JCDecaux Offers Street E-ads

The French-based JCDecaux Group, which first expanded to the United States in the ’90s, calls itself “the undisputed world market leader in street furniture.” To Americans, the Decaux name is mostly associated with the rounded green automatic toilets that have invaded many downtown areas — but there’s more to the company than that.

JCDecaux is involved in every facet of outdoor advertising, including airports, where it dominates worldwide. To underline all this, JCDecaux commissioned i-agency Razorfish to create a Web site(http://www.jcdecaux.fi/english.jsp) that helps designers and media planners visualize their work in a variety of different ways.

Once a user has uploaded a graphic to the site, he can test it to see how effective it will be in an authentic street environment or in day and night lighting. In addition, the site offers a picture database and gallery that displays classic outdoor advertising campaigns as inspiration.

“Our aim is to help advertising designers continue to grow and increase the success of their work,” says Klaus Kuhanen, marketing and sales director for JCDecaux Finland, the division that had the idea for the site. “We believe in the functionality of the service, and will continue to significantly invest in its future development.”

The Web site, available in either English or Finnish, is free to use. JCDecaux officials say they will recover the cost of creating it as more advertisers become aware of what outdoor displays can do for them. In addition to the graphic visualization feature, the site offers research data JCDecaux Finland has compiled. This includes information about the success of various types of sites, plus a monthly presentation of posters that have gained the most attention.