Discovery Channel Takes New York by Storm with Outdoor Installation
It's not easy for an advertisement to stop people in their tracks these days (especially in New York City), but a new interactive installation promoting the Discovery Channel's Stormchasers is doing just that.
Their "Urban Tornado Experience" caught our attention while we were walking down Broadway this weekend. We saw a moving image of a storm projected on a the side of a building. Upon walking closer, our image appeared within the storm clouds — it was like looking in a mirror to see an alternate reality reflected back.
Our first inclination, and that of fellow passersby, was to take out our phones to snap a picture. Right then, a call-to-action popped up:
- Text 0700 to 646-535-8432
- Receive a link to your photo on Facebook
- Add your email to the text to have the photo sent to you
- For example: 0700 email@example.com
By texting in, you were also consenting to have your picture displayed on Facebook. We assume they time-matched the text with the image taken, not an exact science but a workable solution. And it definitely yielded a lot more content than having people text in pictures themselves.
This is a great example of "post-digital" advertising i.e. taking the interactive, participatory nature of digital and creating brand experiences that engage people in the real world. Increasingly, marketers are breaking down barriers between "online" and "offline," and mobile can be the glue between the two. For one, the mobile phone can allow people to interact with digital signage and installations (see Locamoda's apps for some great examples of what's possible). Secondly, people constantly use their phone to share cool experiences in the moment. The team that created this Discovery Channel ad recognized this. They leveraged this reflex and made it easy to turn their experience into a social one. Social media hinges on giving people something worth talking about and sharing online. Capturing their reactions creates great content for the brand too. They were also smart to direct people to where their images lived on Facebook, allowing them to easily Like or Share them.
You can see the images on Facebook here.