Flashing Poster

Viacom Outdoor's office in Holland announced (in Dutch) that they had created a new poster for Bacardi apparently of thin plastic that displays flashing images. Can't find any technical details, though.
-- via WMMNA, Dlutskiy

Advertising on Public Transportation Tickets

Britain's Ticketmedia puts ads on all sorts of public transportation tickets in rather innovative ways. Besides regular printing, they offer tickets that smell, shimmer, glow, react to heat, or should be viewed with 3D glasses.

Marketers Should Create Multisensory Campaigns

Brand Sense, "the worlds's leading sensory branding agency" that's just opening doors, says in its inaugural address that marketers who until know have overemphasized the visuals should appeal to a broader range of senses. "Eighty three percent of all commercial communication appeals only to one sense – our eyes. That leaves a paltry 17% to cater for the other four senses. This is extraordinary given that 75% of our day-to-day emotions are influenced by what we smell, and the fact that there’s a 65% chance of a mood change when exposed to a positive sound."

The agency is selling a new book also titled Brand Sense that promotes the ideas of multisensory marketing. But of course, AdLab readers already know all that:

-- via WWMNA

Perspective-Bending Art

More psychotronic weaponry for a savvy advertiser to unleash upon unsuspecting masses. Felice Varini creates the illusion of a flat pattern or object where one does not actually exist. The illusion is visible only from a particular angle. (Read a blurb here, and see more pics here.)

Painted Pseudo-3D Ads
Lexus Campaign Goes 3D

Mobile Advertising Kiosks

Ask Advatar is a mobile 9' 6" tall information-advertising kiosk based on the Segway scooter. "Ask Advatar mobile units are more than just traveling billboards. They are interactive goodwill ambassadors that facilitate consumer interaction for product sampling, couponing and the verbal exchange of information."
-- via Red Ferret

3D Barcodes To Store Video

I4U: "Content Idea of Asia has developed a printable 3D code that can store between 0.6 to 1.8 MB, enough for watching short video commercials on mobile phones. The 3D code is based on the 2D QR Code." The new code consists of up to 24 layers using different colors. Its major advantage over the existing technologies is that the video information is contained in the code itself and does not require connection to a server to be accessed.

Barcodes for TV Commercials

Bible Preloaded on USB Drive

All sixty books of the Bible come preloaded onto this $29.99 USB thumb drive. A great illustration of the emerging content distribution model, discussed here on many occasions:

Barcodes for TV Commercials

ColorZip developed ColorCodes that can be read by camera phones from the TV screens. "Viewers will be able to simply point their camera phones at the screen to capture the codes and get directed to Internet sites where they can purchase goods or learn more about the programs they are watching. Content can be delivered as video, photos, music, text or a link to a website that automatically opens. The server provides real-time data on when and where customers are making a Colorzip connection, making it ideal for CRM research."

-- RFID in Japan, more at WWMNA

Data Transmission Through Visible Light

POP Displays on Electronic Paper

"Teraokaseiko announced a new Point-of-Purchase (POP) advertisement device that is made of electronic paper. It's already available for purchase. The cheapest one costs 3,400 Japanese yen (About US$30). With two standard AA batteries, the device works for about six months."
-- RFID in Japan

ShelfAds Show Context Videos, Collect Stats
E Ink: Digital Price Tags
More Price Tags on Electronic Paper

Advertising As Proof of Entry

Update (Feb 3, 06): Apparently, Sony's doing the same to promote its PSP, although people aren't excited.

Adam Green over at Darwinian Web has kindly said of Adlab: "I never know what to expect when a new post from this unique blog appears in my RSS reader." Let me tell you, I never know what will come up in your RSS reader next, and when I find out, I'm just as surprised. Say, how many times have been to bar where they stamp your hand at the door? Now look at this.

"Door staff at clubs and nightclubs across the United Kingdom used these specially designed stamps on Friday night. (Usually, they're used as proof that you've paid to enter the club.) The person would then wake up on Saturday morning and be reminded of the free CD offer in Saturday morning's Guardian newspaper." An Epica finalist for media innovation.

Hats off to the sheer brilliance.

Rethinking Ads on Plastic Bags

Consider unique properties and usage patterns of a particular medium (even if the medium is a plastic bag) when designing advertising and get great results.

This plastic bag for an anti-nail-biting potion is making rounds on the net. The bag below was designed in 2004 to promote a TV crime series and won an Epica award.


Static Ads on Taxi Wheels

If all the showy razzle-dazzle of Tire Tagz is too high tech for your taste but you just have to advertise on taxi wheels, consider AdFleet's CAPTION invention. In common parlance, they make wheel covers that don't rotate. In their own words, "CAPTION are fitted onto vehicles in place of conventional wheel covers and consist of two main parts: a patented plastic disk and a hub system. The outward face of the disk is used to display artwork for a product, logo, or message. The hub, held in place with the vehicle's existing lug nuts, features a corrosion resistant metal fixture that separates the rotation of the wheels from the disks. The disks attach on to this fixture enabling the disks to remain rotation free while the vehicle is in motion."

Advertising on Taxi Wheels

Smelly Postage Stamps

Yes, a rose by any other name will smell just as sweet, even if you call it a stamp. "Australia Post has released a scratch and sniff stamp featuring a rose for Valentine's Day cards and letters. The stamp bears the image of a classic red rose in full bloom, and when scratched it gives off a sweet rose scent."
-- NZ Herald via Impact Lab

Smelly Packaging Encourages Impulse Purchase
Stamp Advertising Is Back

Video Ads for Blogs

Video ads are not just for the big guys anymore. Vive Network lets bloggers add a code snippet to their template and then streams .wmf files with video commercials. Available in a range of sizes and lengths. The company promises the ads will be targeted. Here's a demo blog that shows how the format looks and works. Here's a press release (thanks, Sam).

Advertising on RSS Reader

Update (Jan 30): uploaded a better screenshot.
Another way to use RSS technology for advertising purposes is to put ads on the client software instead of the content. Nothing conceptually new here, of course, as the ad-supported software has existed forever, but this particular implementation is interesting. InClue developed a reader plug-in for Outlook that displays a contextual ad along with the content. CEO of the company writes: "We allow media publishers to pre-load RSS feeds, get metrics and revenue share for each new inclue! user they create."

ShelfAds Show Context Videos, Collect Stats

Finally, a shelf talker that actually talks (and counts, and does other neat tricks). A new device by Point-of-Product Broadcasting sits on the retail shelves, shows video ads and feeds back the metrics. ShelfAds are automatically activated when a shopper stops at the shelf equipped with the device and display one of the five rotating 10-second commercials.

The commercials are updated via 900MHz transceivers embedded in the unit. ShelfAds capture the number and the type of the ads shown, along with the date, time and store; this information can later be analyzed against sales data for the advertised product, allowing advertisers make changes in the planning and creative on the fly. The system can be tweaked to release aromas as well.

Coke, Colgate-Palmolive and Kraft are among the big advertisers testing the system. The units cost $300 to make. Advertising time costs $4 a day per unit. The main difference between ShelfAds and in-store video displays is that the ads on the former can be directly tied to the context in which they appear. Love a saying on their website: "It's more important to reach people who count than count people you reach."

The story about the device has appeared in AdAge, Dallas Morning News (Google cache), and a few blogs. Some fun technical details can be found on the site of Avid Wireless, the subscontractor who apparently developed the system. Thanks to Steve Miller for the pointer.

Google Tests Media-Rich Advertising Formats

JenSense.com: "Google AdSense is moving beyond the traditional text and graphical advertising to rich media, including interstitials, expanding ads and floating ads. AdSense began contacting publishers last week to be involved in the rich media limited beta test." I wonder whether Google with its expertise on usability will be willing and able to make these clunky formats less user-hostile.

Idea: Music Notation for Advertising Process

Dave Edery points to an article on how music notation system can be adapted for game design purposes. Wonder if a similar system can be used for planning the impact of ad campaigns.

Commentary: Future Media Design

MediaPost talks to Dale Herigstad on the future of media design. Herigstad is the creative director and cofounder of Schematic, a company that designs media interfaces, and a research fellow at Ball State Uni's Center for Media Design. Most famously, Herigstad has developed the prototype for the gestural navigation interface in Minority Report (see an earlier post on the actual tech).

A quote: "The biggest mistake the media industry and Madison Avenue make when they think about media design, Herigstad maintains, is looking at the experience through their own eyes, as opposed to consumers."

Heat Activated Urinal Billboards

H.A.U.B. sounds menacing enough to be added to our arsenal of heavy weaponry of bathroom advertising. "This innovative medium combines high definition color graphics, hidden by "disappearing ink" delivering an interactive message to a captive audience... A perfect strategy to get your message across." This sheer magic is brought to you by your friend and mine Innovative Solutions Oceania, the creators of the interactive urinal communicator.
-- via AdJab, Decent Marketing

Here's a bonus link to an urinal ad by Mini Cooper.

Ratings for TV Commercials

I wrote about the idea of ratings for TV commercials before, and now here's some action. You are about to know which half (much more than half, really) of your budget is going down the Super Flush. Remember Burger King's edgy Coq Rock ad? Would you guess it got fewer eyeballs than a less edgy BK ad tied to Star Wars?

Business Week runs a story on how these numbers were arrived at and how new systems to measure ad viewership are emerging. Here's an extended quote:

"By this summer, Lee Weinblatt, the CEO of PreTesting, expects to have 35,000 households in four to seven cities wired with boxes that monitor how audiences respond to ads, both on live TV and in programs taped on digital video recorders (DVRs). Daily "ratings" of TV ads -- tallies of how many people are watching or skipping -- from the service, called MediaCheck, will enable advertisers to determine quickly whether spots should be yanked off the air or at least switched to other time slots. His digital boxes can even reward consumers for watching ads with giveaways.

The box flashes a light at the TV viewer indicating there is a reward for watching the ad. A few times a week, the consumer can pull a memory stick from the box and plug it into a USB port on a computer. Up pops a list of loot earned by watching the ads. In the Omaha test, 600 of 2,500 households checked their haul of goodies daily. And 52% of the coupons printed out from the system were redeemed -- 50 times the national rate for newspaper coupons.

Besides MediaCheck, Nielsen Media Research now offers advertisers and media agencies a "minute-by-minute" audience measurement, gauging how many viewers stay tuned during ad breaks. And upstart firm IAG Research Inc. is able to report, by means of thousands of daily Internet surveys, which programs, product placements, and 30-second ads are watched "most attentively."

-- via Lost Remote

Apple Patents Two-Way Screen

A patent from Apple incorporates the camera into the screen:

"An integrated sensing display is disclosed. The sensing display includes display elements integrated with image sensing elements. As a result, the integrated sensing device can not only output images (e.g., as a display) but also input images (e.g., as a camera)."

Bloggers comment that the device would work like a telescreen described by Orwell in 1984.
-- via Digg

Advertising for the Color-Blind

This blog post on web design with the color-blind visitors in mind leads to a question whether agencies are testing their ads to be accessible for people with color vision defficiency. That's about 8% of caucasian males (more stats, resources).

Negotiate Your Starting Salary on Ebay

I have planned to use the same idea in my own job hunt that kicks off in a few short weeks. Too late now, I guess. A rocket science student is looking for his first job by advertising himself on eBay. Starting bid: $46,725.75 (via Digg).

Clarification: Rooftop Advertising

Suddenly, my post back from August on Target's rooftop logo has attracted some 60K of visitors in one day, kindly sent by BoingBoing, Digg, Kottke, USA Today and many others, but somehow people have understood that Target had painted its logo with the purpose of getting on Google Maps and pointed out that that particular Target's store was located near an airport and the logo had been painted for the benefit of the flying public and not for the satellites to map it.

These readers are absolutely right. As I wrote in the original post, Target is enjoying the benefit from appearing on Google Maps without ever planning for it, since the picture must be significantly older than the Google's service. Which, of course, doesn't mean that now someone won't come up with a campaign - a scavenge hunt, perhaps - that relies on Google Maps and rooftop logos.

NY Times: Video Ads Coming to Cell Phones

NY Times:
Television-style advertising is coming to a mobile phone near you. It is part of a broader push by marketers to create a new generation of "up close and personal" ads by delivering video, audio, banner displays and text clips over a device carried by most American adults. The wireless carriers say the risk of losing customers is a strong incentive to keep down the marketing noise. For now, mobile marketing is still rudimentary. But that is expected to change quickly, with phone-based ads incorporating more sophisticated graphics and videos this year.

ESPN plans to start running short video clips later this year from advertisers like Visa USA, Nike and Hilton Hotels. The size of the mobile phone advertising market was only $45 million in 2005, but is expected to grow to $1.26 billion by 2009, Roger Entner, a telecommunications industry analyst with Ovum, a market research firm, said."

Advertising on Google Maps

Clickz (via AdJab): "Google is experimenting with plotting local advertisers' locations on its Maps product, giving marketers a visual and spatial accompaniment to their locally targeted ads.

A search on "hotels" in New York City returns an organic list of local hotels, plotted on the map with red markers and bracketed by sponsored hotel listings, plotted on the map with blue markers. The same search in other locations, such as San Francisco, doesn't yet return the paid listings."

Another way to take advantage of the Google Maps is, of course, painting your logo on the rooftop and hoping the mapping satellite passes above your head.

Spot Runner Sells Reusable Modular TV Ads Online

Spot Runner offers "marketers the chance to launch a television campaign with just a keyboard and mouse--and for the cost of less than $500. The agency allows small businesses to choose creative and a media schedule all on its Web site. At spotrunner.com, marketers can pick an ad from a library of pre-produced spots, and select where they'd like it to run. The company then takes care of the execution, and provides proof that the ad aired and information on the audience." (Media Post)

Here's what the agency says: "Our professional directors and editors, along with musicians, voiceover artists and videographers, have built a library of world-class ads that will inspire your customers to action. Once you've chosen an ad that appeals to you, our proprietary technology lets you personalize it with messages, slogans, images or offers. Your personalized ad can be ready to run in as little as 48 hours."

Advertising on Online Signatures

Earlier, I posted about branded IM avatars, and elsewhere I talked about the potential for brand advertising on userpics - avatar-like images on many blogging sites that provide a tiny (100x100 pixels) window for expression of user's individuality. During a recent round of city elections in Moscow, a lot of campaigning was conducted through such mini-ads in the Russian sector of LiveJournal. Now AdLand (through Marketallica) notes a similar trend on forum sites - advertising through the so-called userbars, small rectangle images added to the user's signature after each post.

Last Pixels On the Million Dollar Home Page Sold

Alex Tew, who created the first and so far the only truly "million dollar" home page has just ebayed the final 1000 pixels for $38,100. Washington Post runs a post mortem.

Chocolate Business Card

A business card made of chocolate, as received, photographed and eaten by Tom Coates at Plastic Bag.

Advertising on Christmas Trees

I'm away in that part of the world where snow is plenty but internet is still dialed up, so until end-January updates will be few. This picture is from a layover in Sofia, Bulgaria, where all Christmas decorations put up by the city are sponsored and branded by businesses, this particular tree being brought to you by Husqvarna, a chainsaw maker.