Along the Sunset Strip, building as billboard is a concept that has legs. The legs here belong to Tina Turner, looming over the boulevard in Hanes hosiery. West Hollywood has encouraged "muralization" in high-profile locations. "Everybody wants to be there. It's the ultimate impact," says Josh Rose, operations manager for Outdoor Systems Tallwell, which has sold six spaces along the Strip. "You hear people taliking about certain walls for six months," Rose says. "There are very few types of advertising that you can say that about."
Some of the messages are painted directly onto the building; others are on sheets of vinyl that are glued to the wall. Building advertising is significantly more costly to produce than traditional billboards. Space rental is also higher. Some choice locations fetch up to $75,000 a month, but as one broker says, "You're talking about something that's 10 times the size of a billboard." An ad for ABC's new "Wonderful World of Disney" adorned this Strip facade. Removal began Saturday as the show starts tonight.
The west wall of the Hyatt West Hollywood is an ad for the musical "Rent." In return for leasing the space, the building owner gets a commission. It's a win-win situation, says hotel manager Michael Koffler: The ads are great for directing people to the hotel. When the Hyatt building bore "Jurassic Park," Koffler told guests: "We're across from the House of Blues and we have a big dinosaur coming out of the side of the building." "Rent" comes down at the end of this month to be replaced "by either Mercedes-Benz or Janet Jackson."