Watchfire Launches Digital Billboard Division

Watchfire Digital Billboard Division Launched 2006Watchfire by Time-O-Matic, a long-time manufacturer of reliable and innovative LED signs, today announced the formation of Watchfire Digital Outdoor to service the burgeoning digital billboard market.  The company plans to double its manufacturing space in Danville, Ill. in order to handle the expected growth from the division.

Watchfire Digital Outdoor engineers and manufactures the most durable and dependable digital billboards available to the market. Watchfire by Time-O-Matic has thousands of outdoor LED signs in daily operation throughout North America.

The company also announced the addition of Darrin Friskney as director of Watchfire Digital Outdoor. Most recently, Friskney was director of account services for WilliamsRandall Marketing Communications, Indianapolis. Watchfire by Time-O-Matic was a long-time client, along with the Indianapolis Arts Council, ExactTarget, Integrity Pharmaceutical and the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association. Previously, Friskney worked for Thomson Newspapers where he launched and managed the 13-newspaper network's online advertising sales department.  Friskney is a graduate of Indiana State University.

"Digital billboards are the next generation in outdoor advertising. They allow outdoor advertising companies to generate substantially more revenue per board by involving multiple advertisers and at the same time providing more effective advertising for their customers through vastly increased flexibility and timeliness. Watchfire Digital Outdoor boards are attractive to this market because they are the most rugged and reliable alternative available," said Friskney.

Digital billboards allow multiple advertisers to share a single billboard and enable day-parting, or dividing the day into several time-specific sections during which a different ad is shown that is appropriate for the time and audience. Advertisers generally are willing to pay about the same amount for a 6 - 10 second spot on a digital billboard as they had paid on traditional vinyl or paper boards, leading to an increase in revenue for outdoor advertising companies by factors as high as 8 to 10 times per month.

In addition, digital billboards are durable and are easy to update and maintain. By contrast, traditional billboards are static, cumbersome and subject to destructive weather elements. Billboards often are regulated by municipal cap and replace ordinances, which limit the number of billboards an outdoor advertising company can put up. Digital outdoor can help outdoor advertising companies overcome the restraint to revenue caused by cap and replace by increasing revenue per board without additional locations.

To handle the expected growth of Watchfire Digital Outdoor, the company plans to double its engineering and manufacturing space.

"For an advertiser needing to reach a mass audience, outdoor advertising is a great tool," said David Wood, president of Watchfire by Time-O-Matic. "There is no attention-seeking alternative and there is no such thing as a pop-up blocker or TIVO -- like we see with so many other traditional mass-marketing tools today."

Watchfire Digital Outdoor is backed by more than 70 years of manufacturing experience. Watchfire digital billboards are manufactured in a vertically integrated environment, which assures customers that Watchfire has optimal control of engineering, lead-time and delivery. All Watchfire signs are encased in cabinets built of heavy-walled aluminum extrusions and solid welds in Watchfire's Danville, Ill. factory. Watchfire's LED modules are the only fully encapsulated boards in the industry, allowing them to withstand years of real-life performance in even the most extreme elements. Also, Watchfire Digital Outdoor utilizes Ignite® software, which enables operators to create, import and schedule one sign or a network of signs from the same software.

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