Retailer Beams Gift Ideas Via Interactive Ads On Phone Kiosks

In just a few days, on December 1, TDI and Banana Republic will unveil the latest in interactive marketing communications, beaming everything from store location information to holiday gift ideas from outdoor phone kiosks to consumers' hand held Palm-based PDAs. All via the Internet. Who said convergence was a pipedream?

The new technology, called Streetbeam, has been introduced by TDI, the retailer's outdoor advertising company, and is currently only available in New York City. Banana Republic is the first company to implement this innovative new technology, which will be exclusive to the retailer during the holidays.

"We're always looking for new and innovative ways to better serve our busy customers, and this new interactive vehicle provides a quick and fun way to deliver great holiday gift ideas for customers on the go," said Kim Sobel, senior communications manager at Banana Republic.

TDI Worldwide, Inc. is a diversified out-of-home media company specializing in transit advertising displays in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Italy, Finland, the Netherlands and Norway. Additionally, TDI has an array of other signage opportunities, both traditional and non-traditional in nature.

"Streetbeam technology allows TDI to introduce the interactivity of the Internet to strategic outdoor advertising locations," said Jodi Yegelwel-Senese, executive VP of marketing at TDI. "In addition to the phone kiosks, our bus shelters and rail displays are perfect venues for advertisers to add enhanced messaging to powerful visual displays. We believe this enhancement will revolutionize outdoor advertising in both our U.S. and European markets."

Pedestrians and passers-by can point their hand-held organizers at any one of 100 Banana Republic Streetbeam ads located around Manhattan and retrieve information from the retailer about the nearest Banana Republic neighborhood location with address and phone number; great holiday gift ideas for him or her; a 'You Shop, We Drop' program overview, which allows customers to have their packages delivered during the holiday season; a summary of the rewards, conveniences and special offers associated with the Banana Republic card; and a "Beam to a Friend" component that lets them share the above information with other Palm Pilot users.

According to TDI, while at present consumers only have the ability to receive information about the advertiser's product by hooking into the beam with their Palm Pilots ("handshaking"), eventually the technology will be adapted to be used with cell phones as well.

Information contained within these interactive boards will be determined by the advertiser and can include coupons, store locations, promotions, program notes and schedules.

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