This Watch Ad Came to Life on a Bus Shelter to Reveal It Was Selling Something Better

Live billboard for Samsung's Gear S3

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Imagine you’re waiting for the bus, and the guy in the watch ad next to you suddenly starts talking to you.

A handful of straphangers in Israel recently enjoyed (if that’s the word) such an experience, thanks to a campaign from Samsung and Leo Burnett Tel Aviv for the Gear S3 smartwatch.

The billboard—actually a live video feed—aimed to play up the classic look of the newfangled timepiece, which at first blush might pass for an analog wristwatch, rather than a miniature internet-connected supercomputer.

The deception relied on passing off the Samsung watch as a fictional brand, “Frontier,” until the reveal, which came as nearby commuters began playing with their phones, and the actor in the billboard used that as excuse to come to life and start demoing the watch’s capabilities, much to their surprise (if the case study video is to be believed).

The precise details of the conversations aren’t entirely clear,...



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