Is any ad impression a valuable one? Clear Channel Outdoor is certainly banking on it with their new bathroom mirror advertising program. In partnership with Mirrus, the two companies are set to roll out advertising on bathroom mirrors in O’Hare International Airport over the next three months.
Soon you’ll have to share your mirror with advertisers, reports the Chicago Tribune. Full length ads and videos will appear on the mirrors when no one is standing in front of them. But they’re smart, so when someone approaches, the ad shrinks and moves out of the way to the upper right hand corner of the mirror. Heaven forbid it should go away completely and interrupt the ad impression to leave you to do your business in peace.
Mirrus has the ability to target ad placements based on gender so men can see manly stuff like beer, sports and cars and girls can likewise see girly stuff. Ads can be changed within seconds by location which, in theory, could be an interesting benefit, that’s if enough advertisers sign on.
O’Hare is the pilot venue with 150 40-inch mirrors being installed over the next several months. If successful, Brian Reid, Mirrus Founder, plans to expand to airports in top markets across the US as well as to sporting venues, leveraging his stadium seat advertising relationships.
Recognizing that bathroom advertising is a tricky area for clients to venture, the Tribune reports Reid as saying;
“the company has done extensive research, some of it at O’Hare, in conjunction with big advertisers including Microsoft Corp., the Coca-Cola Co., and Geico to try to prove that the unorthodox ad placements create enough “dwell time” and “stopping power” among potential customers that their impact makes up for any whiff of weirdness.”
I’d like to see that research.
As a consumer, I’m not dwelling in a dingy airport or stadium bathroom for advertising. If I know your brand, it’s an annoying and wasted paid impression and if I don’t, I’m not risking missing the game or my flight to learn about you.
As an advertising person, and one plying the trade for an online travel agency, while contextually relevant in airport bathrooms (ha ha) and novel on the surface, I think I’ll leave bathroom goers their privacy and save my precious ad budget for a medium that will be more impactful and drive some return.
What do you think of bathroom mirror advertising? Leave your comments below.