Live ads at the theater

Visit London has created a 3 minute "live ad" that will be presented for the first time tomorrow night during the evening performance of "Steptoe and Son In Murder at Oil Drum Lane" at the Comedy theater.

The ad will connect aspects of the city is is playin with those on offer in London, and will be supported by print and online. Each advert will feature a local celebrity or actor making a cameo appearance.

They claim this is a first, although last February, there was news of scripted "commercials" piloted at the Apollo in Victoria acted out by the cast of Saturday Night Fever for products including McDonald's, Heinz and Kellogg's during breaks in the performance. update Check comments, the first interactive ad like this was done at least 13 years ago.

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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AnonymousCoward's picture

I can think of one or two other examples, but certainly nothing as ambitious or high profile. A lovely idea that will hopefully promote creativity in advertising, as well as the City of London.

Dabitch's picture

Ok, that whole interact with the commercial being played is really old. Real real old. For example, back in 1993 when I was at a Paul Arden lecture, he showed a British Airway ad on the screen where some man was enjoying Paris with some woman. As the romantic clips of a lovely city go on, a woman in the audience began hollering back at the screen.
-"That's my boyfriend!!"
...everyone around her started squirming uncomfortably as we think she's just bragging or something, but she continues, louder: -"That's my boyfriend. PAUL! PAUL! What are you doing in Paris with that woman!?" At this point I nearly died in embarrasment for her but she went on - and lo and behold "Paul" on screen responded to her! -"Mary? Mary what are you doing there? Mary I can explain..." and the woman in our audience yells "It's over!" at "Paul" and storms out in a huff.
The lights go back up and on stage stands Paul Arden grinning from ear to ear, knowing full well that he had fooled us all for a second. Great ad.

Many moons later, possibly 1997, in Sweden a similar interactive ad was done for Folkoperan where on the screen you'd see some Opera being played out, in Italian or German as usual, and someone asks: "Why do operas always have to be incomprehensible?" - now an audience member stands up and declares that they don't have to be, and he/she then sings the same piece, but in Swedish. The Opera singers on screen admire the singer in the audience while this happens. The movie-going audience gets a taste of what Folkoperans singers really sound like. All in all, a pretty good ad.

aiiobo's picture

Holy trivia batman!

Dabitch's picture

A few moons after that I got an idea rejected by the group head at BBDO because the idea of interacting with the screen "had been done" and "you know it full well". I treid arguing that the ideas were different even though the media was the same, just like we can't say "posters have been done", one shouldn't reject an "interacting with the advert" idea on the basis that British Airways and Folkoperan (two rather different ideas) have been done first. I lost the argument. Somewhere I felt like a hack for even suggesting the idea. ,)

caffeinegoddess's picture

It's probably just me but I don't have a problem with "live ads" in movie theaters, but there's something sorta "unclassy" about a "live ad" in a theater/theatre setting. Although I guess it depends on the show you're going to see. I could see it being less "unclassy" for something like "The Jerry Springer Musical"...

Dabitch's picture
Dabitch's picture

Oh, also the "Folkopera" ad for Figaro's wedding. This is not the same one as the one I described in earlier comments.