Buongiorno Tokyo! Milan Metro Stop Transformed Into Japanese Subway Station

Fastweb Milan Tokyo Subway Stop

Monday morning commuters on the Milan Metro arrived at Moscova Station to find themselves at what appeared to be a stop on the Tokyo subway. Milan-based agency M&CSaatchi had worked overnight to transform the station’s platform into Shibuya Station, one of the busiest stations on the Tokyo subway in a promotion for Italian internet-provider Fastweb.

The subway was staged complete with Japanese signage, advertising, and dozens of Japanese people posing as what everyday Tokyo commuters supposedly look like.

Having never visited Tokyo, I’ll have to rely on others to tell me if I would really see Geisha girls on a typical Monday morning commute.

[via @Issue]

Closed Paris Subway Station Serves as Stage for Prometheus Promotion

Prometheus Promo takes over closed Paris subway stationPassengers on the Paris Subway may have been surprised to look up and for a few seconds see a strange glimpse into the future or the past, as imagined in the upcoming movie ‘Prometheus‘.

The promotion takes over the Saint-Marten station, which has been closed since 1939. The station has been transformed into the cave from the movie where the explorers from Prometheus come across the origins of humanity.

The Prometheus ghost station will be live from May 16 to 25 between the Strasbourg-Saint-Denis and République stops.

Watch this brief clip of the view from inside the subway train as it passes by the promotion.

via Minute Buzz

France

Beneful Launches Virtual Dog Parks for Stressed-out Commuters

Beneful Virtual Dog ParkLast week, dog food brand, Beneful surprised NYC commuters with a virtual dog park inside the Columbus Circle subway station. The 64 foot long interactive wall features a group of playful dogs of several sizes and breeds.

Motion-tracking cameras would watch as people walked by, triggering the dogs to start following them. The dogs then paw at the screen and bark to encourage the people to stand on one of the floor stickers, where gesture-tracking enabled them to play fetch with the virtual tennis balls on the interactive wall. After playing, commuters can choose to customize the dog of their choice and save a photo to their mobile phone to share on their social networks.

Street teams promoted the interactive wall by handing out tennis balls and flying discs to commuters. Beneful will also be launching interactive walls in Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta and St. Louis this May.

In a press release Beneful brand manager said, “At Beneful, we believe the power of PLAY enhances everyday experiences and enriches the time dogs and owners spend together. And, most city dwellers
would agree that their daily commute is definitely a time in need of some fun, carefree play. “We believe that using innovative, interactive billboards will encourage people to unleash their inner child and have some fun in unexpected places, with the help of our team of virtual dogs!”

The Beneful virtual dog park was created by InWindow Outdoor.

USA

IKEA Hosts 5 Roommates at Apartment Built in Paris Subway

IKEA Paris Subway ApartmentNext time you’re down in the subway waiting for your train to come, consider how comfortable it would be to live there for a week. Well, that’s exactly what IKEA France is doing for five people in a Paris subway station starting on Monday.

Roommates Jeanne, Audrey, Anis, Lucie and Benjamin will be living in public all week in a specially built 54 square meter apartment constructed on the subway platform at Auber Station.The 5 will demonstrate how IKEA can optimize a small space and make it a comfortable living space for anyone. Each day the highlights of their adventures will be posted at YouTube.

Once they’ve left the apartment on Saturday, they’ll turn it over to a lucky IKEA France Facebook fan and their 12 friends for a great end-of-the-week party

The campaign was created by Paris creative agency Ubi Bene.

via PSFK

QR Codes Can Work in the Subway… it Depends

Mobile barcodes (such as QR Codes) are appearing in more places everyday and it’s not uncommon to find them in Toronto’s subway system both as posters within the station or on the subway cars themselves. The subway system here in Toronto is mostly underground (which seems obvious, but with brief breaks into the open) and there is no Wi-fi available yet despite much talk in the recent past.

For people who know what QR codes are capable of, seeing QR codes displayed on ads in an environment where there is no internet connection is confusing. How could these possibly be useful?

The fact is, in most cases they are right, the actions initiated by scanning the code require an internet connection. But, a QR code can still be useful without an internet connection. The QR code could be embedded with additional text, simple contact information or instructions on what to do when you have a connection. A QR code can be embedded with up to 7089 characters, however the dot pattern would be too dense and the dots so small and most scanners would end up having trouble reading them. So, the reality is any additional information would have to be simple, direct and brief.

The important thing for advertisers to consider when placing mobile barcodes on ads in the subway or in any environment is, what are the limitations of the environment (space, low light) and what are you asking users to do. If you are asking users to connect to a site, or watch a video, it’s simply not going to work. Expecting a user to take out their smartphone on a crowded subway car, lean over other passengers to scan or capture the code is work enough – let alone expect them to access the code later when they get to the surface and have a connection. (most readers allow the codes to be saved)

The same issue with connectivity is going to exist whether an ad is displaying a web URL or it’s asking a user to text a keyword to a mobile short code. Mobile experiences work better ‘in the moment’ and having internet connectivity to complete the experience is essential.

At Delvinia we have created QR codes that contain the contact information for each of our team members. The QR codes can be accessed on our eCeption touchscreen allowing for an easy transfer of contact information onto an interested person’s mobile device. There are plans to include these codes on our website and possibly even business cards.

Direct vs Indirect

QR codes are embedded with information. This information could be a URL, a phone number, address, contact information. When a user scans a QR code it immediately initiates an action associated with the type of information, for example a URL opens a mobile browser, an address would open a map, and of course a phone number would initiate a phone call. In other words they act directly – this is why they can operate without an internet connection.

Proprietary codes such as ScanLife’s EZ Codes or Microsoft’s Tag require an internet connection as they are not directly embedded with the information to initiate the intended action. They contain a pointer to an online source where the actions are saved. QR codes can be used in this way too.

Advantages of using indirect codes are:

  • the code can be reused and the actions changed in the database
  • the dot patterns tend to be simpler allowing them to be more easily read by simpler phones
  • the code can be smaller as it is

So, next time you see a QR code on the subway give it a try. It may not be the complete #FAIL that you thought it was (but it probably is).