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Coke Lore: New Sign in Times Square

By:  The Coca-Cola Company Jan 1, 2012
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Coke Lore- Times Square


To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Times Square and the Coca-Cola bottler in New York, in July 2004 The Coca-Cola Company introduced its latest spectacular in New York's famous crossroads.

For more than 80 years, the Coca-Cola® sign in New York City's Times Square has been one of the longest-standing, continuous billboards in the world, and was among the first electric outdoor advertising signs in history. Coca-Cola signs have been landmarks in Times Square since 1920, and as early as 1923 Coca-Cola brought a new dimension to its billboard by adding neon lighting. The 1991 Times Square sign was on display for 13 years. It featured a $3 million display with the world's largest Coca-Cola bottle and was the only Times Square billboard with a daytime and evening performance, as 12,000 neon and incandescent lights powered up to add to the nighttime show.

The new Times Square sign is one of the largest digital canvases in the world. The innovative advertising sculpture -- a three-dimensional, high tech display -- measures more than six-stories high and features custom-created, digital imagery for Coca-Cola classic®, Diet Coke® and Coca-Cola C2®.

Special communications technology will allow the Company to constantly refresh the 3-D sign's content, keeping the messaging timely and relevant. Its 32 screens can display separate images or pieces of one giant image. Vintage ads, including a version of the famous "Hilltop" commercial re-mastered for high-definition viewing, will entertain thousands of pedestrians each day.

When the new sign was inaugurated in 2004, the Company gave a special gift to New York called The Time Machine -- a three-minute audio and video tribute featuring the New York City landscape and Coca-Cola images over the past 80 years. The showing marked the first time the Times Square sign displayed content about New York.

Developed by more than 40 engineers and designers, the sign features some of the most advanced screen and digital technologies available, including GPS (Global Positioning Systems) to remotely manage the controls and 57 bits of processing to power the speed for the animation. To produce vivid images in trillions of colors, the 30-ton display uses more than 2.6 million light-emitting diodes (LED), a state-of-the-art computer system and 196 power supplies. The design and shape of the 32 sculpted LED screens enable the sign to have a 60-degree vertical, and an even more unique 140-degree horizontal viewing angle. 

While the sign's nearly 900,000 pixels are much farther apart than those on a traditional TV screen, the images have the clarity of high-definition television when viewed from the street hundreds of feet away.

For more than eight decades, Times Square has provided Coca-Cola with an ideal place to catch the public's eye. It is a place where people from all over the world naturally congregate, and a Coca-Cola sign is a natural fit.