October 22, 2004

Times Square Billboard Asks New Yorkers to Vote

timessquare.jpg New Yorkers aren’t exactly shy about voicing their opinions, and in this election year everyone wants their voice to be heard and their vote to be counted.

For the first time ever, an interactive billboard in Times Square is serving as a public forum for New Yorkers to debate, “What is beautiful?”. As they cast their vote via cell-phone, a running tally appears in real-time on the billboard and the website simultaneously, Campaign for Real Beauty.

This is the first time cell phones have been used not only to vote directly to a Times Square billboard but also the first time the vote actually appears on the billboard itself.

So what is everyone talking about? The image of Irene Sinclair, a 96 year old woman and first-time model whose wrinkled face joins those of supermodels on other Times Square billboards. Irene’s image stands sixty-nine feet high and forty-four feet wide above the Marriott Marquis (46th & Broadway). New Yorkers decide if she’s “Wrinkled?” or “Wonderful?” as the ad questions “Will society ever accept old can be beautiful?”

The interactive billboard is part of beauty brand Dove’s global Campaign for Real Beauty, which challenges the stereotypical view of beauty. [Company press release].

Related billboards and SMS Marketing schemes:

Ford Fiesta ad campaign combines interactive billboards with SMS - Advertising Agency Ogilvy, in a European first, has launched a new ad campaign for the Ford Fiesta, combining interactive billboards with SMS.

Yahoo! Billboard Goes Live in Times Square - To promote its automotive Web site, Yahoo! and interactive shop R/GA have created a billboard that allows pedestrians to play a video game broadcast on part of the 23-stories-tall Reuters sign in Times Square here via their cell phones.

High Tech Billboard will respond to Text Messages - Coca-Cola unveiled one of the world’s biggest and most sophisticated billboards, switched on in Piccadilly Circus in the heart of London. The 99-foot-wide neon colossus can respond to the weather and interact with people looking at it from the ground.

Cell Phones, Billboards Play Tag - Hypertag technology, enabling mobile users to point and click their cell phones at a movie poster and access digital content and Cool123 has a patent pending for a similar sounding interactive SMS service. enabling mobile users “to interact with advertising such as billboards, product packaging or other media strategies using keywords or codes”.