and observations!

  3. You pose a great question. They obviously both have reasons for placing ads in Times Square. Personally I think that the Bud Light Platinum ad is probably getting more bang for their buck. My thought is that even if they are not young, urban professionals from New York doesn’t mean they are not that from other cities. I think that the amount of young, urban professionals touring or living there outnumber the tourists that are going to see the beach next. Again this is just my thinking.
    Thanks for the great article and giving me something to think about.

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