Yonge-Dundas Square is giving away ad space

Five digital screens will be provided, for free, to clients that are doing activations in the Square below.

How does free advertising in front of a ton of eyeballs sound?

If that’s music to your ears, then Yonge-Dundas Square has a deal for you: for the remainder of 2021, five screens at the busiest intersection in Canada will be made available for free to host advertorial content for brands doing on-site activations in the square below.

“Our aim is help them maximize the impact of their activation,”┬ásaid Yonge-Dundas Square GM Julian Sleath, who says the company wants to make the Square more accessible to both new and returning clients whose business and ad budgets have taken a hit during the pandemic, as well as sweeten the pot and motivate clients to return to on-premise activations.

“In a normal year, we would host anywhere between 150-200 event days on the Square,” Sleath says. “However, as we have all witnessed, the live event industry has taken a big hit in the last year and a half. It is our hope to make the transition back to normalcy a bit more affordable for our clients.”

Sleath says the combination of OOH with on-site activations is an effective one, pointing to Neilsen data showing that 52% of consumers reported noticing digital billboards that gave directions to a store, business, or restaurant, and 57% of them immediately visited the business after viewing the ad.

“On our own screens, we have been working with other partners to bring digital art projects to the screens and to expand the offerings to the visitors to the Square beyond advertising,” Sleath pays, pointing to partners like Ryerson University’s Faculty of Arts and Design, OCAD and the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair.

Two of the screens being offered are horizontal, flanking the Square’s main stage, with two vertical screens along the south side of the Square and one rear facing to nearby Victoria Street.

With this first-time offer, Sleath says new clients and their events are prone to benefit from huge exposure from a tremendous amount of traffic.

“The Yonge and Dundas Intersection normally sees an annual pedestrian traffic of 38,333,392, and an annual vehicle traffic of 5,518,480,” Sleath says. “The lockdown has affected those numbers, but all the businesses in the downtown core are working together to bring this part of the city back to life and once again enjoy the vibrancy that we expect.”

Featured image by Pedro Szekely.