Number one in advertising

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A talking urinal is being used to plug products and deliver drunk-driving warnings to the most captive of audiences by displaying images and a playing a message when used.

The Wizmark “Interactive Urinal Communicator” uses a sensor to detect someone approaching, activating an attention-grabbing display of lights flashing in a pre-programmed pattern. This draws the eye to the graphics incorporated within the waterproof 9cm viewing screen at the base of the urinal. After a period of animation, the display automatically resets itself in anticipation of the next viewer.

The patented design of the lenticular display screen incorporates a number of pictures. The advertising images and promotional text will appear to change from one set of graphics to another as the desperate user moves toward the urinal. It can also play one of a number of pre-recorded audio announcements, or a tagline directly related to the advertisement.

But the frivolous technology is being used to carry a serious message. Traffic safety officials in Nassau County, New York, are using Wizmark to present men with a drink responsibly message. They have initiated a pilot programme, funded entirely by driving while intoxicated (DWI) fines, to distribute specially programmed Wizmarks to bars in the county.

The custom device emits a very audible pre-recorded 15 second announcement saying, "Hey you! Yeah, you. Having a few drinks? Then listen up! Think you had one to many? Then it's time to call a cab or call a sober friend for a ride home. It sure is safer and a hell of a lot cheaper than a DWI. Make the smart choice tonight, don't drink and drive.”