February 16, 2006
Disney Interactive SMS billboard in Times Square
Times Square in New York City is transformed into the legendary Mount Everest on 15 and 16 February, celebrating the newest addition to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida: Mount Everest. [via Arthur de Wolf's Disney Comics Worldwide Blog and PRNewswire]
The show, "Everest in the City, is a 57-story spectacular which will bring the Himalayas to life, with powerful avalanche effects, daytime pyrotechnics and the ferocious roar of the yeti, plus world-renowned aerialist acrobats performing a never-seen-before display of vertical acrobatics.
To broaden “Everest in the City” beyond a traditional billboard, Visitors to Times Square can use their wireless phones to interact directly and in real time with the yeti by texting the word DISNEY to the short code "4YETI", which will make the yeti's eyes flash at a specific time.
Walt Disney World Resort partnered with industry leaders including Sylvania, Hip Cricket and AOL. Sylvania gives the yeti his glowing red eyes using the new OSRAM LED-powered light technology. Each of the yeti’s two 30-inch-diameter eyes will be lit with six OSRAM DRAGONchain? LED modules, making the fearsome protector’s glare visible from hundreds of yards away.
Other Interactive Campaigns held in Times Square:
-- Nike iD Billboard Invites Mobile Users - Nike launched an interactive billboard experience in May 2005. The effort let people use their phones to design a shoe on the Reuters sign in Times Square.
-- Yahoo! Billboard Goes Live in Times Square - To promote its automotive Web site, Yahoo! and interactive shop R/GA created a billboard in May 2004 that allowed pedestrians to play a video game broadcast on part of the 23-stories-tall Reuters sign in Times Square via their cell phones.
-- Times Square Billboard Asks New Yorkers to Vote - An interactive billboard in Times Square served as a public forum for New Yorkers in October 2004 to debate, "What is beautiful?". As they cast their vote via cell-phone, a running tally appears in real-time on the billboard and the website simultaneously, Campaign for Real Beauty.
Other Interactive Campaigns held elsewhere:
-- High Tech Billboard will respond to Text Messages - In October 2003 Coca-Cola unveiled one of the world's biggest and most sophisticated billboards, switched on in Piccadilly Circus in the heart of London. The 99-foot-wide neon colossus can respond to the weather and interact with people looking at it from the ground. It was also to recognize if people are waving at it from the ground below and be able to respond to text messages from mobile phones.
-- Ford Fiesta ad campaign combines interactive billboards with SMS - Advertising Agency Ogilvy, in a European first, launched a new ad campaign for the Ford Fiesta in July 2004 in Belgium, combining interactive billboards with SMS.
Passers-by could try their hand at winning a Ford Fiesta by sending an SMS with his/her first name to a short code and indicating the code on the billboard. The billboard then responded to this SMS, and sent another SMS with a question. If he or she answers correctly, the billboard reacted like a winning pinball machine and he/she is entitled to an "extra ball" meaning he/she will be included in the draw for a winner. For every incorrect answer sent by text message, the pinball machine displays a "tilt".
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