The New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority is testing digital ads on the sides of buses that use GPS to target ads towards specific neighbourhoods. They can also do “day-parting” (coffee ads before work, beer ads after work… no downtime in between). Makes sense: retailers and other advertisers get TV style communications that talk about offers within walking distance. It’s obviously a little like location-based media on your mobile, except with a big smelly bus crawling by, there’s reminder that an ad exists for this area.
We’re currently working with UK illustrator John Slade on some commissioned work and are loving his stuff. Little bit of Keith Haring in the above but his other works are wide and varied. Check it all out here. (and i love the pencil shirts!).
This Obama billboard in Burnout Paradise for Xbox 360 has been getting a bit of blogosphere attention. It seem like a natural way to reach out to a specific segment of would-be voters (although I wonder if it’s also running internationally..). I’m pretty sure by the time we get to 2012 you’ll be able to drive up to the Democratic headquarters, chat with a virtual Obama and register to vote without leaving your Camaro. Of course Sarah Palin passing out flyers in Deer Hunter 6 wouldn’t seem terribly out of place either.
So what can the seemingly unconverged interactive mediums do for TV? Here’s a killer example from two top innovators in their class. Current TV (user-generated US cable TV channel) and Twitter (micro-blogging platform, occasional whale-endorser and increasingly popular service despite many still saying ‘what’s teh point?’) have teamed up to reshape the feeling of the presidential debate broadcast.
As the two candidates go at it, Current will be streaming all topical Twitter posts (those that start with #current) across the screen. This is a cost-effective way of aggregating and broadcasting opinion in real time, and to a limited extent, offering participation to a global audience.
Now of course it would be better if you could prod and cause semi-temporary injury to the protagonists with some kinda web-to-machine responsive environment. Then I’d feel involved. But still it’s a start.
This might not be suitable for all TV shows but if there are a bunch of viewers out there with opinions about what they’re seeing, chances are their fellow viewers would find that content interesting. It would be more decipherable if it were mashed into into some form of aggregated opinion rather than simply free-form but there’s also something raw and human about a blurted thought. Hopefully we’ll continue to see similar forms of companion content experimentations across news, drama, comedy, sport and lifestyle (eg shoes..) programming. It might not be shown on the TV screen, but even if it’s running in an adjacent way on mobile or laptop it still has incredible potential.
NB. I think the first time I ever experience converged programming like this was listening to Roy & HG’s superior Grand Final call on the radio whilst muting Sandy Roberts and Peter Landy. Good times.