Madrid's plaza de Callao wants to become a reference point for outdoor digital advertising. The facades of two of its emblematic buildings, the Callao cinema and the press Palace, hosting five giant LED screens with interactive capabilities, augmented reality, and 3D to connect with 113 million people who pass each year through this renovated and pedestrianised agora, opening a world of possibilities of interaction of brands with consumers.

The Callao cinema, work of the architect Luis Gutiérrez Soto, were inaugurated on December 11, 1926 with the premiere of 'Luis Candelas, the villain of Madrid' (biopic of the famous Bandit born in Lavapiés). Since its inception, these cinemas have been a point of reference in the cultural activity of the capital. Much has happened since then: hundreds of releases, some remodeling works, replacement of classic commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Gran Via... 86 years of history that have made the heart of the capital and the hub of tourism and leisure of the city the Plaza del Callao.

Not in vain, the square is an area of must-see for tourists passing through Madrid. It is the third busiest square in Europe, through which pass 113 million people annually, has space that allows the concentration of up to 10,000 people and has a traffic of 51,000 vehicles per day.

A new way of approaching the consumer

Two years ago, the owner of this emblematic building of the central Madrid square (shows Callao) began a metamorphosis commercial to create a "beacon of cinema" in the Centre of the capital, renewing the signage of the Callao cinema and Palace of the Press. Traditional posters which occupied the facade of both properties have become so five big screens with LED technology of last generation and features 3D (two in the Callao cinema) and three in the Palace of the press that are broadcasting images from a year ago and that they give to the Plaza del Callao a new dimension, turning it into a cultural epicenter and leisure.

It's the project Callao City Lights: more than 250 square meters of interactive displays with superior quality Full HD, appropriate to new audio-visual technologies, offering, in addition to a new advertising medium, data on cultural Madrid, municipal information programming and advertising; and thanks to technology that incorporate, allow the broadcasting of events of all kinds (cultural, sports, etc.), and the creation of interactive events with citizen participation.

The creation of this new advertising medium interactive of large dimensions, which facilitates numerous cultural and commercial possibilities for advertisers to visitors to the square, is revitalizing citizenship of one of the zones more emblematic of Madrid and a commitment to the world of cinema. It is also a commitment to innovation in the way in which brands can reach consumers, and interact with them in a public and open space as it is the street. It is a unique model of communication able to offer interactivity in three different at the same time scenarios: plaza, screens and Internet.

"It is more than a series of screens. It is a project to retrieve an emblematic site of Madrid which, in another time, was the site of reference for Spanish cinema. We want to return to the Centre of Madrid to become a place of reference for the film and preserve the cinematographic activity of emblematic buildings in the square, as in the film Callao, signs of identity of Madrid cultural events", indicate the responsible for Callao City Lights.


The company responsible for implementing these devices has been the multinational Swedish telecommunications EriccsonIt has backed American manufacturer of LED screens Daktronics. Daktronics DVX screen has been installed to create a new advertising medium in the historic architecture of the cinemas. Screens incorporate 10 pitch (distance between 10 mm LEDs) technology and are designed with the latest technology on the market to have the highest resolution and capacity HD in Spain. They represent a major step forward in terms of technology, to increase by 60% the image definition. Daktronics LED technology ensures a long life with minimum maintenance, while it offers vibrant full-color images, shocking for viewers.

Gerardo Baranowski, director general of Callao City Lights, said: "the quality of the image, color, contrast, brightness and sharpness Daktronics displays HD allowed us to have an ideal launch of our project. The impact and recognition we have received for part of our customers and the public in general confirms that we have chosen the best manufacturer for our project."

In the Plaza del Callao has implemented a screen of 101 m2 picht 10 (1.009.800 pixels), and in the street Jacometrezo, one of 130 m2 of picht 10 (1.396.000 pixels), both with a capacity of 3D images, while in the porch of the Palace press is you have installed a third 36 m 2 of 10 picht (356,400 pixels) screen on the front and two sides of 8.80 m2, overlooking the Gran Via. 5 LED screens are all almost 10.900.000 impacts daily - 5.310.000 in Callao and Gran Via and 5.568.000 those of the Palace of the press.

Videos of the DVX Daktronics display modules are very resistant and offer protection from environmental elements. Water, dust, and any other type of waste material, can not come so modules are very reliable. DVX product line is known for its great capacity for visibility with the minimum number of pixels distance; This allows wide angles of visibility and detailed images.

Mike Charles, representative of international sales of Daktronics, commented: "Daktronics is very excited to be part of this project, and this represents the single largest Daktronics in Spain project."

5 Scala InfoChannel

Digital signage of the project management, Ericsson opted for software Scala InfoChannel 5 and a local partner of the American company, ASVideosupplied and a manager of control and players for total redundancy both player and content manager, installed as well as three systems Infochannel Designer, that allow to create multimedia productions with the visual impact of the TV and update content by Internet.

The process of implementation of the system of emission is generated on the connection between previously ingested content players and the issuance of such content through screens. Due to the variety of signs works with, both in static contents (JPEG, TIFF, PSD), as in dynamic, (WMV, QuickTime, .mov, .avi), needed a robust and stable server in order to make the issuance of the content without problems. This issue is generating some play-lists for subsequent issuance.

The contents that are broadcast on the screens are prepared for issuance from a previous process of quality control, verification of the content issue, approval and validation for issuance. Once this process is complete, is scheduled according to the type of contract with the customer.

Previews in the purest Hollywood style

This new format allows the interaction of brands with the citizens and their participation in major events. From July 2011, five large LED screens have been direct witnesses to major events such as the celebration of the victory of the Spanish team of basketball in Lithuania for Eurobasket, concerts such as David Otero 'Pescao' celebration the 50th anniversary of West Side Story, the Madrid Premiere Week or the European e-Commerce Conference 'EEC ' 11'. Also, through screens, locals and tourists were able to attend live events as special as the world day of youth WYD Madrid 2011 or issue exclusively of the documentary from the history channel '102 minutes that changed US' on the occasion of the commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the 11-S.

This initiative also allows you to provide these spaces of special lighting in order to focus attention, highlighting the activities carried out in the halls and become reference points for the celebration of great events with culture and entertainment. In this way, the glamour of the red carpet is slowly returning to the Callao cinema as usual scenario of numerous premieres, which have also been able to be live by screens, as the European premiere of 'Green Lantern' starring Ryan Reynolds, ' Millennium' with Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, the fourth installment of 'Mission impossible' with Tom Cruise, 'Ting' Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson, 'The hunger games' or the newly released 'The Amazing Spiderman', Spanish films as 'Opposite of love' or ' XP3D', or the broadcast live from London for the premiere of the latest movie in the saga of 'Harry Potter', which connected live Callao with the red carpet of Trafalgar Square, in a relay shared only by Madrid and the English capital.

When premiers, premieres, congresses, presentations, etc. are held, they are coordinated and shared the contents with the daily emission. It reserves the hour of the premiere and connects with the event live signal via promotional videos, live performance or video clips. Events held in the cinemas and retransmitted on the screens also can be online through Callao City Lights and the profiles created in the social networks Facebook, Twitter or Youtube Channel. Photos of the event are also hung on Flickr.

User participation options

The Plaza del Callao thus becomes a focus of public attention at the height of as emblematic as New York's Times Square or Piccadilly Circus in London. But apart from advertisements, broadcasts and cultural information projected on them, the LED screens also propose to interact with them via mobile devices and social networks. Callao City Light has worked with various companies that have generated applications with the latest technology, by which you can download music or video; send messages that appear on the screens; follow live the events that take place in the cinema, live, commenting on the image of the celebrities on the red carpet; or send photos with autographs.

When the square is the scene of concerts and events live, audio can be heard through the phone. The power of the systems integration tool also allows the possibility of playing online through X-Box platforms with other sites in the world, or the use of augmented reality applications and holografías for interacting with passers-by.

For the 30 anniversary of McDonald's, an action was generated in the Plaza del Callao, inviting to blow the candles on a virtual cake designed in the interactive screens. Thanks to an application of augmented reality developed for iPhone and Android devices, the Meetup attendees were able to connecting to the display with QR codes, downloading an APP application, and through your Facebook profile and participate live in the massive blow the candles on the cake's birthday and access awards redeemed in the establishments of the chain of fast food restaurants.

Also, on the occasion of the feast of the flag of the Red Cross, the event became an interactive event thanks to which each donor photography appeared on giant screens for a few seconds. Also appeared the comments of a fortnight of bloggers that, from the cafeteria of El Corte Inglés, commented visit of the various 'celebrities' charity event and, at the same time, reflected the comments that were made from various social networks, about the event.

Beyond cinema advertising

The installation and commissioning of these screens is only the first step in an ambitious project that will be enriched with a complete renovation of the spaces of the building of the Callao cinema, a benchmark in the history of film to be the first to exhibit a sound film in Spain, 'The Jazz singer' in 1929, and the first film in 3D in a commercial cinema, allowing you to carry out all kinds of activities and events related to the world of cinema and culture, in the style of what they represent the Odeon Cinemas in English Terra.

As the first phase of this revitalization, has been the installation of the latest technologies of 3D sound and image, maintaining also its historical projectors for 35 mm, that will take place in the same film premieres at national and European level; as well as cinema. Its interior is subsequently remodel providing all comforts for the spectators, installing a circuit of digital signage screens that show from the inside of the film what is happening outside.

Paco Rodríguez Arnuero, director of operations of Callao City Lights, explains it this way: "in the evolution of this project, is planned and designed an audiovisual environment throughout the building. We propose a unique experience for participants to all our guests and of course the spectators of the square of the current. If a premiere, which you can see the actors, are developing red carpet with the guests, the photocall, in any location of the cinema through giant monitors. If they are signing disks, which you can follow the event through screens and monitors inside the building, as the public sits protagonist of the event that is occurring at this time".

    • Client:
      Callao City Lights
    • Integrator:
    • Screens:
    • Configuration:
      • Plaza de Callao: screen of 101 m2 picht 10 and 10, 2 × 9, 90 meters high, (1.009.800 pixels).
      • Calle Jacometrezo: pantalla de 130 m2 de picht 10 y 12,90×9,90 metros de alto, (1.396.000 pixeles).
      • Palacio de la Prensa: pantalla central de 36 m2 de picht 10 y 15,90×2,10 metros de alto, (356.400 pixeles); y dos pantallas laterales de 8,8 m2 de picht 10 y 4,20×2,10 metros de alto, (88,200 pixeles).
    • Reproductores y software:
      Scala y ASVideo


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By • 9 Jul, 2012
• Section: Study cases, OUTSTANDING, Case Study SPOTLIGHT, Digital signage, Projection, dynamic Advertising, Augmented reality