Electronic Sandwich Boards

Advertising’s Early Location Based Marketing

During this Advertising Week New York, a couple of the more talk-worthy promotions were technology-enabled sandwich board advertisements. The old-fashioned advertising clad sandwich board brings to mind a man standing on a street corner near a merchant’s establishment handing out flyers. Without any modern technology, you pay attention to them because they cross your line of sight and hand you a flyer.

At the IAB’s MIXX event, several men clad in black (which doesn’t distinguish them in New York City) wore flat panel advertising screens powered by an equally big battery worn on their back. In addition, each advertising adorned man was equipped with a digital device to collect information. Sponsored by Bloomberg, these walking engagement vehicles offered the chance for a $500 shopping spree in return for three bits of information.

Outside the Future of Media at the Times Center, there were about five people riding Segways that appeared to be chariot like advertisements for National Mobile Billboards. This team gave away ping-pong balls with eyes on them and related collateral.

Clearly, the goal of these new advertising vehicles is to attract new audiences with a more personable form of traditional interruption advertising. The results should show that this advertising format will work because it’s need and attention getting. While they got my attention the challenge will be whether these efforts will have the same break through ability once the novelty wears off. My guess is that they won’t.

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen


Photo credit: mikecogh via Flickr; Electronic sandwich boards by Heidi Cohen
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6 Responses to Electronic Sandwich Boards

  1. Sammy Zuniga says:

    Dear Heidi:
    In response to your statement: “While they got my attention the challenge will be whether these efforts will have the same break through ability once the novelty wears off. My guess is that they won’t.”
    True, not this, or any form of media will grab the same attention as when it is fresh and new. Advertising, as well as popular music, art, etc needs a constant re-birth, re-forming, and/or Re-creation of the same; So, your statement is very true, also very redundant since creativity is behind all new ideas (media, advertisng or otherwise) unless we left a bunch of left brainers come up with new ideas, the right brainers will also find the way to sneak up on you and surprise you.

    • Heidi Cohen says:

      Sammy-Thank you for adding to the conversation. The challenge with any media format is to keep it vibrant and effective as it evolves. Happy marketing, Heidi Cohen

  2. David Mutch says:

    …additional comment on the sandwich boards – these electronic sandwich boards look to be “Adwalkers” who went bust earlier this year – the kit will have been liquidated and sold off (not a fan, however, as cut through is limited)

  3. David Mutch says:

    Hey Liam – just picked up on your comments.

    Kommando are UK based and produce an over-head screen “NomadiX” – great cut through, ergonomically designed and with full plug and play for DVD, Flash, Console gaming, smart phone demo, web surfing and Bluetooth connective if required.

    a video on the kit is here: http://bit.ly/cA01vD

    you can contact me via the website – http://www.kommando.co.uk

    Happy to discuss with you.

    In response to the article – fully agree – the public soon tune out of the same format day in day out – the secret is to continually innovate – not just technology but idea and execution.

    A segway with a vinyl pasted to the front will soon tire – a segway exuding the scent of a new perfume – with a “follow me for more” has a more experiential appeal.

    The OOH marketplace is fast developing as an emmersive experience – with DOOH recently demonstrating almost 100% greater effectiveness than traditional OOH routes in recall/uptake.

    In my experience the use of nomadic OOH media can act equally as well as a stand alone messaging device as it does as a call to action as part of an integrated campaign.

    Heidi is right in saying that the novelty of a particular execution will soon wear off – the secret is to keep it fresh … surprising things in surprising places with surprising actions.

  4. Liam O'Brien says:

    Dear sir/madam,
    Can you please send me a link for the company that makes these electronic sandboards.Thank you in advance for your response,
    Best regards,
    Liam

    • Heidi Cohen says:

      Liam-Thank you for taking the time to write. Since I don’t know the name of the electronic sandwich board company, I suggest that you try Bloomberg.com’s marketing department. Hope this helps. Happy marketing, Heidi Cohen