MEDIA: JUKEBOX - AN EXPERT'S VIEW. Jeremy Carr liked the JCDecaux Jukebox but reckons the audio could be used more effectively

A poster that can talk? Could this be a step closer to the nightmare of "retinal recognition" posters as seen and heard in the recent Steven Spielberg film Minority Report?

before advertising hoardings recognise us personally? "Good morning Mr Carr. You look like you could use some pile cream."

Well, not quite. I viewed and listened to the new JCDecaux "Jukebox" poster at a bus stop on London's Tottenham Court Road during a busy Wednesday afternoon. It was promoting the Jubilee celebration album Party at the Palace. A simple packshot of the album and a "press to hear" panel invited me to choose from a number of tracks from such greats as Brian Wilson, Shirley Bassey and Sir Paul McCartney.

Unfortunately, Phil Collins on drums had to compete with the timpani that is one of London's busiest traffic arteries. And it was only during a lull in the traffic that Atomic Kitten's rendition of Dancing in the Street became audible.

There was little dancing in the street while I was playing DJ in the bus stop. And apart from one American tourist couple, "Hey, Brandon, that's kinda neat", the poster was received with a level of distrust normally reserved for oddballs on the tube and Jeremy Beadle. I suspect it would get a completely different reaction from a tipsy audience waiting for the night bus home, however.

Someone once said that posters are the only advertising medium people don't choose. I'd argue that no-one actively chooses advertising, Campaign readers apart. To most people, it's an irritation that disrupts an evening's TV or fills up unwanted pages in their newspapers and magazines. And then, we all know the standard of most radio ads.

The Jukebox poster, however, does offer people a choice: to press play or refuse to play. And if it's Cliff Richard duetting with S Club 7, it's more likely to be the latter.

This poster may work on a superficial level in mute mode, but the real challenge lies in combining a visual and a sound that only makes sense when someone presses the button.

There's no doubt the Jukebox poster offers a great creative opportunity for the right client. And its success will ultimately depend on an equation that is true of all media - if you engage the consumer with something original, relevant and reward him or her for wasting 2.7 seconds of their precious time, then maybe, just maybe, it will work.

Sounds easy, doesn't it?

Medium: New six-sheet poster that allows consumers to select music

tracks or moving images within a poster

Media owner: JCDecaux (developed by Innovate team)

Advertisers during trial period include: Virgin Records (Party at the

Palace CD) which used the poster specialist Poster Publicity

Target advertisers: Any with a sound-based product


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