This is quite clever.
Stuart Pickard of Vertigo Group sent me a note pointing out a Belgium company that is installing hybrid ashtrays and digital posters outside of bars and restaurants.
The theory, of course, is that with smoking in public places now banned in many countries, the poor, addicted slobs and slobettes have to huddle outside to get their nicotine fix. So why not give them something to look at, as well as have a proper bin that might discourage at least some of them to dispose of the butts in some way other than flicked on the sidewalk.
The network brand is Ashvertising and is run by a Belgian company called DSC SA. The company goes after high end establishments in Brussels and offers to put the units in place at no cost.
I’m not sure I would like to be involved in a program that , as its proponents say, makes the best of bad habits. But you certainly have a few things with this: dwell time, frequency and a defined audience.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.