Well done custom business signs can be incredibly effective, drawing attention to thousands of potential new customers. If you don’t believe it, then see what a Times Square market research survey released in March 2014 revealed.
About the Times Square Market Research Survey
The idea of doing a survey in Times Square was to assess how effective billboards, custom business signs, neon and illuminated signs, and other forms of advertising were in this environment. The results showed how incredibly effective advertising was, and identified remarkably positive associations with these forms of advertising.
The survey involved more than 2,000 people. Amongst other things, it identified behavior that suggests various advertising metrics that have historically focused only on counting vehicular traffic that travels along roadways that are adjacent to “roadside signs,” tend to underestimate the impact that custom business signs have in urban spaces used primarily by pedestrians. It also explains why Times Square is such an “extraordinarily effective advertising environment” that produces remarkably positive associations related to adverting.
The market research study was commissioned by the Times Square Advertising Coalition, the Times Square Alliance, and other stakeholders. All interviews were undertaken on site. Initially 1,967 people were interviewed, and then a further 310 were interviewed in a follow-up survey. Researchers were tasked to examine:
- How people engaged with advertising in Times Square
- Unique associations that the Square offers businesses and advertisers
- The profile of the people participating in the survey
Times Square Research Findings
One of the greatest attractions of Times Square are the advertisements on billboards and custom business signs. Most people who participated in the survey said they felt good about the signage and that it helped make the area look colorful and exciting, and feel energetic and vibrant. A total of 83 percent said that advertisements and signs added to the appeal of Times Square.” Most (74 percent) identified the Square as a destination, rather than a part of New York they were simply passing through. Top activities identified were people-watching and photography, including taking pictures of signage. A total of 38 percent said they shopped in stores in and around the Square, and 42 percent ate at restaurants.
In general the research found that Times Square created memories, associations and power impressions, with 60 percent of participants agreeing that they would be more likely to consider buying products or using services from brands that advertise there. Interestingly, 90 percent of them said they recalled seeing Times Square feature in some sort of media outlet within the past six months.
Of those interviewed, 56 percent were locals – 42 percent from the five boroughs of New York City, and 14 percent from the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. A further 26 percent were currently living in other parts of the US, while only 18 percent were visitors from Europe and other countries.
While some local participants said they were more likely to visit Times Square for business reasons, most said they visit for leisure activities, and go there at least once a month, with 26 percent visiting every day. Visitors from out of the area were mostly there for leisure reasons, and 75 percent had been there previously – 25 percent of them had been there 10 or more times before.
The demographics are interesting too, with more than half of those interviewed (56 percent) being locals; 57 percent having a household income of at least $59,000; and 59 percent holding a bachelor’s degree or higher qualification. Whether it was deliberate or not, 58 percent of those interviewed were under 35 years of age, and 59 percent were female.
Times Square Advertising Metrics
Billboards and custom business signs in Time Square are a powerful form of advertising and definitely don’t detract from “the aura” of the Square. Almost all those who participated in the market research survey said they not only looked at the signage (30 percent for more than 10 minutes), but that they remembered the brands that were advertised. Furthermore, more than half of them shared pictures of Times Square and its signage on social media, mostly on Facebook (37 percent) and Instagram (20 percent).
Participants were also asked to rate the appeal of Times Square in terms of specific elements, and a large percentage (83) rated signs and advertisements very highly.
It is estimated that between 300,000 and 480,000 pedestrians visit Times Square every day. While the area is a distinctive environment and international landmark, the signage used here so successfully is not unique and offers opportunities in many other areas.
If you are in the market for custom business signs outside your office or store, for a trade show or event, in your showroom or reception area, or in an open public space where pedestrians will see it, MegaBytes Digital can help. We also do banners, vehicle wraps, and any form of signage that involves digital printing and imaging. Contact us for advice and more information.