Pioneer Plaza turns heads with new big-screen bulletin board
PIONEER PLAZA'S new building-management bulletin board is a significant upgrade from the traditional cork surface for index cards, paper and push-pins. It is a large, flat-panel television mounted in the lobby.
The roughly 40-inch screen is divided into nine regions: Two are used for local and national news; one is for images from traffic cameras; one has the building logo; one displays building announcements; and four are for advertising.
The company behind the screen, Honolulu-based Phase 2 Advertising LLC, also has placed bulletin systems at the University of Hawaii School of Architecture, the One Kapiolani building, the Best Western Plaza Hotel and the Honolulu Airport Hotel.
The minimum screen size is 40 inches and each screen is divided differently, according to its purpose.
FL MORRIS / FMORRIS@STARBULLETIN.COM
This is the new large, flat-panel TV screen that has started posting information, news and advertising in the Pioneer Plaza lobby downtown. The Phase 2 Advertising bulletin systems are also at University of Hawaii School of Architecture, the One Kapiolani building, the Best Western Plaza Hotel and the Honolulu Airport Hotel.
The screen at the architecture school is divided into three sections. Two-thirds of the space is used for school-related announcements and community-building -- with such things as graduation photos and pictures of school functions. One-sixth of the screen is used for a mix of local and national news and the last one-sixth is used for advertising to help defray costs.
"We were intending to use the board as a communication tool for (any) building," said Yiu San Ho, managing member of Phase 2 Advertising. "We started off with that simple concept and the idea got bigger."
Even though people are always on the run these days, they still need to know what's going on, "so our message board is perfect," he said.
Pioneer Plaza management believed the message board fit with its intentions to provide tenants the latest technology.
"On any workday, you cannot help but notice that our building is a crossroads, where busy professionals meet for lunch and dinner and often bump into each other passing through," said Steve Metter, chief executive officer of MW Group, in a statement. MW Group owns and manages the building.
"Now bulletins and important announcements will make a greater visual impact, which will ensure that the message gets across," he said.
Ho said it "was mind-blowing" to see people standing around and gawking at the bulletin board once it was installed on Thursday afternoon.
KITV provides the local news feed and is in charge of updating the news. Building management can update its own messages via an online interface. "We don't interfere," Ho said. "Whatever the building landlord (wants to) put on, they have to spell-check their own."
The screens can switch to a live broadcast for something important, he said. "We can really flip different things on and off on the fly with the current structure."
Advertising that is now appearing is a mixture of slides and video with sound, which is kept at low volume.
For the Pioneer Plaza screen, Phase 2 Advertising is offering free public-service air time for up to two months for nonprofit organizations. First adopters include Aloha Harvest and Catholic Charities Hawaii.
Because it is new and unproven, advertising on the screens is a challenging sell.
"It is relatively new in Hawaii, but everywhere else in the world it's already being done. We are the first here in Hawaii," Ho said.
Nevertheless, Ho said, "Right now advertising is secondary for us. We're trying to build a good board that really benefits everybody."
San Diego-based Televator Corp. has screens in commercial buildings and hotels, while China-based Focus Media Holding Ltd. sells advertising on LCD screens in high-traffic areas, including the sides of buildings.
Phase 2 Advertising has turned down business from businesses wanting to have their screens face outside. Before his first installation at the architecture school, Ho made one of his fist calls to the Outdoor Circle watchdog group, he said.
"We are fully committed to (making sure) we are not intruding, or stepping on anybody's toes."
Phase 2 Advertising is a sister company of Phase 2 International LLC. The Honolulu-based information technology company also has offices in Indonesia and counts among its clients Group 70 International and Kuakini Health System.
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