Get On The Bus... Or Stay and Watch TV

If portable heaters were part of this ad campaign, lots of people would be late for work.

Discovery Communications took 10 bus shelters in Manhattan by storm, installing HDTVs that air only Discovery Channel content.

If you're like me, the first thought that popped into your mind was, "How will the TVs be protected from damage and theft?"

"They are sealed between bullet-, bat- and crowbar-proof plastic," said Jay Altschuler, vice president-group media director at PHD, the media agency behind this campaign. "It would take hours trying to wrench the screen out, and would most likely break in the process. Further, they are all enabled with GPS tracking devices and security alarms," he continued.

The TVs were installed last week and promote "Future Weapons," a show where an ex-Navy SEAL explains the science and deadly potential behind new future war technologies. Besides the TVs -- which will remain up throughout the year -- the rest of the bus shelter will be plastered with Discovery Channel ads.

The 10 TVs are located throughout Manhattan in Union Square, the Flatiron District, Times Square, Grand Central Terminal, the Meatpacking District, Penn Station and the Port Authority, to name a few locations.

Altschuler said the agency chose this platform to support Discovery Channel's programming because the network has increased the volume of its programming shot in HDTV.

The screens are also outfitted with Bluetooth technology -- often seen in European outdoor campaigns but slow to catch on stateside -- that transmits a video clip to passersby with a Bluetooth-enabled device. Click here to see a screen in action.

The Bluetooth component allows passersby to download programming clips while persuading users to set up a programming alert on their Bluetooth device that will ring an alarm shortly before the show begins. This is getting too personal, even for me.

Bluetooth technology is set up at 40 bus shelters in Manhattan, the ten containing HDTV screens and 30 others.

The HDTVs will next heavily promote Discovery Channel's "Planet Earth," a program shot entirely in HDTV and launching at the end of March.

"The 'Planet Earth' bus shelters ads will be tied to a larger campaign that includes cinema, cable and magazines," said Altschuler.

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