A is for Aroma, a popular twist in conjunction with poster and
ticket promotions and undeniably effective, though it needs to be used
The smell of Gordon’s gin sprayed into a cinema caused palpitations
among recovering alcoholics in the audience.
B is for Buildings used as an advertising backdrop, preferably very
large and very well-known, such as the Houses of Parliament which were
famously hijacked by Sega.
C is for Cows - the country’s most visible herd during the BSE crisis
carried ads for MarketingNet in a shrewdly timed stunt that delivered
massive free PR exposure.
D is for Dover - Concord’s classic Adidas laser-projection on to the
White Cliffs in June 1998 featured the nation’s best-loved footballer,
David Beckham, in the UK’s biggest ad.
E is for Eggs - shell ads were sold by the kilo-dozen, but few
remembered the advertisers (BT was one) and the ’eggverts’ soon went
F is for Floors - Eyes Down Media says clients’ unease about consumers
trampling their brand image is offset by results. For example, Sunkist
soft drinks enjoyed a sales increase of 74 per cent.
G is for Guerilla - Tango Man gatecrashed a News at Ten Parliamentary
report and Kiss FM’s party bus showed how crazy ads can work for crazy
H is for Holes on the golf course and in the pockets of good sports,
like the Turkish Tourist Board who bought them. ’Ads-in-the-hole’
failed, however, after below-par results.
I is for Indian - Disney’s Pocahontas was promoted in London with a
genuine American Indian sending smoke signals to motorists on the
J is for Jet - there are no flies on the budget airline, EasyJet, which
set a precedent by painting its phone number on aircraft fuselages.
K is for Kiosks - airports, train stations and supermarkets are prime
sites for kiosks which may incorporate internet access and an
opportunity to purchase.
L is for Lids - Adlids, which sells space on takeaway cartons, says
successful campaigns have included Woodpecker cider and Clorets breath
fresheners - Rennie’s is apparently yet to take the initiative.
M is for Mobile - moving ads bring the message to the people, says TDI,
which sells ads on the London Underground and buses around the
Gimmicks include lenticular printing for animated 3-D illusions.
N is for Nozzles - petrol stations are getting more like supermarkets
and forecourt advertising is booming, with pump nozzles among the
premium sites. Takers include Castrol GTX, Red Bull and Virgin
O is for Outdoor as in the great outdoors, exploited by Beck’s which
planted a field full of flowers in the shape of a beer bottle, which was
seen by more than five million rail passengers.
P is for Phones - public telephones are among the newest locations to
fall prey to ambient advertisers, following PhoneSites’ acquisition of
the rights to BT’s pay phone network.
Q is for Queue TV - launched in the 80s by Aspen Marketing and
trailblazed by Post Office Counters which proved ’they also purchase who
only stand and wait’.
R is for Ridley Scott whose film Bladerunner, with its talking, flying
billboards and genetically engineered logos remains an aspirational
classic for all ambient fans.
S is for Swing doors on airport baggage carousels, taken over by
Volkswagen to describe how many suitcases you can fit in the back of its
T is for Taxis and Taxi Media’s fleet of brandable London cabs plus
optional sales support from the driver - takers include the Financial
Times and Evian.
U is for Urinals - Emap Radio used heat sensitive graphics featuring the
pop stars, Liam and Noel Gallagher, and the nation’s then most-despised
footballer, David Beckham.
V is for Virtual technology enabling TV broadcasters to create digital
posters, usually at sporting events, so viewers in different regions can
see different ads, which are different again from those seen by
spectators at the ground.
W is for Waste-bins pioneered by Trash Media’s ’It’s bin a long time
coming’ with their rotting-veg promotion for the dance artists, Daft
X is for X-rated - near the knuckle ambient ads have included a naked
Pamela Anderson beer mat jigsaw for Bravo TV and Emap Radio’s
Y is for Yellow Pages - its award-winning refurbishment of a London
Underground Train set the pace for others, including the Vaseline
deodorant and Nutri-Grain strap-hangers.
Z is for Zeppelins and other inflatables whose ability to deliver
powerful messages from a great height has been demonstrated by, among
others, Good-Year and Virgin.