Over the weekend I put together a video regarding the large Digital Ad Monument Signs that are popping up in the Delaware Valley, to explain “What’s the Deal?”. A simple background on the signs and mostly who is paying for their development?!
The video is linked at the bottom of this article.
If you were unfamiliar with what I am speaking about, well first look at the photos I provide here in this article… but the general idea is they are large and nicely designed monument style signs with large digital screens.
Digital Ad Monument Signs – Their Purpose
The core purpose of these signs is they are simply a modern-day stylized digital version of the classic billboard. Not only are they a new concept, we are seeing them being approved and developed along roadways which previously did not have (many) billboards.
It’s not a long video (link at bottom), and actually I get right to the core point early in the video, and that is…
Your taxpayer dollars did NOT pay for these signs.
In reading the comments on Facebook from my prior coverage, it seems many are assuming that these signs are town projects, funded by taxpayer dollars. But that is not the case.
The signs are a project of a private company/developer, who spent their own money to acquire the property, demolish any buildings that were on the property, and of course build the signage and other associated landscaping elements.
Which is really no different than a company building a new convenience store, dollar store, storage unit, whatever.
The towns do still need to approve the digital monument signs, but tax dollars are not being used for the construction. (Some will ask about PILOT tax breaks that some towns offer on new construction. I do not know if that is a factor with these signs)
Honestly, I can understand the confusion regarding “Who is paying for these signs” in that they are unlike any other billboard that we have seen for the last 100 years of the American car and road culture.
They are also highly designed to be more attractive.. similar to something we would expect from a town sponsored monument…
And we typically don’t see many billboards along the busy local commercial corridors or roadways such as Route 38 or the Black Horse Pike… so some residents assume the towns are building themselves.
Digital Ad Monument Signs – Industry Evolves
Something did change in the billboard industry.
What I believe is happening with the introduction of this newer billboard concept is, simply it’s been historically tough to get billboards approved in these local highly-traveled commercial areas because traditional billboards are wide, the structures are typically not very attractive, and the area surrounding classic billboards are usually not nicely kept up after being developed.
So with new digital display technologies becoming less expensive, what the ad companies are doing now is putting together much more attractive sign structures built around the digital screens, which include interesting landscaping/water features as well as adding elements that identify and promote the town.
In Pennsauken for example the Route 38 sign at the very top has a large clock which is something frequently used by townships to beautify spaces, at the bottom of the sign it clearly lists Pennsauken Township… and they have a large lake with waterfall and fountain features.
Similarly the new Washington Township sign that is erected in the Whitman Square area on the Black Horse Pike has across the top of the sign frame in large letters “Washington Township”, and at the bottom has the actual Washington Township logo seal.
There are other facets which can be added into the proposal to the towns.
This could mean the Township is allocated display time on the signs to promote events in the town, or in one case the developer is actually building an expensive building for the town!
Well I covered the core of it here but for more details and some extra specifics on the signs in Washington Township and Pennsauken check out the video below!
Those Digital Ad Monument Signs, What’s the Deal? Who Paid To Build?
Direct Youtube link that will appear in a new window, or watch embedded below.
Links and Locations
- Jan 18, 2023: Gulf Gas Station Washington Twp Demoed Ahead of Second Digital Sign Construction
- Aug 17, 2021: Digital Monument Status For Pennsauken and Washington Townships? Yes, Will Be Running Soon!
- Mar 27, 2021: First of TWO Digital Display Ad Monuments Starts Rising In Washington Township
Catalyst Experiential (Digital Sign Developer)
Area Sign Locations:
Washington Township – Whitman Jug Handle
5581 Rt 42
Washington Township NJ
Washington Township – Tuckahoe Rd and BHP
3441 Rt 42
Pennsauken Rt 38
5324 Rt 38
Pennsauken Rt 70
5407 Marlton Pike W
RT 73 (east of the Turnpike)
Mount Laurel NJ