Management & Operations

Tokyo subway debuts moving picture tunnel ads

Posted on June 1, 2004

Moving picture ads made their debut on the Tokyo Metro’s Ginza Line in June, allowing passengers to view a 15-second advertisement for a soft drink. Developed by U.S.-based Submedia LLC, the technology is derived from a 19th-century British toy called a zoetrope, which shows viewers a moving picture by displaying a succession of slightly varied still images at a constant speed. Using special compression technology, TV commercial images are converted into image data and then placed into display boxes lit from behind. Subway passengers can view the images, which originate from these special displays placed at regular intervals on the walls of the subway tunnel, from the right side of the train. The moving train creates the illusion of a motion picture as it passes by each still image. In addition to this tunnel ad, which covers only a 0.12-mile-long section of the 113-mile Tokyo subway system, other advertisements were scheduled through mid-July, reported The Daily Yomiuri.

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