Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Projection lets fans put their words to 'Night Of The Living Dead'

According to a recent article of Wired, "An American mashup artist let passers-by put words in giant zombies' mouths last week. The show, called 'Txt of the Living Dead', projected 15-foot-wide, black-and-white stills from George A. Romero's classic 1968 horror flick Night of the Living Dead onto buildings. Text messages from random people on the street then filled comics-style speech balloons that were added to the images in what New York artist Paul Notzold called an 'SMS-enabled interactive street performance.'"

Besides being gimmicky and fun for fans of the movie, this seems like an idea that could have a lot of potential when it comes to advertising for other, newer movies or even older ones being re-released on DVD (a big money maker nowadays).

Getting adult audiences involved with more interactive styles of advertising is always more difficult than with younger audiences. Kids are usually the type that gimmicks like this would appeal too, yet for some reason it's not too hard to imagine adults (or whatever you call aging Gen-Xers) getting a kick out of being able to write fake dialog for some of their favorite movie characters, both old and new. Imagine promoting a commemorative DVD release for a movie popular with older audiences by doing live screenings and allowing the audience to interact. "Now you can put words in Michale Corleone's mouth, and don't forget to pick up the new Super Special Golden Edition of The Godfather Trilogy with 45 hours of bonus footage!"

While not ideal for mass-marketing, this kind of technology and advertising approach definitely has the potential to build buzz. I can picture college students gathering around with their friends to put some kind of in-joke in the mouth of a character from Animal House. Or, to take a look at a soon-to-be released movie, who could resist putting a threatening one-liner in the mouth of John Rambo right before the new installment comes out in January?

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Unknown said...

While this is certainly interesting, my concern is - how would you stop people from texting obscene messages, or messages with foul language? Will messages be monitored by someone at the back-end?

Phil Contrino said...

If this were to be used in a public setting as an advetising tool then it would have to be treated similar to an internet forum.

Either there would have to be a system administrator on hand with the ability to delete inappropriate content, or there would have to be something in the technology which would not allow it to even make it to the screen.

Of course, if it was being used in a setting full of adults for a product geared mainly towards adults then the rules of what is and isn't offensive could be stretched.