Mirror Adverts

Mirror Adverts

Remember when public advertising was restricted to posters? I can still recall the surprise when I first saw cinema-style adverts on giant screens outdoors, usually at big crossings where they must have been a huge distraction to drivers. Smaller screens popped up swiftly in subway stations and malls, and now even bus stops run adverts alongside information on the next service to arrive.

I’d started to think that space was running out, with most available options covered, but it turns out I was wrong.

I walked into the Ladies at a mall in Bangkok to discover that as I approached the mirror, it lit up with adverts just for me. I am not even sure how this works, although motion and proximity sensors must be involved. But somehow the advert is perfectly clear whilst still enabling the mirror to be used as normal.

Taking photos of this in action was slightly tricky, and I gave several local girls a good laugh at the crazy farang lady who was obviously living in the dark ages. To the best of my knowledge, we don’t have anything like this in Singapore. Yet. I await the arrival with interest…

Man Utd Noodles

cup noodle

Celebrity advertising is an interesting thing. Do they not make enough money already from their massive careers? More than a couple of decades ago, when we first lived in Japan, you could not turn on the TV without seeing such implausible endorsements as Sean Connery drinking Japanese whiskey, or Arnold Schwarzenegger as the genie in the bottle of one of those caffeine+nicotine shots that keep salarymen awake at their desks.

I suppose footballers have to do what they are told when it comes to promoting the team rather than the individual, which must be why you see superstars lauding obscure national airlines. But Cup Noodles? Looking at the pictures on these packets, this was a deal done several seasons ago, when United signed a sponsorship agreement with Japanese manufacturers Nissin to promote the link between sport, food and health with the tagline ‘Hungry To Win’.

They certainly made me laugh when I spotted them on the shelves of our local supermarket, and some were despatched immediately to daughter #2 in the UK, who is our noodle queen. Her report: “Interesting. A bit strange but not entirely unpleasant. Spicy, but not really anything like actual chilli crab.” Not surprising, I suppose, since crab is expensive and your average pot of dehydrated noodles costs less than S$2.

What I would very much like to know is if – before they signed the deal – the team sat down and sampled these at Old Trafford one day…