Wait, That Cloud Looks Like A TV Commercial...

from the can't-go-anywhere dept

As advertisers continue to desperately look for new channels as they fear the end of the traditional television commercial, it appears one company is betting that they'll want to move those commercials into the sky. They've built a huge, specially designed, TV screen that fits on the side of a blimp. From there, it can display video, rather than the more traditional scrolling text. They've apparently got one advertiser signed up to use the thing, paying $5 million for one year of the blimp in an undisclosed European location. Of course, about the only real advantage seems to be the novelty of a floating commercial -- which could get tiresome really quickly. Some also (reasonably) wonder just how effective such advertising is. After noting that people will look, because it's a blimp, a professor of retail management notes: "It's a floating billboard... It would be very hard for me to believe from any research that somebody looks at a blimp of any form and says 'I've got to have that,' unless it says 'Free Dodge Vipers' or something." It's true that you need to do something different these days to get people's attention, since they have so many other options of what to look at. However, basing your advertising strategy on the novelty aspect of how the ad is delivered seems likely to only have a very short term branding impact, rather than any real long-term strategic benefit.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Scott, Jun 19th, 2006 @ 11:49am

    Floating blimp advertisments

    Like in Blade Runner??

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    Joe (profile), Jun 19th, 2006 @ 12:06pm

    unsafe or not?

    considering all the hype about using cellphones, etc while driving, it seems difficutl to be leave this would be deemed safe.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Jesus Boobies, Jun 19th, 2006 @ 12:17pm

    Yep, just like in Blade Runner. With the recent lawsuit craze these days, this is one case where I sure hope someone, from some movie, sues the crap out of these people to prevent it from ever taking off.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2006 @ 12:27pm

    The advertisement isn't in the blimp. The advertisement is getting every moron with a blog to talk about the advertising blimps.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2006 @ 12:41pm

    It's viral.

    "Did you see that blimp today? It was showing a commercial for xxxx"

    "No, I didn't. I'll have to look for it tomorrow"

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    dt king, Jun 19th, 2006 @ 12:55pm

    Simulcast the audio and this could be the coolest theater screen ever.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    renderingsanity, Jun 19th, 2006 @ 1:43pm

    dt king you have a good idea actually...it's not like we're going to see this being used as a drive in but for special events it would be fun. Also use it to simulcast sports events over the event itself, complete with commentors and commercials.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Republican Gun, Jun 19th, 2006 @ 2:55pm

    First Poster...

    wrote exactly what I was thinking as I read the article.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Mark, Jun 19th, 2006 @ 3:27pm


    How can anyone blog on this topic without mentioning "Blade Runner"? I thought that overhead commercial-playing blimp was firmly situated in our zeitgeist.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Mark, Jun 19th, 2006 @ 3:31pm

    Stadium screens

    Another possible application would be stadium screens -- instead of spending tons of dough installing a screen for one-time big ticket events, the stadium authority could just rent a video blimp or two and park them in strategic locations. Also I could see how these could be useful at outdoor music venues.

    Actually, the more I think about this, the more applications it has. This company might not be the one to bring them to market, but there's real potential here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    ScaryFast, Jun 19th, 2006 @ 4:33pm

    I can see it now...

    "This sunset will be back after the commercial break" *blimp slides in front of the sun out over the ocean where people have gathered to watch the sun set*

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Dave, Jun 20th, 2006 @ 11:18am

    TiVO Fast Forward Issue Solved

    Okay, c'mon is it really that hard for the allmighty TV Programmers to figure out that they can sell commercial time in two pieces?

    Top of screen (or Bottom). Think of what happens when watching wide screen movies on a standard TV Set. You get two black rectangles...

    Standard TV watchers actually get to see two adds at a time - similar to watching CNN and seeing the scrolling messages at the bottom. Bu ti the scrolling messages were short enough and displayed long enough, they would be readbale in fast-foward mode on a DVR/TiVo. Thus, getting the ads to viewers in an acceptable format.

    Of course this could be taken a step further and the text could actually be for the same ad as playing in the middle of the screen, so if someone was really interested, they could stop skipping and actually watch the commercial.

    ... I want a patent... I want millions...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    tek'a, Jun 28th, 2006 @ 12:00am

    Re: TiVO Fast Forward Issue Solved

    "A device, working with a display, that would allow messages to be displayed" get that patented, quick, then wait for a big company to release something so you can sue them for violating your patent and say gimme bajillion dollars

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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