Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ads hominem

There's more evidence that it's an advertising world and we're here to make impressions and offer eyeballs. A recent trip to San Francisco yielded two new and fairly novel ways for companies to get their point across.

En route, at Seattle-Tacoma airport, the captive audience being genially goaded into the quasi-strip search in the security line -- tens of thousands every day -- is asked to remove its shoes. And there, in the bottom of the bins where you put your shoes, are ads for Zappos, the upstart Las Vegas-based online footwear company that lays claim to some 4 million customers. In language meant to give you a brief chuckle while the TSA minions give your iPod a fourth or fifth going-over, Zappos has exploited a fact of life in the post-9/11 world and made it its own, with both a savvy understanding of the new terrorist age and a canny way to move shoes down its own conveyor belt -- from the factory to the buyer.

In a similarly sly way, Honda has discovered how to reach San Francisco folks in a place you wouldn't expect. On at least one of the Bay Area Rapid transit trains running between the Embarcadero and Montgomery Street, riders glancing out the window saw more than the tunnel walls as the train whizzed past. It's some kind of a movie, a tweak on the special effects of "Minority Report," an advertisement for one of the auto industry's newest cars flickering by like an Eadward Muybridge motion study. There's no giveaway at first as to who's responsible ... until the stylized H of the Honda logo blinks up. Another reach for the wallet.

A little cooler than skywriting, we must admit, and not as temporary. But still, we wonder what's next. Advert implants at birth, with refresher programming imparted at will by the GPS satellites circling the globe?

Paranoid? Ridiculous? Yeah, a little. But only a little.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent posts, I updated your link on my own blogroll. Sorry about the delay on changing the link, hope this is your most current url! I'm assuming from the dates that it is. It's always a pleasure to read both your political analysis and non-political posts.

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