I went to a concert at the Washington Pavillion last night, and during a break my 7 year old needed to use the rest room. In the men’s room they had just installed an LCD panel above each urinal that displayed animated ads. These may not be new, but it’s the first time I had seen them. (And for the difficulty I had finding any info online, they must be fairly uncommon.)
The panel is from AllOverMedia, and according to them,
Dynamic FLASH ads attract attention and create interest that print ads just can’t touch! Screens are located in the restrooms and common areas of fine dining establishments and high-end bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Fifteen-second ads rotate on a 90-second loop providing continued exposure throughout the day.
Since they were newly installed (still had drywall dust on them, and one still had the blue plastic cling wrap on the screen face) all that was displayed was a cute little demo ad, but one can only guess that its got an embedded Linux install driving it the display, communicating with the mother ship via wireless or ethernet.
I don’t quite know whether I should be impressed by the tech or disgusted with the approach. Urinal ads have been commonplace in lots of places, and have always been of questionable effectiveness in my mind. This though is something that might be a little catchy. Hopefully it doesn’t evolve as far as some of the ads Spielberg put into his vision of the future in Minority Report. I can hear it now… “Hello Mr. Johnson! Welcome back to your favorite place to hang out. Seems that it’s taking a little longer than usual, well, for you to get things rolling, so to speak. Perhaps it’s time to make an appointment with Dr. Plumber, urologist. His phone number is…”