Musical Poster Sounds a Smart Idea

The problem with using posters to promote local bands is that the performers are left relying on a catchy band name or an attractive publicity photo to attract new followers rather than the merits of their music. Until now that is.

A British design agency has shown off a prototype of a poster that, despite being made primarily of paper, can play audio clips of the band in action.

The agency, Uniform, demonstrated the concept in a sample poster at the South By Southwest tech event in Texas this week. They’ve worked with university academics, a British tech firm, an art group, and the musician King Creosote.

The result is a poster that lists upcoming gigs, along with a thumbnail of each band. Pressing the thumbnail image plays the clip. This is possible because the ink used in the image is conductive and pressing it completes a circuit to trigger the recording. The ink works in a standard printing press, meaning you wouldn’t necessarily need to use a specialist firm to produce the poster.

While it’s still very much at the concept stage, the demonstration has prompted ideas for how it could work in the real world. The design anticipates that people viewing the ad could book tickets simply by pressing the poster, though that seems a little complex given the physical constraints.

Another, frankly horrendous, idea is that advertisers could include a physical “Like” button connected to the product or service’s Facebook account.

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