JCDecaux Australia

Commuters in Sydney can now bop to high-energy techno music while they wait for their bus, thanks to an unusual advertising campaign.

An Australian insurance company has popped car speakers onto a bus shelter in Sydney, allowing commuters to pick songs to jam to while they wait for their ride. All you have to do to slide a tune into your earhole is pull out your smartphone and scan a QR code on the advertisement for NRMA Insurance. Then, hit "Like" on NRMA's Facebook page. Then, apparently, there's an app you have to download. After that program installs, you can finally... oh, wait, the bus is here. Nevermind!

Maybe you should've just used one of these:

This unusual ad campaign was conceived by marketing conglomerization Whybin\TBWA\Tequila, author of perhaps the most frustrating website known to man, and executed by JCDecaux, the ad firm behind the U.K.'s recent infestation of buttery baked-potato smellvertisments. The "first interactive outdoor [ad] of its kind in Australia" is meant to "remind people how much they love their car stereos – and to encourage them to consider the adequacy of their existing insurance cover," according to JCDecaux's YouTube channel. (Below, watch a video of this thing in action.)

It's admirable that advertisers keep striving to transform the urban landscape into a dizzying wonderland for the senses. But do people really want to listen to bouncy, high-energy instrumentals before they've even had their morning coffee? It might make more sense for club kids heading home after a DJ show and a platter of Red Bulls and vodkas. Also, do folks really want to publicly "Like" an auto insurer?

Readers at Campaign Brief have identified more issues, such as, "Just wondering, do people who ride the bus in Sydney buy car insurance?" and "Don't these kind of things ever get fully trashed by drunk bogans?" Take a peek at the ad, and decide for yourself if you would take a brick to it under the cover of darkness:

iPod graphic courtesy of Aconcagua.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Equity

    Why Not Just Stop Paying Rent?

    Because of coronavirus, millions of tenants won’t be able to write rent checks. But calls for a rent holiday often ignore the longer-term economic effects.

  2. photo: a For Rent sign in a window in San Francisco.
    Coronavirus

    Do Landlords Deserve a Coronavirus Bailout, Too?

    Some renters and homeowners are getting financial assistance during the economic disruption from the coronavirus pandemic. What about landlords?

  3. photo: South Korean soldiers attempt to disinfect the sidewalks of Seoul's Gagnam district in response to the spread of COVID-19.
    Coronavirus

    Pandemics Are Also an Urban Planning Problem

    Will COVID-19 change how cities are designed? Michele Acuto of the Connected Cities Lab talks about density, urbanization and pandemic preparation.  

  4. Coronavirus

    Why Asian Countries Have Succeeded in Flattening the Curve

    To help flatten the curve in the Covid-19 outbreak, officials at all levels of government are asking people to stay home. Here's what’s worked, and what hasn't.

  5. Equity

    We'll Need To Reopen Our Cities. But Not Without Making Changes First.

    We must prepare for a protracted battle with coronavirus. But there are changes we can make now to prepare locked-down cities for what’s next.

×