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Evolution of the Commercial Break

Interactive Ads Make Visiting Store Fun

051119

A new advertising billboard system is now getting wider exposure with Sam Goody stores. Dynamic images are projected on the floors and walls. When customers walk into the image it reacts and changes. Everyone seems charmed. Fad or valuable environmental advertising experience? I think it will depend on how patient people will be to stay and let a complete story play out.

CNET News.com: Interactive billboards you can walk around in by Alorie Gilbert

[The Sam Goody music retail] chain announced this week that it has agreed to install interactive displays at 100 stores--the largest deal to date--to attract shoppers nationwide. The technology, which combines advertising with gaming and entertainment, is part of the chain's effort to recast its stores as entertainment lifestyle centers, where people will want to linger, sample music and ring tones, and burn CDs. "This technology, we think, is a natural of extension of that," said Laurie Bauer, a spokeswoman for Musicland Group, Sam Goody's parent company.

The systems, developed by Reactrix Systems in Redwood City, Calif., use infrared sensors and highly specialized software to respond to people's gestures and movements. In one setup, for instance, placing a foot on what appears to be a calm body of water will instantly trigger "waves" that move out from the foot, creating the effect of walking on water. "It's a crowd magnet," Reactrix spokesman Chris Knight said. "It's a way to spice up stores and keep people coming back."

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