Clear Channel's Project X to be premium division

Clear Channel UK's new initiative, which is codenamed Project X, will be a new large-format, premium, flexible digital out-of-home offering.

Errol Baran: managing director of Project X
Errol Baran: managing director of Project X

Following Clear Channel’s hiring of Errol Baran as managing director of Project X earlier this month, the outdoor media owner has revealed further details of the initiative, which is set to launch this autumn.

Project X will include five initial landmark sites, each comprising a unique architectural design and high specification digital display, including Chiswick Towers, Coventry House at London's Piccadilly Circus, and Brentham Power Station.

The offering will also include two new sites, one each in north and west London.

Further key appointments to the Project X team, which will be based at new offices in central London, include Clear Channel’s initiatives and international director, Darren McKay, who becomes the sales director at Project X, and James Marden, previously an account manager, as the trading manager.

Baran said each Project X site would be "architecturally designed and different to anything else in the market".

He said: "We want brands to take ownership so the new sites won’t have the traditional media owner’s nameplate – they’ll have a smaller digital screen below the main screen which they can brand in a way that works for them."

The initiative, which has been running as a pilot at Chiswick Towers since the site's launch at the start of April, aims to bring a more flexible approach to out-of-home versus the historical two-week campaigns and shared 30-second slots.

Baran said: "Project X is about taking ownership and playing differently. We want to work with brands to really understand what they want to achieve and use digital outdoor in a way that works for them.

"That means moving away from two week in-charges and 30 second shared loops to bespoke solutions. These could range from a targeted two hours campaign hitting a commuter audience on a Friday evening to a year-long residency."

Brands involved in the Chiswick Towers pilot included Sky Now TV, which ran an ad just on 6 April for the Manchester Derby and another to coincide with the Masters from 11-14 April.

HTC ran an ad just for the day of the Champions League Final, which was held at Wembley Stadium, while Virgin Holidays used the site on the Friday night before the May Bank Holiday.

Baran said: "We’ve been delighted with the response to the Chiswick Towers. We’re aware they aren’t for everybody but for some brands they just work.

"We’ve already seen some fantastic creative use of the twin screens and we’re really excited about working with brands to let them reach a premium audience both at Chiswick and at the other Project X sites."

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