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Advertisers dream of consumers interacting with their brands as entertainment or art.

Which explains why the PosterCruiser kiosk from 2d Interactive (www.2d.com), Boston, is finding success.

2d Interactive has expanded its distribution to more than 300 U.S. retail sites, from 89 sites in 1996.

Its focus is on trendy places inhabited by teens, mainly the 14-to-24 age group, said John Hambrick, VP-marketing at 2d. It's in places like Spencer Gifts and HMV Records, and this spring it'll roll out another 100 kiosks in Barnes & Noble college bookstores. It is also in final talks with a leading music retail chain, which would bring its total retail outlets to 1,000 by yearend; and 2d's talking with several top movie theater chains.

Advertisers include Apple Computer, BMW of North America, Calvin Klein, Dr. Martens, and VF Corp.'s Lee Jeans.


2d charges an average of $15,000 a month for advertisers depending on the number of features they want, which range from collecting market research to running commercials.

The kiosk blends digitized ads into a multimedia environment built by 2d, in which users can play games, rate ads and read marketer info. "We bring the advertiser's message to life," said Mr. Hambrick.

The kiosks can also collect data. Every night, PosterCruisers upload data about marketers' ads via the Internet to 2d's headquarters. 2d can tell how many times a user clicked on an ad, how users ranked it, as well as process surveys -- all of which is fed to the advertiser.

According to a Roper Starch Worldwide audited survey, more than 303,000 people interact with the kiosks on a monthly basis. Surveys on the kiosks get response rates of up to 14%, Mr. Hambrick said.

"Ultimately, advertisers are buying to be in that cool environment," he said.

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