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Elevator Advertising – Ad Networks Compete for Toronto Condos

Elevator advertising is not new, but today there’s a strong push to sign-up more buildings and secure new territory because of the increased value of the ad networks.  These unique media networks, which would probably prefer to be considered message delivery systems, are growing at exponential rates by offering property managers discount screens and free installation. Why?

How can these companies afford to practically give away their merchandise?

Visio Media in Toronto condo tower is captive audience - Tenant TV systemThe 18 inch flat screens now playing ads in thousands of elevators across Canada’s biggest urban centers represent just a fraction of an increasingly valuable closed-circuit broadcast TV network.  The system is emerging and getting lots of attention because it works!  The biggest players in the field are using programmatic messaging, allowing social media interaction and even using facial detection technology for measurement and dynamic ad delivery. That means that every unit is intelligent and responsive to its own immediate audience in real time. Visio Media flat screen ad network delivery system in condo tower elevator

Its a win / win for property managers and tenants as the ad network also carries other valuable information that makes ignoring the screen difficult.  When deployed in bank towers downtown, the system provides advertisers access to executive eyeballs, and even in condominium towers across the city it finds highly desirable and difficult-to-reach audience of affluent and influential urban consumers.

If you are sharing your elevator with a small screen, then it probably belongs to one of these four expanding elevator-media networks:


Captivate Network is among the oldest and most established elevator broadcasters; founded in 1997, Captivate now has a digital media company with a network of 12,000 high-resolution, flat-panel elevator and lobby displays in 1,800 premier office buildings across North America

Their marketing ascertains that Captivate’s in-office media provides entertaining content to 10+ million professionals during the workday from best-in-class providers. Captivate uses an intelligent ad delivery system that is very aware of local demographics, time of day and season when showing their advertisements to elevator occupants.

Here is their video wherein they outline their pitch to property managers.



Visio Media has a nationwide network with buildings in Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver.  This is what the company did with the money they received from an accelerator Accelerate Fund Invests in Visio Media in October 2017, and unlike Captivate which targets commercial properties, this Edmonton based startup is more focused on urban residential towers.

Visio Media’s Elev8 system strives to help businesses impact ready-to-spend urban residents with their advertisements, while enabling property managers’ communication with their residents.  Visio Media has the most technologically advanced elevator flat screen display network in the marketplace.  Each 18-inch screen mounted in the top corner, above the door in the car, has a tiny camera and software that scans shapes of faces and bodies of occupants to perceive certain determining factors. The data collected can include height, facial hair and face shape and these factors combined with others are used to determine gender and age. That information along with time of day and season are used to determine the best ads to display.  This ‘patented anonymous detection system’ is considered non-invasive photo recognition technology because none of the media is recorded; there is no record of the passengers in the car other than ridership stats. Below is the video from their website.


Pattison Onestop

Perhaps the most visible player in this space is Pattison OneStop and that’s because they have the deal to put 15″ elevator screens and 46″ lobby screens (the largest in the industry) above the subway platforms in three of Canada’s busiest cities.  Given this very auspicious and exclusive media broadcast space, they have evolved unique content which is a blend of real-time news, weather and entertainment programs that mirrors CP24 in some respects.  They focus on helping commuters and so traffic information and especially public transit delays are priority messaging on their screens. Their network has an estimated reach of 1.1 million across the country, and is available in seven urban markets: Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax.

When it comes to business towers and residential towers, Pattison systems are not found inside the building elevators like the first two competitors listed above, but rather they focus on the high traffic areas in front of the elevators.  They have partnerships with several high profile property management companies across the province; firms like Minto, Oxford and Homestead, plus their own sales force have grown their Ontario Residential Network to 680+ buildings. Here is their video,


MaxTV logo

MaxTV Media is the smallest and hungriest player on the scene; this local enterprise was born here in Toronto and is rapidly expanding by offering discount hardware and service in Brampton, Mississauga, North York, Vaughan, and Markham area condominiums.  MaxTV is building an ad network by promising to ‘evolve’ the old school tenants’ Interactive Digital Notice Boards.  What is that you might wonder?  If you lived in large condominium buildings in the 2000s you would have seen flat screen TVs used as message boards with line after line of updates posted by residents and staff.   MaxTV Media has evolved, or is evolving a better system of delivering notices. Their website boasts that their 1,089+ installations now reach 167,845 + Residents and have delivered 23,055+ Notices.  You can watch the MAX TV  video presentation online here.

Elevator Advertising is an ‘up and down’ business model.

Elevators are socially awkward environments where even the most confident and self-assured individuals tend to look at their feet and fidget with their keys.  Elevator advertisements give peoples’ eyes a welcome place to rest; riders can now intake visually rich and relevant information such as headlines and appealing images from the day’s news, stock quotes, and weather and clever advertisements.  For residents and business executives who can put their minutes in the elevator to better use, the screens are easily ignored, since they are small and often don’t emit any sound. But for most riders, the screens are highly effective instruments for information delivery.  Connecting these TVs together makes an effective ad messaging network, and that is the big prize that drives these companies forward and why they are offering Toronto area property managers such great deals today.