Bus shelters transformed into underwater experience


Waiting for a form of public transport is certainly not the most enjoyable activity.

But for those who commute, it’s something that sucks up a lot of unnecessary time, week in week out.

On a positive note, with people stood waiting aimlessly with nothing to do, it provides the perfect opportunity for an experiential marketing stunt.

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Monterey Bay Aquarium recently hooked on to this opportunity when it created its ‘Share the Love’ campaign.

The Aquarium took over bus shelters across San Francisco and used augmented reality to transform them into interactive screens, making the wait a lot more interesting.

The custom-built digital screens displayed beautiful scenes from inside the aquarium, giving a hint of what people could experience if they visited. But for added fun, the screens also had some clever interactive features.

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Whether it was challenging people to dance in front of the screens, using fish to detect and match the colour of someone’s clothing, inviting people to give their best octopus impression, or getting people to jump as high as they could, there was something to entertain everyone.

Miles away from the usual boring wait for a bus.

This campaign from Monterey Bay Aquarium is a great example of a targeted creative experience, delivered at a relevant time and place.  The brand spotted an opportunity in people waiting for the bus, and used it to gain interest and get people interacting.

Taking a campaign to a place where people have time to kill is a great way to ensure it doesn’t get overlooked, and bus stops are an increasingly popular ‘experience location’ for many brands.

Take a look at when Disney used a bus shelter and augmented reality to bring characters to life, or when the TV series The Walking Dead scared the living daylights out of people in a bid to promote its new series.

Author bio


With nearly 30 years of marketing experience, both client and agency side, I’ve acquired a rare perspective on brands and business: I believe you have to challenge things creatively if you want to grow sales. Consumer technology is reshaping our world, and it’s only the great brands that stay on the crest.