Rush Hour Jackpot?

Clear Channel hits Illinois highways with real-time traffic billboards

By Jenel Nels
|  Wednesday, Feb 24, 2010  |  Updated 9:01 AM CDT
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The company that touts itself as the most experienced billboard advertising company in the world hopes a new drive will mean a right turn for business.

Clear Channel Communications is using Chicago as a launch pad for it’s new Total Out of Home Network program featuring real-time traffic data.

"In an increasingly crowded advertising marketplace, companies need to stand out and target audiences in a direct, clear way,” said John Partilla, Executive Vice President and President of Global Media Sales at Clear Channel.

Reporters, traffic cameras, aircraft, broadcast towers and strategic partners of Total Traffic Network of Chicago will provide the traffic data for the program, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Illinois Lottery signed on as the initial sponsor of the program. As part of the agreement, the 19 digital billboards around the Chicago metro area will show Illinois Lottery’s winning Powerball Jackpot numbers every day alongside travel times.

This is not the first time Clear Channel is using its billboards to generate real-time information. During the 2008 Presidential primary, it displayed live election results in more than a dozen markets, including Chicago.

Clear Channel hopes to eventually roll out the real-time traffic data program to 33 markets.

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