In a perfect mashup of viral marketing, mobile payments, and out-of-home advertising, an Australian grilled cheese shop has figured out a way to deliver their sandwiches by parachute to eager customers below. People just stand on the street at a spot marked with an X, and out of the sky floats a grilled cheese tied to a parachute. Customers pay in advance via PayPal, and the creators of the scheme say that about 500 sandwiches have been delivered over the air. The owners plan to expand to New York, but they don’t have a location in mind yet. Nevertheless, it’s a clever blend showcasing what technology, married to a good idea, can facilitate.
A Spanish organization called the Aid to Children and Adolescents at Risk Foundation (ANAR, for short) has created an ad that uses some simple optical trickery to display differently for adults and children. The top layer of the ad’s graphic is lenticular (you may remember novelty toys that appear differently from different angles, and which have a coarse rough texture) displaying one of two images depending on the angle the ad is viewed at. Adults, viewing from a standing angle, will see a rather standard public service announcement image of a frowning boy with the caption “Sometimes, child abuse is only visible to the child suffering it.” Children, viewing from a lower angle, will see bruises appear on the boy’s face with an additional message – “If somebody hurts you, phone us and we’ll help you,” and a phone number. The solution is not flawless, given variations in height, and the potential for poor reading skills to affect the ad’s effectiveness, but its use of simple, existing technology is quite elegant and could certainly see a wide array of applications in other types of advertising.
Microsoft’s Kinect technology made another appearance in creative out-of-home displays as airport clothing store United Arrows debuted its new front window display in Tokyo featuring United Arrows-clad MarionetteBots (half mannequin, half robot) that mimic the movements of passerby. The inclusion of marionette strings gives some charm to the mannequins’ somewhat clumsy movements, and the engagement factor is certainly high. Kinect technology has been enticing brands for some time, and more creative uses of it like this are certainly on the horizon.