Talking window or advertising to the bone?

If you ever get tired on the train, be careful: a new advertising medium could put some new purchasing ideas in your head.

While several countries ban subliminal advertising, marketers in Germany found a loophole and created a way to tap directly into consumer brains through the “talking window” on trains. While it’s not exactly subliminal, the talking window does go past the advertising “norm.”

BBDO with Sky Deutschland developed a new technology to send messages from train windows, directly to passengers’ brains. The name of this system is “Bone Conduction,” and, until now, the technology has only been used for the deaf and military personnel. Seemingly impossible, this special window has been developed for public transportation and uses a transmitter to release silent high frequency oscillations that brains translate into sound.

Marketers manipulated the technology to work through the vibration transferred to the windows of a moving train. It’s as if that vibration speaks, then goes directly to the brain through the bone. Then the brain converts the vibrations and decodes them into understandable words and transmits it to the inner ear.

So how does it reach consumers? Imagine commuting on a train. You’re tired, and you naturally rest your head against the window. Suddenly, you hear an internal-voice question, “Are you bored? Take your phone and look at SKY, enjoy what you want, when you want.” When you look around, you realize that others cannot hear the ad. The message is just for you. Sounds like a Sci-Fi movie right?

With this innovative messaging technique, others aren’t bothered by the ad, and it’s perfect for transportation (at least for marketers and commuters not trying to catch up on sleep).

Maybe next time I travel and rest my head against the window, I’ll hear a jingle, political message or soft drink ad.

This is, literally, advertising to the bone.

Cover Photo Source: “Sleeping in the Train” Dr EG

Matias is an International Marketing Manager at SJN. He is from Argentina, where he got his BA in Advertising in 2012 and is now a student at Loyola working towards a Masters in Communication. Outside the office, you can find him practicing any kind of sport, playing FIFA or hanging out with friends.