When I was a kid there was one Superman comic story in which Clark and Lois are at a fair of the future. The food at the fair fulfills you just by smelling it. (It kills you if you eat it.) The concept was awesome. Sniff your way to a full stomach.
The current issue of Esquire has similarly broken a barrier with a streaming video cover using “electronic ink.” Here’s the story. The words “The 21st Century Begins Now” flash up, one word following the other until you have the full message. Other brands have been experimenting with similar displays.
While I find this, and the story behind it, amazing. It also makes me wince to know that in a fairly short time, going shopping is going to be a surreal experience beyond anything Dali could whip up.
Those wretched little elves will be dancing while you listen to the sounds of Rice Krispies going snap, crackle, pop.
The boisterous Tony the Tiger will be shouting “They’re Greeaat!” from his box, no doubt royally pissing off the elves.
The beautiful girl on the L’Oreal hair coloring package will wink at you seductively (or has Sara Palin destroyed the wink forever?)
A tip to Chiquita Banana: Set the Chiquita girl’s hips in motion and watch banana sales to soar. People will make the connection.
A design waiting to come to life: A pickle wriggling to an ethnically correct tune, waving its little pickled arms and calling out, “I’m kosher!”
Viagra: The animation on your display is a no-brainer. I figure about a three-second animation with continuous loop will imprint the brand’s unique position in a pretty permanent way.
And there will be a day when we design viewbooks with streaming type, moving students and some poor male and female smiling at the viewer and saying, actually saying, “visit our website at . . . .”
Fellow PR folks, marketers, designers and advertisers, Esquire is just the beginning.
Give me your thoughts. What’s the wildest — or best — use you can think of electronic ink and motion-filled display boxes or cans?
For folks who love the ad world, here’s an interview with legendary designer George Lois, a former designer for Esquire and his feelings about the cover. It’s worth your time. He covers 50 years of ad/art history and stresses being knowledgable in many fields outside art for inspiration.
While doing the research for this blog I came across the original Chiquita Banana commercial. It’s way too good to miss.