Billboards may not be the most beloved pieces of urban furniture, they do however inspire to new creative forms of use. Passers-by in Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam are now invited to plug their headphones into an interactive billboard and listen to original sounds from another city.
The billboard series is part of a campaign by railroad company Thalys in collaboration with French advertising agency Rosapark. Each billboard shows a map of the city and has over 1,000 audio jack ports spread all over. Every port lets you listen to a unique sound of a specific place in that city. This way passers-by can experience a bit of Paris while being in Amsterdam, or hear the sound of Brussels from a sidewalk in Paris. With the campaign Thalys wants to offer people a sneak peek of a travel experience and, of course, encourage you to book your train ticket to get the full treatment.
The campaign does not just provide a instant way of listening to another city on the street, it also explores a new way of urban advertising. Advertising in general mainly focuses on sight, while hearing has a big influence on our minds too. Now that almost everyone carries a set of earplugs on the streets, billboards might get a voice too.