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People's Daily Online>>Foreign Affairs

China makes its mark with Times Square ads

By  Cheng Guangjin and Ma Liyao  (China Daily)

08:18, February 27, 2012

BEIJING / NEW YORK - Walking through Times Square in Midtown Manhattan, you could get lost in the multitude of messages carried by billboards on the surrounding skyscrapers.

One of them - a 19-meter-high by 12-meter-wide screen at 2 Times Square, the building that is the northern anchor of the district - displays images from China.

Since August 2011, the screen has been displaying videos promoting Xinhua News Agency and the cultural attractions of cities including Shanghai, as well as advertisements for Chinese companies such as Wuliangye Liquor.

An estimated 500,000 people pass through the square each day.

However, critics have questioned how much of an impact the "China screen" will have on passers-by.

Erdos Group, a leading cashmere company based in North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region, advertised on the screen in January.

Tana Dai, deputy general manager of the group, told China Daily that the company started a brand upgrading strategy in 2008 and chose Times Square as the beginning of its overseas advertising campaign.

"Advertising on Times Square, which gathers many world-class brands, would be a good choice for Erdos to upgrade its brand," said Dai.

Dai declined to reveal how much the company paid for the one-month advertisement that was contracted to Xinhua Gallery Media Co Ltd.

The space had been occupied for the past decade by the HSBC bank before its lease expired, according to The New York Times. The building at 2 Times Square also features ads from Prudential, Coca-Cola, Samsung and Hyundai.

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