Walk around any major city right now, and you're likely to notice something: a hell of a lot of abandoned storefronts. But where you and I might see the signs of a prolonged economic downturn, Arnold and Carnival Cruise Lines see an opportunity. The ad agency and its client, which turned heads with their big balls last year, are now rolling out virtual aquariums in Baltimore, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. The computer-animated aquariums are designed to engage passersby who presumably will be tickled by Carnival's thoughtfulness. The cruise line hopes pedestrians linger a while and whip out their mobile phones, which they can use to create their own personalized fish. Hey, why not? Free entertainment, right? The idea, like so much electronic outdoor media these days, is not only to hawk the product (in this case, cruises to warmer locales) but to "engage." Beats looking at graffiti-ed plywood in any case.
—Posted by Todd Wasserman