OUTDOOR ADS GO TO NEW DEPTH:MATTHEW SELLS EXCLUSIVITIES FOR NEW 3-D TECHNOLOGY

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Three-dimensional boards may be popping up outdoors this summer from Dimensional Media Associates in association with Matthew Outdoor.

Matthew, now shopping around two-year category ad exclusives for between $500,000 and $4 million, said a beer advertiser is near a commitment to put moving, hologramlike images on outdoor boards and other sites.

The technology, called High Definition Volumetric Display, is not yet built full-scale, and Matthew itself doesn't have a completed contract to market the product, said Dimensional Media Associates, New York. Questions of exclusive rights for Matthew, which has 2,000 sites in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, are unresolved.

ONLY SMALLER BOARDS NOW

Dimensional Media Associates said it will not build larger outdoor units until it has a commitment from an advertiser.

Matthew showed a small-scale version of HDVD at the American Association of Advertising Agencies media conference last month, using a revolving Chanel bottle and Budweiser can, producing an image a foot tall.

The company would not say if Anheuser-Busch is the beer advertiser close to signing.

The small version of this board has been used by Mattel, Hewlett-Packard Co. and Philips Electronic Instruments at trade shows. Dimensional Media Associates and Matthew say the image can be made up to 10 feet tall.

Enthusiasm is strong from those who saw just the short version.

"In the conceptual stage, it's dynamite," said Page Thomson, U.S. media director at DDB Needham Worldwide, New York. `WANT TO TOUCH IT'

"Visually, it's one of the more exciting media options I've seen in a long time," he said, "It makes people want to touch it."

Still, Mr. Thompson had reservations. "The pricing is too high for us, and we still have some questions about the line of sight."

The image tends to fuzz at angles or too close up, a concern for driving past outdoor boards at an angle, but is said to hold up well in most kinds of light.

Bob Summer, president of Dimensional Media Associates, said he's also selling the small concept to marketers for point-of-purchase displays.

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