Cool new ads (did I really say that?)

I’ve just returned from my vacation in France and can finally catch up on blogging again. We had a long layover in London, so we took the Express train into Paddington Station and on the way back, I saw an amazing ad. I had read about these before, but had never seen it.

I looked out the side window of the train and saw an animation. The ad was basically a “flipbook” affixed to the wall of the train tunnel. As the train passed, the images seemed to be animated (it felt like it was timed perfectly to the train’s speed), like watching a flash animation or a TV commercial. This ad was for Microsoft Vista, so you could see Vista’s expose-like feature show a bunch of windows on your desktop.

It caught my attention and even delighted me a bit (maybe I’m wierd). The thing that fascinates me about this ad is that it is high tech become low tech again.

The concept of motion photography was pioneered by Eadweard Muybridge.

Muybridge’s photos in motion

He set out to prove that, during a gallop, a horse’s four hooves were all off of the ground at the same time. He took multiple individual images to answer the question, in essence creating the basis for motion photogaphy. Flip these images and you get a running horse.

Now, in the name of advertising, we are taking an animated image and converting it back to individual frames. I couldn’t find the exact ad I saw online, but here’s a video taken of an even better one from Japan (sorry I couldn’t figure out how to easily embed quicktime).

I’m a little sad that I now have to see more ads, but I actually like these and appreciate the creativeness. Congrats to the folks that are turning this into a business.

P.S. I just noticed while searching around that CNET just ran an article about these.