Two weeks after I began my TiVo service, a Dutch bank called ING Direct paid Metro $562,350 to make all morning rush-hour train rides free for one day. The bank -- which says it terminates accounts from customers who "clog the phone lines" too much by calling for help and information -- placed ads all over Metro stations that day.
Clearly, the ads worked. Jason was so enchanted by the free ride that he literally gave ING all his money. (That is, he put it in one of ING's FDIC-insured accounts.)
Anyway, I associate the free ride with my TiVo service since ING's tactic is a good example of what companies must do to reach consumers in the TiVo age. In some ways, the intrusiveness of advertisements is annoying. But it's still better than the alternative -- watching live television.
In Chicago, the turnstiles at the CTA are wrapped in advertising. Some parking spots are now painted with advertisements. New gas station pumps force customers to watch video commercials on a 10-inch screen while they're pumping gas. And to ensure that office discussions focus on their products, advertisers have taken out ads on water coolers.