Media Morph: Unexpected Video

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What it is: Marketers not only have to worry about converting their 30-second TV spots into online video ads but also alternative out-of-home video, which is popping up in sizes large, medium and small. At New York hot spot Crobar, for example, 50-inch plasma screens loop music videos interspersed with 3-D ads (no glasses required). On a midsize scale, commuters exiting Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station are spotting AdsOnFeet, a fleet of wearable flat-screen LCD TV vests. And soon, a Texas company will introduce micro-size video via the rCard, a credit-card-size media player.

Who sells it: Magnetic Media and NewSight Media Solutions are behind the nightclub network; AdsOnFeet is headquartered in Boston but has a Big Apple franchise with Tribune-owned amNew York and a Los Angeles distributor in event-production company BEB World; the rCard is sold through Dallas-based CEOIQ.

Who's using it: In France, Procter & Gamble uses NewSight's retail network to market laundry detergent in 3-D. In New York, AdsOnFeet advertisers include HSBC, HBO, Fox and Loews Cinemas. And the rCard, yet untested, is making the rounds to agencies and advertisers.

What it costs: Broadcast TV rates, they're not. AmNew York offers the screens to advertisers as an incremental buy; for $2,500 five of its "hawkers" wear the signs for up to two hours; otherwise, AdsOnFeet's rates start at $2,000 per sign (model included) with a four-hour minimum. The rCard retails for $25; buy in bulk and get a wholesale price.

what you need to know: You don't need to film a commercial in 3-D to use the NewSight's technology. Stay tuned for 3-D ad networks in retailers and casual restaurants-such as the Midwest's Meijers and T.G.I. Fridays. The rCard is a natural direct marketing tool-it records up to four hours of video but is compact enough to be sent through the mail. For AdsOnFeet, consider limiting creative to three- to seven-seconds-the attention span of the average passerby.

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