"I first noticed subway tunnel wall animations in Boston, where the long gaps between stations on the MBTA Red Line provides a captive audience. The animation, composed of dozens of stills that simulated movement as the train zoomed by, was an ad. The message: visit Vermont and its great outdoors, which certainly must have resonated with more than a few claustrophobes riding the crowded rush hour rails.
Animated ads in subway tunnels are expensive, both to design and install, which helps explain why the Vermont ad's successor, a campaign for a movie 'coming to theatres' last February, was only removed recently - with no ready replacement. But the medium is a popular one, if only because it's relatively novel and rare. Examples from Budapest, Hong Kong, Kiev, L.A., Tokyo, and Washington, D.C. have been enthusiastically documented for upload to YouTube. And given that cash-strapped transit agencies have allowed almost every other subway surface to be colonized by ad space, including seats and whole exteriors of rolling stock, it was almost a logical next step.
Much of the credit for introducing these flipbook or zoetrope-like ads goes to two independent innovators: New York astrophysics student Joshua Spodek and Winnipeg animator Bradley Caruk. Spodek's ads debuted in Atlanta in 2001; his company, Sub Media, continues to produce similar ads today. In 2006, Caruk won a Manning Innovation Award for his concept, which his partner, Rob Walker, first thought up while staring at the blank walls of Paris' Metro. The company they co-founded, SideTrack Technologies, set up its first system in Kuala Lumpur and has since opened others across the United States - and beyond, to London, Rio de Janeiro, and cities in Mexico."
(Christopher Szabla, Urbanphoto, 20 November 2010)
Fig.1 Bill Brand, "Masstransiscipe" New York subway installation.
Fig.2 New ad-places in the tunnel. // Новые рекламные площади в тунеле киевского метро. Между станциями Лукьяновская и Львовская Брама
Fig.3 "Something Cool in L.A. Subways", Uploaded by TransformedMan on 23 May 2008.
Fig.4 "Tokyo Subway Ad ", Uploaded by ivanptse on 19 Apr 2008.
Fig.5 "Target ad, on the washington D.C subway.", Uploaded by kikyobackfromthedead on 1 Sep 2006.
"boolab is a production house dedicated to motion graphics, animation (2D and 3D) and the development of other visual techniques, both traditional and cutting or bleeding edge. It came into being in 2004 within the framework of Booker, an advertising production house in the field of live-action, founded in 1996. Initially, boolab was envisaged as an in-house lab for research into new audiovisual languages, but it soon set its sights beyond the company walls. Success was not long in coming, and it rapidly developed into what it is today - a production house that is a benchmark in audiovisual innovation throughout Spain and Europe."
Fig.1 Pilot: 'Evolution' - boolab, uploaded by boolab Plus 1 year ago.
"Ji Lee is a designer and frequent contributor to the New York Times whose work has been featured on ABC World News and in Newsweek, Wired, the Guardian, the Huffington Post, and Boing Boing, among others. A former creative director at Google, he is now a creative director at Facebook."
Fig.1 Ji Lee, Bran Dougherty-Johnson and Joel Pickard.
"GIFs are one of the oldest image formats used on the web. Throughout their history, they have served a huge variety of purposes, from functional to entertainment. Now, 25 years after the first GIF was created, they are experiencing an explosion of interest and innovation that is pushing them into the terrain of art. In this episode of Off Book, we chart their history, explore the hotbed of GIF creativity on Tumblr, and talk to two teams of GIF artists who are evolving the form into powerful new visual experiences."
(PBS Arts: Off Book, 7th Mar 2012)