Adobe Hits The Streets With Interactive Ads

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oldguy2.jpg“This machine will not communicate the thoughts and the strain I am under.”
– Thom York, Radiohead

In the tradition of all great, emotionally complicated artists, musician Thom York captures the frustrations many have experienced in our communication age of not being able to effectively communicate via emoticons, keyboards, and txt hieroglyphics. Granted, the song lyric above is a bit on the morose side, but the idea that there is a fundamental breakdown as we attempt to interact with each other through the machines that have become such important aspects of our modern experience, resonates.

If communication between friends in cyberspace is limited by the awkwardness of the screen, keyboard, mouse, and cell phone, then surely communication between companies and consumers is just as impeded.

From a bird’s eye view the shift from traditional advertising media to online media seems to be occurring because modern society is waking from the initial hypnotic effects of television, and demanding a more lively and interactive form of information dissemination and entertainment. Like-wise advertisers are continually seeking to engage their audience more meaningfully.

As the world of advertising moves from the traditional to the interactive and online, the demand for creative software that enables content makers to provide truly interactive experiences will explode.

Adobe has lit the fuse for the impending big bang of immersive technological experience. According to an article in the technology section of the New York Times, Adobe will unveil an interactive wall of projected animation in lower Manhattan’s Union Square.

As pedestrians walk past the wall, infrared sensors will “see” the person closest to the wall, which will then be able to control a projected slider button at the bottom of the wall.

As the selected pedestrian continues walking and moves the slider along, the wall will start displaying colorful animation and playing music, effects that will grow or recede at the pace that the person advances or retreats. When each selected pedestrian reaches the end of the wall, his or her design will be in full blossom, above the campaign’s message: “Creative license: take as much as you want.”

The wall is 7 feet high and 15 feet wide and will be recreated in London in early August, at the Piccadilly Circus Virgin Megastore. Each will be there for a month.

With the unleashing of more sophisticated means of interacting with our gadgets, like the multi-touch iPhone and the forth coming “Surface” computer from Microsoft, the need for software capable of harnessing the interactive hardware’s capabilities becomes very real.

When advertisements become entertaining and a creative exploration, they will be more effective as campaigns.  The latest offering from Adobe represents a real advancement in creative capabilities for all those who use it.

Perhaps Thom York won’t have as much to be tormented about. Perhaps we have become more aware of the need for technology in general to have more of an element of human warmth. Perhaps this machine will communicate.

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