And Now a Word From Our Mirror?

Some of the unexpected places you will find commercial messages.

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On average, we are exposed to anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 commercial messages a day. We will spend 2.5 years of our lives watching television commercials. And we will spend more time in front of a television than in a classroom in the first eighteen years of our lives.

And although we mostly think of advertising as an exposure to communications through print or broadcast – that is, magazines, newspapers, television or radio – there are so many other ways to market a product and present information in order to influence the sale of goods, services and ideas.

For example, out of home advertising media has consumers exposed to billboards that are digital and spectacular, aerial advertising that we witness as airplanes pulling banners or skywriting while enjoying the sand and surf, or transit media that local advertisers utilize for buses, trains, platforms, terminals and stations.

But the latest version of “support media” is advertising in public bathrooms. Besides the posters seen on the inside of stall doors – there is a new technology that provides electronic messages on the bathroom mirror as you primp, groom or simply cleanse your hands.

According to,  a company called Novo Ad has explored this technology internationally – with samples of the advertising software and LED screens found in Tel Aviv and Barentin, France. In fact, the French installation will run not just ads for itself, but for the stores where the bathrooms are located within a Carrefour mall. Approach the mirror and the static ad that takes up the entire space shrinks to a quarter of the mirror while the video ad plays. 

For some, this exposure is exciting – another way to offer information and messages. For others, the intrusiveness is all encompassing – begging the question, “Is there anywhere safe from ads?”  But if you have ridden a public elevator, wait at checkout  at a local supermarket, or use a FaceBook account, a search engine or a smart phone, you have had the exposure and interruptive experience of paid messages on all forms of media and there’s no telling what/where you will see them next.