July 4 - The bigger the better is normally the rule for advertising, but at Wimbledon this year, it's the other way around. Sony has launched a 'microtising' campaign of tiny adverts to promote its new ultra high definition television. As Ivor Bennett reports, it's the latest case of the ad industry harnessing new technology.
TV AND WEB RESTRICTIONS~**NONE** Notice anything strange at Wimbledon this year? Take a closer look.... The tournament's hosting the world's first microtising campaign - tiny adverts on the body and clothing of British tennis player Anne Keothavong. The fact they're hard to see is all part of the stunt. The campaign's promoting Sony's new 4K technology - four times the resolution of standard HD. If you don't have the technology, you can't see the adverts. SOUNDBITE (English) REUTERS REPORTER IVOR BENNETT, SAYING: "Now you can see the difference a 4K TV makes just from this shot here, where you can see practically every leaf. Whereas if we go over to the standard HD screen, whilst the quality is good, if you go in close, the detail is a lot less clear." Wimbledon's advertising rules are strict. It's the only tennis grand slam where on-court hoardings AREN'T allowed. But this year's also the first time matches are being filmed in 4K. For Sony, it was an opportunity too good to miss. Head of marketing Paul Gyles. SOUNDBITE (English) PAUL GYLES, MARKETING HEAD OF SONY TELEVISIONS, SAYING: "With Television we've always tried to look at innovative ways of advertising as well. And we thought we're a Japanese brand. Small, what can we do? Detail, 4k. It all came together in an idea. And that's where this whole premise came from of how small can you make advert? and how can you make it so that only people with a certain bit of technology can see it?" Harnessing new technology is now a must in advertising. Take British Airways for example, and its campaign during the London Olympics where a plane travelled through the streets of London. On top of the conventional TV advert, the campaign had a youtube app that went viral. Viewers could personalise the advert by typing in their postcode,, taking the plane past their own front door. Being able to write software like this is now a priority for ad agencies who are hiring programmers alongside creatives. Paul Bainsfair from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising. SOUNDBITE (English) PAUL BAINSFAIR, DIRECTOR GENERAL, INSTITUTE OF PRACTITIONERS IN ADVERTISING, SAYING: "Technology is actually changing advertising on an almost daily basis. We're hiring different types of people into the advertising industry that are completely new to us. Technologists of all different types. In fact some of the people we're hiring already, by the time they come into advertising the stuff they've learnt at college or university is outdated, that's the speed of change we're dealing with." Smartphones are the next frontier - their capability and usage an irresistible lure. At the moment, the advertising industry hasn't found out how to maximise the potential, but you get the sense it won't be long before it does.