M&Ms still melt in your mouth

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Signs of the Times Partial Article - June 2016

By Louis M. Brill

A D3 M&M’s sign split between its original, dimmed-out sign and its more modern, brighter counterpart. Each section has its own operating system; the two operate in a synchronized fashion to provide a single, uninterrupted image.

In celebration of M&M’s 75th anniversary, the confectioner is introducing new flavors in its Times Square flagship – and acquiring a more vibrant LED display. Originally manufactured by D3 LED, (see ST, August 2007, page 90) the store’s maintained two LED signs – a 32 x 31-ft. sign on Broadway and 48th St., and a gargantuan 59 x 45-ft. sign on 7th Ave. Ten years later, D3 was back on board for a “module swap” revamp.

As other LED signs age, they become increasingly expensive to maintain. Yet, according to Jason Barak, a managing partner at D3, replacement costs can exceed $1 million.

“With the M&M’s displays, its steel framing infrastructure remained the same and only required the original LED signface to be changed out,” he said. “… while the M&M’s display modules were being swapped, the sign’s content was still able to run live.” D3 ran dual control systems – one for the old LED sign and one for the new sign, allowing a mid-swap where the old sign module was turned off and reinstalled with its modern counterpart in a few minutes. Barak believes this will become his company’s signature approach for future LED display upgrades.

Louis M. Brill is a journalist and consultant for high-tech entertainment and media communications. He can be reached at (415) 664-0694 or louismbrill@gmail.com

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