When Web Advertising becomes Brilliant/Invasive?

I was hesitant to even blog about this, but I was so struck when I saw this, as it’s a very unique form of Web Advertising.

Has the internet really become so invasive that it follows us everywhere? This system in the left image was seen at the Illusions Superclub in Palo Alto, CA at the STIRR event this week.

Although there were no ads in rotation, apparently this advertising system pulls content from the internet, and I’m sure it could be easily customized for the crowd of any given event.

For those who’ve been in the bay area a few years, Illusions used to be the “edge” nightclub, which I went to (but only once, ok maybe twice, but don’t tell anyone) while in college. Apparently I’m not the only one who found this interesting, Joe did some research too.

If I were to give this system the ol’ Web Strategy treatment, I could say:

“The Eye Spy Advertising client is a unique web-based contextual delivery channel that engages captive users with disruptive content with 0% user opt-out”

So what do you think? Brilliant or Invasive?

  • http://www.emomsathome.com/blog Wendy Piersall :: eMom

    LOL – I guess “invasive” would be in the eye of the beholder – and would certainly depend on the advertiser!

    I can only hope they have a separate feed for the mens and womens bathrooms, lest a tampon ad appear in the wrong place at the wrong time. :D

  • http://www.chocolategourmand.com/blog/ brian

    What a great opportunity for a PSA about washing your hands!

  • http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/ jeremiah_owyang


    Oh dear.

    Since when did women’s bathroom’s get urinals. It’s been a while for me, but I refuse to stop in and take pics! ;)

  • http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/ jeremiah_owyang


    This bathroom PSA may work a bit more effective:


  • http://www.chocolategourmand.com/blog/ brian

    nice! lol–I totally dig that. The doorknob placement alone would have been enough, but then they had top it with the newspaper in his hand. No doubt what his number was.

  • http://www.emomsathome.com/blog Wendy Piersall :: eMom

    ROFL. No, we get them in the stalls. :)

    I’ve seen them there already – in some hotel in Chicago, I believe.

  • http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/ jeremiah_owyang


    I dunno, what? Number three?

  • http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/ jeremiah_owyang


    That’s brilliant!!! get the users to sit, for longer Ad exposure.

    I’m going to get some stools for Illusions, in order to extend their user experience.

  • http://www.webstrategyblog.com Karen O’Brien

    OMG!!! That’s just wrong!

  • http://www.emomsathome.com/blog Wendy Piersall :: eMom

    Tears! I’m laughing so much!!

  • Allen

    Stalls make sense to me, you are there for a couple minutes. Here, more men will “miss”.

    Urinals were created for quick-in, quick-out, not “hey buddy, get a move on, i need to pee and you are watching an advert”.

    And then the question comes, what will be on these monitors?

  • http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/ jeremiah_owyang


    I suspect it will be of an ad that believe that they want their brand associated with this environment.

  • http://www.chocolategourmand.com/blog/ brian

    you mean an ad like, “Itching, burning sensation? Try….”

  • http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/ jeremiah_owyang


    What if Google developed highly contextual ads in the real world. Oh man.

  • Christopher Coulter

    if Google developed highly contextual ads in real life, we’d need some sort of flashable perm id chip implanted (or rather mandated), some sort of ‘mark of the beast’. Radio, TV, Billboards, Urinal displays could cull up customized ad content, much like Google does by gmail spying.

    Google would offer to share the revenue, and bloggers would line up to get a piece of the AdSense pie. And Social Media types would champion the Beast Mark as the next plank, taking spot marketing checks on various crowds, scanning the audience and doing all sorts of crowd metrics.

  • http://www.chocolategourmand.com/blog/ brian

    With the perm ID chip (RFID I presume), it would also enable you to read your own favorite personal content on public urinal terminals, all while contextual ads are displayed beneath, of course. Eventually, social networks would kick in and people would be sharing their own urinal playlists, complete with technorati rankings. Stranger things have happened, no? Can you imagine an Apple designed urinal?

  • http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/ jeremiah_owyang


    The iToiliet is going to premiere this Xmas 2007.

    There’s no handle to flush, it’s a touch sensitive dial.

  • Bess

    I don’t see them on the women side at Illusions Superclub.