Montreal subway DOOH network using mime to drive eyeballs

December 3, 2010 by Dave Haynes

Photo kindly provided by Steve Faguy (Fagstein blog on Montreal)

The company that has the digital screen network running in the Montreal subway system has a decidedly different approach to getting the attention of commuters – a mime.

“Brandtertainment” firm and Metrovision (can’t find website) are using Didier Ze Mime, the main character of a web series, to entertain subway riders in “short, playfully dialogue-free transitions to be added gradually to the content already being shown throughout the Montreal metro network.”

Played by Didier Lucien, Ze Mime will make his appearance this fall on 113 screens, to entertain over 990,000 commuters daily.

Didier Ze Mime will attract the viewers’ attention to messages about safety, transit schedules, news and weather, and put his playful spirit in the service of advertisers who choose to take advantage of his presence to enhance their Metrovision campaign. Furthermore, interactive games and contests will be launched to invite the audience to interact with the character from the metro to the Internet.

According to Robert Boulos, producer and director, “’s association with Metrovision really aligns with our brandtertainment mission. Didier Ze Mime will become a virtual street entertainer and breathe some new life into the Metrovision brand, its content and advertisement. He will attract attention and establish a relation with the audience in a brand new way.”

Dozens of new clips are being produced to complement the non-commercial content currently broadcasted on the network. The objective is to integrate a wide range of new material in order to avoid visual monotony or redundancy in the user experience.

“The team perfectly grasped the tone and tenor of the relationship we want to establish with the metro commuters,” explained François Denis, responsible for content and development at Metrovision. “Didier Ze Mime is meant to make people smile and take them by surprise in original and playful ways.” A promotional campaign is ongoing throughout the Metrovision network.

This was announced in late October, but I just noticed a French-language tweet about MetroVision that made me curious.

Good idea? Boy, who knows. Mimes delight some people, and have quite the opposite effect with other people.

To quote deadpan comic Stephen Wright: “If you shoot at mimes, should you use a silencer?”

I’m shrugging on this one.

The “Made you look” thing never hurts content and ad recall rates. And in a silent medium, maybe mimes make sense???

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