Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Are you on a billboard?

Times Square, Manhattan, NY

Amongst the bunch of hoardings at Times Square, the one that stands out is that of 'Forever 21', the American clothing brand. It's gimmicky, eye-catching and works on the power of vanity and voyeurism. While a camera streams live frames of the audience in front of the store, a virtual model appears on the screen to take polaroid snapshots of the crowd, but not before touching up her own make-up. She selects some people from the crowd, kisses them and either turns them into frogs or puts them into her Forever 21 bag.  Its silly how the crowd goes berserk. You'll see children and adults alike standing around, waiting for the model to pick them (on screen!). They'll be waving out frantically, trying to spot themselves and if/when they do, they'll go even more berserk. I don't know how many actually end up buying from them, but they're surely mighty pleased with the store! I am part of this picture too. Try and spot me :) 

PS. (The creator of the billboard says its software identifies and maps people on the street—especially those carrying the store’s shopping bags—then builds composites in near real-time, which it uses to build simulations for the display.)