Beck’s asks punters to push its buttons with Playable Posters

Last year, Beck’s and Shine created the playable Edison bottle—and they were nominated for a One Show pencil in the Intellectual Property and Products category for their trouble. And, to celebrate NZ Music Month and the Lion brand’s sponsorship of it, they’ve taken that idea one step further with what they’re calling “the world’s first Playable Posters”.  

Conductive ink has been printed onto the reverse of the poster to create capacitive touch sensors, which pick up the electrical signals from fingers. The conductive ink is connected to an Apple II style processor, so it’s like an iPad, only on paper. And a piezo electric speaker attached to the rear reverberates the board and turns it into an 80 watt speaker.

There are about 100 posters going up at 60 street poster sites across Whangarei, Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin, Napier, Hastings and Palmerston North during NZ Music Month (Lawrence Arabia will open #NZMusicMonth with a live gig in Britomart today at 12.30). 

The posters feature ten tracks Beck’s has commissioned from ten Kiwi artists. And each “button” coincides with a different track, which is introduced before its played. These tracks will be heard for the first time through the posters, which launched in Auckland. 

“Globally, Beck’s has always been closely assimilated with music, art and fresh thinking and in New Zealand we’re leading the charge when it comes to cutting edge technology,” says Pete Dick from Beck’s NZ. “The Playable Posters we’ve developed to promote New Zealand musicians are an exciting new medium for us, and provide a way to showcase some amazing local talent.”

As outdoor media starts to go digital, it offers agencies and clients more creative opportunities. As Shine’s Simon Curran says, the traditional street poster has been around for over 200 years, but it was time for a rethink.

“With the Beck’s Playable Posters, anyone can discover fantastic local talent, instantaneously, and in an unexpected setting. This technology is a genuine game changer for street posters and we’re proud to be the first in the world to harness its awesome potential. I expect we’ll start to see this technology used in a variety of applications.”

While musical posters have been seen before, with one prototype poster called The Listening Post being launched back in 2012, they’re usually one-offs and Beck’s says the world-first part of the campaign is that the conductive ink technology has never been used commercially for the public to interact with. The technology was designed by UK company Novalia, which also created the poster for ‘The Sound of Taste’ via Grey London, but that poster is paired with a mobile device to generate the sound, whereas the Beck’s Playable Posters generate the sound themselves by reverberating.

Conductive ink technology is pretty damn cool, but if you appreciate the old-school, then check out this guitar poster. 

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