Airports are no strangers to advertising. Tons of traditional advertising can be seen inside any given airport. A few years ago, Zappos.com even started advertising in security bins.
Now the bathrooms are going to be taken over. Clear Channel Airports has partnered with Mirrus to create bathroom mirror advertisements. The ads are starting to appear at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, and are already in sports stadiums in Texas, Georgia, Virginia, and North Carolina. Soon the ads will be everywhere. Once finished, the O’Hare airport will have 150 40’’ digital advertising mirror displays that feature HD stills and/or videos.
Current advertisers include Pepsi, Geico, Illy Coffee, Microsoft, Pledge, Zappos.com, Spanx, and Dove Men.
The ads are complete with sensors that track in real time which ads are being seen, how many times they are seen, and for how long. Before a consumer walks up to the mirror, the ad takes up the entire mirror. As the consumer approaches the mirror, the ad minimizes to the upper left hand corner.
While some are complaining about the new mirrors, they have been in Japan since 2006 and no one has been harmed. In fact, since you already have to be a Jedi Master to work a public bathroom, the shrinking mirror ads only make sense. To flush a toilet, just move away from the sensor. As you approach the mirror, the ads shrink. To operate the faucet, soap dispenser, and paper towel dispenser simply wave your hand. Now, if someone finally installs automatic doors we could have a completely touch free experience!
Below is a video of a man testing out the new mirrors in a football stadium.
Regardless of whether people hate the ads or love the ads, they get people talking. They create word-of-mouth, which can be more important than the actual ad itself.
By now you have seen at least one QR Code in a magazine, on a billboard, or on a product you purchased. They are everywhere now. QR stands for quick response. Technically, “A Quick Response code is a two-dimensional code that can be scanned by smartphone cameras to automatically pull up text, photos, videos, music, and URLs.” Not so technically, they are pretty cool, or at least let users do pretty cool things! Below are several examples of QR Codes.
This Calvin Klein billboard features a huge red QR Code and says ‘Get it Uncensored’. Scanning the billboard leads to an uncensored 40-second video for CK’s Fall 2010 Jeans X commercial featuring Lara Stone.
New York Department of Sanitation-
I think this is kind of cool (although I’m not sure anyone will get close enough to a garbage truck for it to work). In New York, the Department of Sanitation has placed QR Codes on 2,200 of their garbage trucks. These QR codes lead to a video about how to recycle by Howcast.
I’m not sure I should talk about this since my fiancé works for a competing pharmacy and doesn’t really care for Walgreens, but hey, it’s a good idea! By downloading the Walgreens Mobile app, you can quickly refill your prescriptions by scanning the QR code on your bottle. I love this. I hate typing in numbers to an automated system to refill my prescriptions. I would much rather just take a picture of my bottle and hit refill. I look for this to become more widespread among pharmacies.
Little Big Planet-
Little Big Planet has a site where users can search for users and levels. One of the features of this site is the QR Codes. Searching for levels on the PS3 can get time consuming. Users can quickly go to this site, search for the level or user, bring up the QR Code and take a picture of it with the PlayStation Eye. This will automatically bring up the level. The picture featured here is for one of my levels, Neon Nights!
There are tons of QR Code readers on the iPhone App store and in the Android Market, many are free. Pick one up and go scan some codes. They lead to some pretty cool stuff. Some of them are even designer codes, like this Louis Vuitton code.
Although sometimes these fancier codes are hard for readers to read.
I feel that before you read this post, I should tell you that it covers a subject that I am a huge fanboy (err…fangirl) of- Kevin Smith. Kevin Smith has what I would consider a cult-like following. He began as an indie (of sorts) filmmaker in Red Bank, NJ. His first film was Clerks, which he shot for a mere $27,575 (having to sell his prized comic book collection and max out multiple credit cards to acquire). Clerks was a success and Smith was able to sell the film at Sundance.
While I could go on-and-on about Smith’s body of work, I won’t. I’ll skip it and get to my point. Although, please indulge me long enough to mention that Dogma is not only my favorite movie of his, but my favorite movie- ever. Period, end of discussion.
Now, getting to my point. Smith has directed 9 movies since Clerks. His latest movie is Red State. Red State has a great cast- Michael Parks, Ralph Garman, Melissa Leo, John Goodman, Kevin Pollak, etc…This movie seems to be a far cry from his normal foul-mouthed, joke filled movies starring Jay and Silent Bob. Red State is a horror movie loosely based on the Westboro Baptist Church. He not only threw his normal movie blueprint out the window, but tossed the normal marketing plan as well.
The movie cost $4,000,000 to make. That is a very low figure for a movie, especially when you look at blockbuster movies such as the $500,000,000 Avatar, or even lower budget movies such as No Country for Old Men ($25,000,000). Basically Smith didn’t want a production company to attach millions of dollars to the film in a marketing effort, when he had to fight for the money to make the movie to begin with. He recently took Red State to the Sundance Film Festival, where production companies believed the movie would be up for an auction type sell. Instead, Smith purchased his own movie for $20. Smith intends to distribute his film through his newly created company, SModcast Pictures.
Smith said, “We believe it’s a pyrrhic victory to simply “buy” an opening weekend by pouring millions of dollars into TV spots, billboards and print ads. As storytellers, why not instead use our creative abilities that resulted in a film in the first place to also creatively SELL that film directly to our public?” Instead Smith is going to “self-distribute our film, Red State, in an admittedly unconventional, yet extremely cost effective, word of mouth/viral campaign.” (The above quotes have been taken from The Red Statements).
And that FINALLY brings me to my point! Kevin Smith has long used the internet to self-promote himself and his endeavors, however in the last year he has taken his use of social media marketing to a new level. In 2007, Smith debuted a weekly podcast (SModcast) that he does with his producer and longtime friend, Scott Mosier. In 2010, Smith created a podcast network that features 9 weekly podcasts as well as intermittent podcasts. One of his podcasts is all about the making of Red State! New podcasts are also being added constantly. But more than anything, Kevin Smith is an avid Twitter user! I follow many celebrities and he seems to be one of the few that “get it”. Twitter is a conversational tool, and he understands that. He doesn’t just post things, he engages in conversations with his fans. In 2009, Smith held an uninterrupted 24 hour Twitter based Q&A! I will admit that I read every single one of his answers.
Smith plans to use his understanding of social media and his built-in cult-like fanbase to marketing Red State without a huge marketing budget that a mainstream studio would have funded. He is engaging in a viral/word-of-mouth campaign that is unlike anything seen in the movie industry. Red State will release to theaters October 19th, but in the meantime Smith is holding special viewings during his Q&A tour throughout March. (I have a ticket to the March 14th showing in Springfield, OH). The sale of tickets to the special screening, along with merchandise sales will help fund the print making for the film to be distributed to more theaters. According to the film’s site, the per-print cost is roughly $2500, so for a 1000 print run, they will need approximately $2.5 million. That is a lot of money to acquire from a word-of-mouth campaign, but I have faith that if anyone can do it, it is him. He just gets social media!
Maybe this blog can help him.
To purchase tickets to the early screenings of Red State visit- http://www.coopersdell.com
Red State Trailer-
As I said in my first post, I originally started this blog as part of my emerging media class in the IMC program at WVU. The class is long past, but I have decided to keep the blog going. The subject may not be strictly new and emerging media anymore though. I will blog about anything and everything that interests me- emerging media, social marketing, advertising, public relations, etc… I hope to update this blog at least weekly, so bookmark me and come back often!
As I said in my introductory blog, this is a requirement for my integrated marketing communications class. When I meet new people they always ask about my Masters program. I tell them it is Integrated Marketing Communications, and they stare at me blankly. I usually just want to end it so I tell them that it is a mix of advertising and public relations. They shake their head in acceptance, but still look at me weird. Since my time in this particular class comes to an end today, I would like to dedicate my final blog here to answering the question- What the heck is IMC?
IMC is designed to integrate all of the marketing tools into one consistent campaign. We are trained in new and traditional media and know how to blend them in a complementary fashion to design one kick butt advertising campaign for a company. I feel like we tend to think outside the box (even though I hate that term) and have the big ideas.
There are online and offline marketing tools at our disposal. Online tools include but are not limited to search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click, email, banner ads, blogs, RSS feeds, podcasts, internet TV, and social networking. Offline tools include all of the traditional print media (newspaper, magazines), TV commercials, Public Relations, billboards, radio, mobile marketing, etc…
At WVU, we are required to take a multitude of different classes. By the time I have my Masters degree, I will have taken- Introductory to IMC, research and analysis, audience insight, brand equity, creative strategy, interactive marketing, PR concepts, emerging media, consumer sales promotions, advanced creative concepts, applied PR, digital storytelling, mobile marketing, and a final capstone class, campaigns, that will tie all of my knowledge together.
IMC is still a fairly new concept and has to constantly change in order to keep up with the ever changing marketing landscape. There are new marketing tools all of the time.