Tuesday, October 27, 2009

When digital signs leave a bad taste in your mouth... or something

Ran into two articles that seem to fit well together.

The first comes from The Consumerist, where reader Grey was confronted (and affronted) by a shelf-edge signage system for Bumblebee Tuna:
This absurd Bumblebee Tuna display was jutting into the isle at my local Safeway. It had a black screen, single silver button, and a card stock sign demanding I "push the button." Out of nothing more than utter disbelief and morbid curiosity I bow to the will of the sign.

"Will it start talking to me, the grocery store shopper?" I wonder. "Perhaps it will suggest some Tuna-themed dish for me to prepare for dinner tonight?" No. Instead I see the lowest resolution version of some 30 second, made for TV ad I'd ever seen.

The guy sounds a little whiny, and is obviously saddled with a either a serious TV addiction or else a terribe lack of willpower if the mere presence of the diminunitive screen was enough to "force" him to push the button or see what happens. That aside though, the remainder of his complaint is completely valid. 30-second TV spots have no place at the shelf-edge, especially if/when they rely on audio and will be presented on a postage stamp-sized display. Kudos to Bumblebee and SmartSource for taking  a stab at low-power and presumably low-cost digital shelf-edge advertising, but guys, seriously, you need to do a lot better. At least bundle some coupons with the thing. If you want a laugh, I recommend you read the comment thread attached to that article at The Consumerist.

The inanity of the Bumblebee display must have primed my brain because when I ran into this article at Advertising Lab it seemed like it might as well have come from the same company. Straight out of the what-were-they-thinking department of RightGuard's R&D lab comes this inspired idea to put digital advertising not where one might purchase the product, but where one might actually use the product.  That's right, we're talking about armpit advertising!  Awful puns aside (and there are lots of them), there's really not much else I can say about this. In fact, I think the expression of the woman on the left pretty much says it all...


David Drain said...

I'm speechless. What a waste of time and money.

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