Whilst I was Googling for some potential Big Print Bank billboard images, I came across an article in the Sydney Morning Herald discussing two guys who had made this wearable television ad. Obviously, I think it’s a fucking terrible idea. As if we’re not bombarded by invasive marketing messages as it is?

Worst of all, the article was so obsequious. So I just couldn’t resist adding a few comments.

The human billboards

by Kate Cox, 23 November 2003

Dork 1 and Dork 2.

It takes selling your body to a whole new level.

(Nice intro.)

Two young Sydney entrepreneurs and best mates have come up with an innovative marketing scheme: canvas vests with built-in mini televisions that show moving advertisements.

(Innovative? Yeah, the idea must have taken a full 5 seconds. Are these guys behind Golden Palace marketing?)

The world-first concept has already been sold to Telstra and was unveiled last night at the Rugby World Cup final – with “Telstra girls” turning heads in the T-shirts.

(Okay, obviously not my specialty, but don’t these vests, um, obscure two of the main reasons you use models? Plus: world-first? Doubtful.)

Veeran Naran, 28, began developing the idea – and a company, Channel Zero – while working as a graphic designer and editor for large sporting and entertainment clients.

(Channel Zero indeed…)

“The 25- to 31-year-olds market, in Australia especially, are not at home watching television, they’re at pubs watching television and people,” he said. “So I decided to put televisions on people.”

(What if they’re in pubs watching people and billiards?)

Two years in the making, the “TelePAK” is powered by a lithium battery and run by DVD, meaning the screening time is unlimited and the interactive “program” can be changed by the model via remote control.

(TWO YEARS? Buy this and a few of these, fuck around a little bit and see what works. Two weeks, tops — if you take a week off. Don’t know how to find an “unlimited” lithium battery, though…

P.S. All you have to do to make something “interactive” is include a remote control?)

Mr Naran’s best mate, 29-year-old former geologist Ben Perry, looks after the business affairs.

(Because nobody knows money like rockhounds.)

The company’s “fusion between a bag and a T-shirt” (and rather large fashion statement) is the latest marketing ploy following the use of Vespas, cars, moving billboards and pavements as advertising mediums.

(Wait — it’s a bag and a t-shirt?)

It is attractive to advertisers because there is no parking needed and it is moveable and immediate.

(Or perhaps because they would paint their grandmothers blue if they thought it would generate “buzz”.)

For consumers, it is interesting rather than evasive – and it is humorous. For the wearer, it is lightweight (about two kilograms) and generally fun – and they can finally co-ordinate their outfit with whatever’s on TV.

(There’s so much wrong with these two sentences. How “interesting” will it be when there’s some sap wearing one everywhere you go? How can a TVbagvest be “evasive”? What’s funny about it? Who wants to wear 2 kilos of electronics on the chest? Finally, if you have an interest in coordinating your clothes with the television you’re wearing, please grab your mouse and smack yourself with it. Don’t worry, it’s interactive…)

Plans are afoot for involvement with the Sydney Festival and the men are also in discussions with large corporations for campaigns during next year’s Athens Olympics.

(Annoy many nationalities at once!)

The second prototype is expected to have more features. “It’s going to be out of this world,” Mr Naran said.

(Excellent. Let’s keep it there.)

Channel Zero finds the people willing to advertise on their bodies and assists with the creative campaign.

(Because nobody knows creativity like two guys who strapped a TV to the Telstra girls’ tits.)

“We believe we are revolutionising outdoor marketing. The advertising market is flooded with creative wallpaper so that people are blind to the message. With this, people will know it is there – not only is it completely different, but it has sound too. People love it – they want to take it home.”

(Sweet Jesus, it makes noise too!)

8 Responses to “TvShirt”

  1. john M Says:

    oh god help us all. thanks for the analysis jsp – right on the money 🙂

    kind of reminds me of a story i read a couple of years back about another “brilliant” marketing campaign. apparently some genius decided it was a great idea to install small television screens inside taxis in manhattan so riders would be forced to watch advertisements as they were going from A to B.

    good result though. the public uproar was so loud that the company (within mere months) had to remove all the television screens. the general sentiment was, “i live in NYC and i’m bombarded by marketing messages all day long. the only time i have to think is when i’m sitting in the back of a cab and i’m not about to give that over to the marketers too.” good on ya mates.

  2. jsp Says:

    I think I read something about that in Wired. They were talking about GPS-enabled cabs with electronic ads on the roof. When driving through, say, Chinatown, the ad could be in Mandarin, etc.

    That I don’t mind so much, but the idea of touch-screens in the back of every cab makes me think of annoying gas pumps that try to sell me a car wash (or ATMs that ask if I want to learn about a mortgage!)

    If New Yorkers have stemmed the tide, you’re right, good on ’em.

  3. moogsy Says:

    and you still had to pay the fare?
    it’d be fine with me if the advertising were paying for my cab ride…

    at the moment i have no money to spend on anything at all so sucks to all the stupid advertisers.

  4. jsp Says:

    Yeah, people’s perspective changes when you’re actually benefiting from the ad bucks. For example, I wouldn’t mind having the dealer’s name on the back of the car (something that otherwise drives me crazy) if they’d knock $500 off the price for the marketing rights.

    Of course they’d just raise the “invoice” of every car by that amount to compensate for it. You can’t win…

  5. moogsy Says:

    p.s. is it just me or does the dork on the left have fucking god awful hair?!

    i think i hate them. and they’re in my city!

  6. jsp Says:

    He totally does. Wanker! 🙂

    Yeah, I was trying to guess where that is. Dork 2 is standing in front of a ‘Witchery’ sign. Pitt or George St, you think?

  7. jsp Says:

    Got it. Paddington. Witchery Paddington (332 Oxford Street), Bread of France (328A Oxford street). Good lord, I don’t know what’s scarier: the fact that I discovered that in a few minutes, or that they could be team members!

  8. moogsy Says:

    you replied before i did
    it’s oxford street, yes

    the place where all expensive wanky brand names live

    and also the fabulous max brenner…
    mmmm choc-o-lait

    i almost hope i see them so i can call them names and make them cry.


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