Tag Archives | Technology

Amnesty International Uses Eyeball-Aware Ad To Enhance Message

Amnesty International Eyeball Aware Ad

Amnesty International’s bus stop ad is a great example of how interactivity and eyeball-aware ads can be used to engage viewers and add another level of meaning to the overall message. The ad is for a campaign that aims to bring awareness to the problem of domestic violence, and uses a small camera to detect faces. When no one is looking, the screen shows a man abusing his wife. When the camera detects a face, the ad waits a few seconds for the message to sink in, and then the couple stops fighting and does their best to look normal. It’s a subtle message, but definitely drives home their tagline, “It Happens When Nobody Is Watching.”

It’s easy to see why an ad like this would be effective. Usually, when a viewer looks at an ad, they may only see the message for a few moments before looking away. However, with an interactive ad that responds to the viewer’s gaze, they’re more likely to look longer to see what will happen. Thus, views last longer, and the message has more time to sink in. (It’s important to note that video ads for the sake of movement is not what we’re talking about here. The movement needs to be a part of the message to really be effective at enhancing the overall ad.)

Taking the concept a step further, imagine an ad that ‘talks’ to the viewer. Since the technology gives ads self-awareness, a donut shop could create an ad that says good morning to anyone that walks by, or a clothing store could create an ad that compliments (or mocks!) outfits in the crowd. The technology would also allow advertisers to incorporate a video that starts only when someone is looking, rather than playing over and over again on a constant loop.

In addition to enhancing the message, an outdoor ad that’s aware of when people are looking at it ushers in a whole new level of measurement, as view numbers no longer need to be rough estimations of foot traffic and awareness. Instead, each ad can be bought and sold based on accurate view numbers and actual engagement, giving advertisers proof that they’re getting what they’re paying for, and allowing media companies to price their high profile ad placements with the premium they deserve.

Like any new ad format, eyeball-aware ads are in their creative infancy, and I would expect to see many more uses emerge as advertisers start to understand and explore the technology, but as an effective and engaging means of enhancing a message, this is definitely one format to keep an eye on.

The Good:

  • Uses eyeball-awareness to enhance the message and engage the viewer.
  • Allows for advanced measurement techniques that take into account actual engagement.

The Bad:

  • Expensive technology makes ads difficult to scale.

The Future:

  • Ads that are viewer-aware allow advertisers to create more interactive messages and engage the viewer in new and unique ways, while better matching cost to value.

GE Plugs Into The Smart Grid With Augmented Reality

Smart Grid Augmented Reality

GE’s Plug Into The Smart Grid campaign is a fantastic example of how augmented reality can be used to engage viewers and encourage them to interact directly with the message.

Though augmented reality isn’t a new concept, GE does do a few unique and innovative things with it:

  • You have to ‘open the door’ – By twisting and turning the Smart Grid marker, you are actually activating it, so that right from the start you feel like a part of the experience.
  • You can interact with the model – By blowing into the microphone, you actually cause the wind turbines to spin, which encourages you to interact with the experience and experiment with what’s possible. You can also tilt the Solar Energy model back and forth to move the sun and cause the solar panels to follow.
  • You can see through the page – By turning the marker into a ‘window’, GE has added an extra dimension to the experience. Instead of looking at a semi-3D model that pops off the page, it actually looks like it has become a part of the page, and that you’re holding a whole little world in your hands.

In addition to the details of the model, there are a couple of interesting ways that GE has extended the campaign to reach an even larger audience.

  • GE used a YouTube video to demonstrate the technology – By taping into the YouTube community, they opened up the experience to a whole new audience. Plus, it’s such a new and interesting idea that people want to watch and pass along the video demo all on its own, leading to more than a million views in less than a month!
  • GE used semi-interactive Flash banner ads to bring users to the microsite – When users mouse over the ads, the wind turbines begin to spin, giving you a preview of what’s to come at the full site.

    Smart Grid Banner Ad

  • GE provided more information for the curious user – Right below the augmented reality model, they posted a link directly to the source code for the technology used to power the model. Rather than hiding the technology or trying to claim it as their own, they embrace the open source community and encourage others to experiment with their own ‘ecomagination’.

The Good:

  • New and innovative uses of augmented reality keep the already new technology fresh and engaging.
  • Interactive elements encourage users to engage with the ad.
  • Taps into YouTube and the open source movement to reach a larger audience.

The Bad:

  • The augmented reality technology is a barrier to entry for those with computers that can’t support it.