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Windows 8 and the New York Times Explore New Concepts in Advertising



swipe upWhen my son was little, we had a computer program called Living Books: Arthur’s Teacher Troubles. Each page had a variety of objects you could click on which would make them do different things. Doors opened, ballerina’s danced and cookies jumped up and sang do-wop style. We loved it and who wouldn’t. There’s something irresistible about interacting with information on a page.

Before the computer, it was the pop-up book with paper sliders and doors and spinners. Now, we have the tablet.

Tablets are the perfect interactive device. With a tablet, you can manipulate data with your fingers, watch video with a poke and listen to the sound of what’s on the page. The only things missing are smells and texture. But as far as we’ve come, we still have a long way to go toward creating content that truly takes advantage of a tablet’s abilities.

Microsoft is working on it, with a new series of tablet ads that challenge people to interact with the brand in fun and exciting ways.

Delta asks readers to change direction and go UP. The campaign shows up on the NBC Windows 8 app, nestled between breaking news stories. To activate the ad, you swipe your finger upward. For PC users, this up and down motion is common, but already we’ve trained tablet users to swipe from left to right. Delta goes against the grain, literally, and it makes the ad very enticing. From there, users are asked to push the up button on an elevator and soar upward into the sky with a Delta plane. All very simple, but it delivers a powerful message. Delta is climbing to new heights.

History Comes to Life

This Saturday, National Geographic Channel will run a unique advertising campaign with the help of the New York Times “TimesMachine.” The ad, in support of the network’s first original drama Killing Lincoln, NYTimes.com will feature an overlay of the New York Times front page from April 15, 1865 — the day after the Lincoln assassination.

nytimes 1865

Readers will be able to click through on the story and read it just as they would have back in the day. . . except that they won’t get their hands dirty from the newsprint.

This is the first of what The New York Times hopes will be many campaigns to use their new archive advertising program. It’s the perfect match for this particular project and I can see it being used to promote a variety of historical movies, books and TV shows. A clever advertiser could also find a way to make it work for just about any product. Imagine a turn of the century article on some nifty invention with the release of a new smartphone or a fashion story from the 1960′s against a retro-inspired collection at Target.

Can you imagine explaining all of this to the journalist who wrote that piece about Lincoln back in 1865? One day, we’re going to reproduce your words on a device that captures images out of thin air and we’re going to use your words to promote a filmed theatrical production that millions of people will watch on a box in their living room. He’d say you were crazy.

Technology is a wonderful thing.