Contact: Putting it all on the table

As if malls aren't over-stimulating enough, food court tabletops are now plying us with ads during our shopping breaks. Judging by the number of top-tier brands signing on as advertisers with Creatable Media, an Australian company that recently launched in the U.S., it appears that beauty is truly in the eye of the almighty ad dollar.

The company's first advertiser was NBC. Other behemoths, Televista and the WB, followed suit. The concept is simple: Creatable Media acquires the rights to mall food court tables, and installs poster ads that can include 3-D graphics and text. For example, Paramount placed small SpongeBob SquarePants 3-D posters inside tables.

But how can consumers view these ads, when the first thing they do at a mall food court is place their solid-colored trays on the table? That's why, once the rights to the tables are acquired, the trays are replaced with Creatable Media-branded clear ones, so consumers can see right through to the ad.

Creatable Media has brokered deals with most major mall landlords in the United States, and will have tables in 150 locations by 2006. Packages start at $4,000, and the company says they are a cost effective medium for both local and national advertisers Participating malls can be found in most of the top markets, including Boston, Las Vegas, Chicago, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia.

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