Tan Don't Burn With Coppertone

Tan Don't Burn With Coppertone

Summary: Swisscom is exploring the use of remote-controlled planes for targeted advertising. Such planes would have a WiFi or Bluetooth transmitter that would send out messages to phones and PDAs.

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TOPICS: Wi-Fi
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Swisscom is exploring the use of remote-controlled planes for targeted advertising. Such planes would have a WiFi or Bluetooth transmitter that would send out messages to phones and PDAs. By blinking its lights and beeping, the plane would signal to crowd members that a message was coming and that they should check their mobile devices. Lotto results and weather reports are two kinds of information that have been suggested for this technology.

So what?

From my childhood I fondly remember "Tan Don't Burn With Coppertone," a banner that was pulled endlessly back and forth across the crowded beach by a small (manned) airplane. (I burned.) Beach advertising is pretty straightforward: soft drinks, hotdogs, sunblock, rental chairs, etc. The interesting thing about Swisscom's approach is that the ads can be changed in real time. So when the soft drink vendor's business is slow, she can buy a few spots and have them go out immediately. When business picks up, she can ease back on the messages. (Think of it as operating a car's accelerator.) Applied to other brick-and-mortar retail establishments (restaurants, bookstores), this technique could provide a powerful new way of managing traffic. A restaurant, for example, might broadcast a limited-time 50 percent-off message if business were particularly slow at the moment. Back to the beach: I could also imagine a plethora of ads from personal injury attorneys--useful in the event that an unmanned aerial vehicle loses control and crashes into your slowly-frying back.

Topic: Wi-Fi

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4 comments
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  • Yet another reason NOT 2 go Bluetooth!

    Yes just what I want, another way for the advertising idiots to rack up minutes on my cell phone account! The only way that will be economically viable will be to fly dozens, hundreds, of them without pilots. Maybe the FAA can shut it down.

    Assuming that somebody marries UAV technology with this concept of advertising, can a hack be too far away to wrestle control away from the remote pilots? I can see a future black market for an updated Stinger anti-aircraft missile. The owners of private beach resort property will probably buy anti-Bluetooth and WiFi jamming equipment. The radio spectrum space is already becoming the wild west. They won't stay on the beaches, they'll be everywhere they can fly the damn things.

    There's a company here in Houston that flys banneres, they've had 2 crashes already after just 3 years of operation. The fees usually pay just a little more than the price of fuel and lately I haven't seen them flying so maybe that's not going to happen. One benefit of high priced Av-gas!
    Xwindowsjunkie
  • And someone is actually going to fund this idea?

    OK, so I am at the beach, relaxing and enjoying myself. All of a sudden, a plane flys overhead, blinking lights (maybe add an air raid klaxon to wake me up if I am napping?) to let me know... there is an important advertisement on my cell phone or PDA! I had better drop everything to see what it is!

    Yeah, right.

    Just what the world does NOT need.

    J.Ja
    Justin James
  • Off topic

    Also this story has not much to do with aviation, it inspired me to this cartoon:
    http://geekandpoke.blogspot.com/2006/08/web-20-has-reached-aviation.html

    Bye,
    Oliver
    owidder
  • Ma, get my gun!

    That flying thing is trespassing on my property! Where's my scattergun? ;)
    Roger Ramjet