Stop! Hey, what's that sound‾

13 Dec 2007

Here's one I don't see catching on [spotted first on Warren Ellis' site, but also seen on Media Buyer Planner this morning]:

A&E has deployed a billboard using technology manufactured by Holosonics that transmits an 'audio spotlight' from a rooftop speaker so that the sound is contained within your cranium.

The concept is to create marketing gimmicks that don't generate a lot of noise on the street. The actual effect, though, is to make you think yr hearing voices in your head telling you to watch cable TV.

Joe Pompei, president and founder of Holosonics, told Ad Age, "The sound isn't rattling your skull, it's not penetrating you, it's not doing anything nefarious at all," and he reckons once consumers get used to it, they'll come to accept it.

On the other hand, many people tend to resent ambush marketing, which is what the A&E ad seems like to me. There's no opt-out on having sound beamed into your ears. The reaction such a campaign is likely to get is best summed up by a comment on Gawker: 'How soon will it be until in addition to the do-not-call list, we'll have a 'do not beam commercial messages into my head' list‾'

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