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Eco-Friendly Billboard Comes to Times Square

Ricoh
Artist’s rendering

There's a new show set to open on the Great White Way, but it's neither musical nor straight play, and admission is free. We're referring to Times Square's first-ever eco-friendly billboard, soon to grace 3 Times Square at the northwest corner of 7th Avenue and 42nd Street.

The billboard, commissioned by Japanese camera company Ricoh, weighing in at 35,000 pounds and measuring 126 high and 47 feet wide, will be powered entirely by the wind and sun, using 16 wind turbines and 64 solar panels.

By generating its own electricity — enough to light six homes for a year — the sign could save as much as $12,000 to $15,000 per month, according to Ricoh, which estimated that the sign would prevent 18 tons of carbon from being spewed into the air yearly.

Ricoh representatives expect that the turbines will generate enough power to keep the sign lighted even after four days without wind or sun, but the company is prepared for the sign to occasionally go dark.

The New York Timesreported that the “passive” sign is not studded with light-emitting diodes like many others in Times Square, but will be lighted by 16 300-watt floodlights. It will feature custom-printed opaque vinyl sheeting bearing the red-and-white Ricoh logo. Ricoh marketing VP Ron Potesky told the Times that the company wanted to send a message “to customers, other companies and the world that resources and energy can be used creatively. The point is that there are ways of being environmentally friendly to the planet, even on a billboard.”

For more info about the sign, please visit http://www.ricoh.com/info/080704.html

Historic Retailer Returns to the Crossroads of the World

WalgreensThursday, 11/20- Walgreens, the nation’s largest drugstore chain, makes a historic return to the heart of Times Square in New York today with the opening of its flagship store on the first three levels of the legendary One Times Square building. The store will anchor a massive Walgreens billboard - the nation’s largest, most advanced digital super-sign soaring 341 feet above the street on three sides of the building. The company will light the sign tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern time.

One Times Square, nestled on the island between Broadway and Seventh Avenue and 42nd and 43rd Streets, serves as the centerpiece of the city’s famed New Year’s Eve celebration and one of the world’s most photographed and televised landmarks. Walgreens operated a store at the high-profile location for nearly four decades from the 1930s through 1970. That store can be seen in the background of the famous Life magazine photo of the sailor kissing a nurse at the end of World War II. The company sees the homecoming as an opportunity to showcase its brand to an immeasurable international audience.

The massive electronic billboard, commonly called a “spectacular,” contains 12 million energy efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs) spanning 17,000 square feet, earning it bragging rights as the largest in the nation. The sign surpasses the current size record held by NASDAQ with its 11,000-square-foot digital screen built in 2000. The diagonal stripes skyrocketing 17 stories on the east and west sides of the building are programmed to display synchronized animation delivering seamless messages and images 20 hours a day.

The store will also be surrounded by 13 digital signs at street level offering a wide range of advertising options for Walgreens suppliers. Visual campaigns for mega brands L'Oreal, Johnson & Johnson, Colgate and Kraft will launch on the signs tonight.

For more information about Walgreens Times Square store, the spectacular and the partners in this unprecedented initiative, visit www.walgreenstimessquare.com.

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Times Square

The original Times Square Walgreens store in the 1930s.