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Jarring Reminder from VW: Keep Your Eyes On the Road

Nice use of location-based text advertising and in-cinema video to create an experiential ad for Volkswagen.

Child Abuse PSA Presents Secret Message for Kids

Or at least a secret message to short people, who in many cases will be kids.

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From Boing Boing.

The Anar Foundation and Grey Spain created a lenticular street-poster about child abuse that shows a “secret” message to people who view it from a kid’s eye-height…. Wait until the grocery stores get hold of it and start loading the pester-power ads at kids’ eye-height.

Very cool. (Except for that last part.)

Tecate Seeks Men with Character


Tecate Light billboard on Bayshore Avenue, San Francisco.

Really?! Driving home in San Francisco in the year 2012 and I’m looking at a billboard that’s suggesting certain light-beer drinkers and guys that drink drinks served in martini glasses aren’t, um, real men? Oh my.

This, apparently, is the latest outdoor installment of the Tecate Light campaign built around the tagline “Con Caracter.” Earlier this year the beer brand issued an apology and pulled other San Francisco billboards that claimed “it’s easy to be a man with character” — by peeing outdoors on a tree, the ad suggested, instead of using a toilet. From the company’s public statement:

“We have an internal process whereby every ad is reviewed for compliance with our local code for responsible commercial communication. As a part of that process, this ad concept was rejected by our US team but unfortunately, an error was made and the ad was mistakenly released and posted. We sincerely thank consumers for bringing this to our attention and have immediately removed the ad. We regret the error and are taking a look at our internal controls to ensure this does not happen again.”

Mistakenly released and posted?? Classy apology.

McDonalds Adds Value with Train Station Advertising

In cooperation with Polish State Railways, McDonalds launched the Hamburger Timetable, a system of food icons presented on the automated schedule board to indicate wait time in units of Big Macs, fries and coffees you have time to consume before your train arrives. The Warsaw station McDonalds saw an increase of 4500 customers in the first month of the campaign. Full story at PSFK.

What If Living Billboards Used Flowers Protected By Law?

The above McDonalds-logo-in-flowers is just an idea, PhotoShopped together by Sean Click, but it’s a brilliant one — unless, of course, you’re one of those people who wouldn’t want a permanent Golden Arches-shaped flower display alongside a highway near you. California law says you can’t pick or destroy California Poppies, so it would be a floral ad unit that would bloom indefinitely.

The folks at Toyota should have used California Poppies in their living billboard alongside LA’s I-10 back in 2009!

(Via NOTCOT.)

Facial-Recognition Billboard Technology Guesses Your Gender, Delivers the Right Message 90% of the Time

According to The Independent, another ad campaign featuring facial-recognition technology launches this week, this time in the UK for Plan UK, a children’s charity.

A 40-second interactive advert is about to be launched that uses facial-recognition technology to decide the gender of the person looking at it and then vary its content. It will be unveiled on a bus stop on Oxford Street in London’s West End on Wednesday.

Only women will be able to view the full £30,000 advert commissioned by the children’s charity Plan UK as part of its “Because I Am a Girl” campaign, which aims to ensure girls in the world’s poorest countries are able to receive a good education.

The technology measures the distance between people’s eyes, the width of their noses, and the length of their jawlines to determine gender. Its creators estimate the billboard will guess correctly about 90% of the time.

French company Quividi offers a similar technology that uses video cameras to deduce demographic details of passers-by, vending machines in Japan look for wrinkles to figure out if prospective smokers are the legal age to buy cigarettes, and Kraft deploys a tongue-in-cheek version to market an adults-only Jell-O.

Soon these facial-recognition ads are all going to get very Minority-Report creepy. But in the meantime that 10% miss rate inserts a little Dilbert-like fun.

Smell-vertising Adds One More Odor to Bus Stops

Until now, I’d say my least favorite kind of ad is the kind in magazines that smells like a combination of very strong perfume mixed with paper and ink. We may have new winner. Outdoor advertising technology will now squirt food smells into bus shelters, starting with McCain Foods in ads for its 5-minute baked potato product, Ready Baked Jackets. From Jezebel:

To advertise this revolution in potato-making, they’ve outfitted several bus shelters in U.K. cities with posters and a 3D fiberglass model of a Ready Baked Jacket potato. There’s a button you can press that turns on a heating element which then releases the scent and fills the whole area with warmth and the delicious smell of baked potato.

It’s clever, in theory. But, as a person who has waited in plenty of bus stops in my life, in practice, it seems more like what you’ll end up smelling is a baked potato smothered with tasty toppings like dog urine, cigarette ash, and — if it’s a really special commute — human feces.

Yum.

Yahoo’s San Francisco Billboard Coming Down

According to SF Egotist:

It’s been a San Francisco icon for more than a decade. It’s graced our skyline through the dot.com boom and bust. And it’s one of the most recognizable pieces of advertising the city has seen in a long time. But the San Francisco Egotist has learned that in two weeks, the Yahoo! billboard will be no longer. Jon Charles, Vice President and General Sales Manager for Clear Channel Outdoor in San Francisco confirmed, “Yes, the Yahoo! board will be available starting in December 2011.”

Skin Cancer Awareness Campaign Uses Ice Statues Melting in the Sun

700 Lives from Bungalow25 on Vimeo.

Bungalow 25′s anti-cancer campaign in Madrid uses 700 ice statues of people (which melt in the sun, obviously) to illustrate the point that skin cancer kills 700 people a year in Spain. More at Adverblog.

Viral, Bacterial Billboard Promotes Contagion

The promoters in charge of the Canadian release of Contagion (the movie) designed billboards that reveal the movie’s title over time — as fungus and bacteria grow in various moldy colors. Awesome. From Adverblog.