LED Billboards Planned for LA-area Entertainment Center

El Portal will lace LED billboards throughout the branded development.

LED billboards are being planned along with the "town-hall" layout at Los Angeles’ El Portal urban entertainment development. When construction begins in May, the northwest corner of Atlantic Ave. and Firestone Blvd., in the South Gage community, 4,500 sq. ft. of OOH advertising will be laced throughout the development, according to Janet Stilson in her February 2, 2009, MediaWeek article, “Baked Into Buildings’ DNA.”

The LED billboard will be seen at the town plaza, where live events will also happen. Also, an “e-canvas,” on the façade of a Regency Theatre, will features interactive screens that enable the public to compete in multiplayer-gaming tournaments or flip a “channel” to watch sports or user-generated content.

The branded city is designed to appeal to Latinos. “It’s smack dab in an area that’s 90% Hispanic. Ten percent of Los Angeles County is within five miles of our site,” said David Goldman, managing partner of Allied Retail Partners LLC, the real-estate development company behind the project.

New Orleans, Minneapolis and Baton Rouge projects may also take the branded-city approach, according to Robert Marans, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research. The Foundation for Outdoor Advertising Research and Education (FOARE) hired him to visit six locations in advance of a possible FOARE-funded study that would involve “man on the street” research to gauge what the public thinks of branded cities. (FOARE is administered by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America.)

“We’re in the beta stage of branded cities,” said Philip Lenger, president and founder of Show & Tell, which is working on El Portál’s signage strategy. “We’re trying to find out what works and what doesn’t, from business model, community and technical standpoints.” Show & Tell also designed the signage architecture for Dallas’ Victory Plaza.