CBS Outdoor wins digital contract for Yonge Eglinton Centre

CBS Outdoor Canada has won the contract to operate the digital assets for Toronto's RioCan Yonge Eglinton Centre shopping centre.

CBS Outdoor Canada is turning its attention indoors after winning the contract to operate the digital assets for Toronto’s newly refurbished RioCan Yonge Eglinton Centre in a competitive pitch. The 10-year contract takes effect Aug. 1.

Owner RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust is completing a $65-million renovation and expansion of the midtown Toronto shopping centre that includes the integration of 61 digital screens, including two exterior signs situated to reach both vehicle and pedestrian traffic at the intersection of Yonge St. and Eglinton Ave.

The first exterior display, featuring a main 14 by 48-foot screen as well as a second smaller screen, will go live in October, with the second exterior sign operational by spring 2015.

Screens of varying sizes—including 55 inches, 70 inches and 4 by 6 feet—are situated throughout the mall’s interior shopping areas, as well as the food court and subway concourse. They go live in August.

Yonge and Eglinton is the second most-trafficked intersection in Toronto, according to traffic counts, with an estimated 125,000 people (pedestrian and vehicles) passing through it each day. With relatively low levels of out-of-home advertising, the intersection also offers advertisers an “uncluttered” environment, said CBS Outdoor’s director of marketing, Michele Erskine.

The intersection sits at the hub of several affluent Toronto neighbourhoods and is a key shopping, dining and entertainment destination, as well as a vibrant daytime business area. The RioCan Yonge Eglinton Centre’s mix of retail clients also provides a strong advertiser base, with anchor tenants including a Metro grocery store, an Indigo bookstore and an LCBO outlet.

The Eglinton subway station is also a major transit hub on the Yonge subway line, while the Eglinton Crosstown LRT line (scheduled for completion in 2020) will only add to the intersection’s importance, said Erskine.

The contract marks a return to interior signage for CBS, which had previously held the Toronto Transit Commission contract. Its U.S. parent is “very active” in the space, said Erskine.

As with all out-of-home advertising firms, digital has emerged as a key strategic focus for CBS Outdoor, which has traditionally been a major player in static billboards. The company will have 35 digital boards installed in major markets across the country by the end of July, with others in the pipeline.

“We’re pretty engaged in the digital rollout,” said Erskine.

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