Remember those fun rings that changed colors? Supposedly they told you your current emotional state, but really, they just changed color based on your body temperature.
The rings weren’t psychic, they were just dressed up liquid crystal thermometers. Liquid crystal thermometers contain heat-sensitive thermochromic liquid crystals, which is a fancy way of saying: they change colors with temperature changes. Popular uses for these thermometers are in mood rings, as climate checks for aquariums, and as temperature gauges on beer cans.
But I want to see liquid crystal thermometers in ads.
I’ve been thinking about the buzzword ‘engagement’ lately, and how ad engagement is extremely difficult because most ads only rely on the sense of sight to communicate with a consumer. TV ads have a leg up because they can also use sound to engage with the audience, but print ads and outdoor ads typically only rely on sight. Sure, a few print and outdoor ads incorporate sound, smell, or motion, but for the most part, they are universally flat (both physically and figuratively).
How can print or outdoor ads better engage their audience? Engaging another sense. Adding in another experience point for the audience. Smell can be off-putting, and while sound is a great medium, if you’re passing by an outdoor ad, chances are you’re already bombarded with millions of sounds. (And let’s just leave taste out, because we don’t live in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory)
That leaves touch as another way to experience the ad.
And how great would a ‘mood ring’ ad be? An ad that changes color as people touch it.
Some ideas of how liquid crystal thermometers (aka heat changing surfaces) could be used to enhance a person’s experience with an ad:
– The ad could play off mood rings, with a key next to the ad telling people how they feel about a product according to the color change (pink=need it now, blue=can’t live without it, etc)
– For a brand like Uniqlo that has special heat tech clothing, the ad could serve as an illustration of how the heat technology works- touch the ad and see the background change colors with the heat of your hand- just like the heat tech clothing creates warmth.
– Remember those quirky Skittles touch ads? Ads could tell people to touch the ads, and whatever color change occurs is your ‘favorite flavor.’
The technology can’t be that expensive- mood rings cost less than $5, and popular beer brands like Coors have thermochromic liquid crystals built into every can (the mountains changing their blue hues).
Yep, I want a mood ring.