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9 minute read | October 26, 2023

Partner Interview: Branded Cities

Written By: Emma Motha


In this month's partner interview,  we caught up with Mike Galkin, VP Marketing Research & Analytics at Branded Cities, a leading global out-of-home advertising company, specialising in iconic media in iconic destinations. In this interview we discussed the growth of some of their most iconic screens which include Times Square in New York and their first Moxy digital screen campaign for Gymshark in Los Angeles.

1. What has driven the rise in popularity of programmatic digital OOH in the US, and how has Branded Cities adapted?

Programmatic is the natural next step in the evolution of Out-of-Home (OOH) advertising. Publishers in our space have long been looking for a way to make OOH more easily transactable and accessible to buyers throughout the world and programmatic gives us that ability. At Branded Cities, we specialize in dynamic and large-format digital spectaculars, and we saw a space in the market for an inventory profile such as ours that could bring something unique to advertisers. 

Not only can we provide significant impressions at each of our sites, but we can also provide that buzz and PR-worthy clout that you cannot get from a mobile banner ad. 

2. Your digital out-of-home inventory sits across the US, which screen locations have been most popular recently?

We have seen very high demand for our iconic locations in Times Square (Nasdaq & MiFi), the Las Vegas Strip (Harmon Corner for example) and Los Angeles (The Moxy). We have also seen increasing demand in our other premiere markets like Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Denver.  

3. Can you talk us through the types of environments for your screens (discuss new packages coming up: NYE / Super Bowl)

Our spectacular screens are located throughout key areas in top media markets throughout the US, driving significant vehicular and pedestrian impressions, all with extended dwell times. Due to the prominence of the markets that we serve, we are fortunate that our spectacular screens are front and centre to major tentpole events like New Year’s Eve in Times Square or the Super Bowl in Las Vegas.

4. You mentioned events such as the Super Bowl and NYE can you tell us a little more about the impact it has on reach?

Through the standard course of business, brands looking to make a splash typically come to Branded Cities as our spectacular screens tend to generate a buzz and lend themselves well to social amplification. This gets taken to the next level when we can support campaigns around the biggest events in the world.

When people think about New Year’s Eve, they picture Times Square and the iconic ball drop at midnight. Our spectacular screens are part of the show, as we manage over 20,000 square feet of high-definition digital signage on our Nasdaq and MiFi displays, both of which flank the New Year’s Eve Ball that is seen by billions of people across the world. 

In 2024, the Las Vegas Strip will be the epicentre to sport’s biggest championship, and our four digital spectaculars on the Strip will be ready to reach American football fanatics from within the market and within their homes. With our spectacular screens, Branded Cities can turn Out of Home into “In Your Home.”

5. Can you tell us a little more about which screens and locations are launching soon?

While we do not have anything immediate to announce, there are some exciting developments on our pipeline that we hope to be able to share with VIOOH in the very near future. 

6. What type of brands are interested in your inventory and have there been any changes or trends in demand recently?

Demand has been up in nearly all verticals, but it’s been great seeing luxury fashion brands embracing Out of Home this year in big ways, utilizing beautiful and dedicated creatives for our large format screens. 

Even though we’ve been on the other side of the pandemic for some time, we are still seeing a very strong interest and demand in Out of Home. This has led to some time frames with limited availability. That said, working with partners like VIOOH, we keep close tabs on available impressions and can transact at a moment’s notice.  

7. Can you share with us a successful client campaign story that you’ve worked on recently that showcases the power of programmatic?

This summer, Gymshark, a leading activewear brand, pioneered our first ever programmatic campaign on the Moxy digital spectacular in Los Angeles. At 50 feet high and 300 feet in length, The Moxy is largest full-motion digital in California, capable of 3D/anamorphic creative, and situated across from the LA Convention Center and the Crypto.Com Arena. Working closely with both VIOOH and The Trade Desk we were able to traffic Gymshark’s full-motion video creative to the spectacular, which then was shared widely across various social media platforms. 

8. Finally, before I let you go, it would be great to get your predictions for the future of digital out of home in the next couple of years? And where does programmatic fit in?

Here at Branded Cities, we believe the programmatic future is bright. I think the key driver for digital OOH growth is ease of use, whether that is through automated systems, content delivery, or programmatic platforms. For OOH to keep taking a larger share of the overall advertising spend pie, we need to make it easy to buy. Programmatic will play a big role in this optimization and will grow in-step with the industry.

Learn more about Branded Cities by visiting their website here


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