Advertising in airport restrooms: awesome or too far?

Just when it seems like they can’t find any more ways to inundate our lives, marketers get creative. First they took over our pre-movie experience, and now they have come up with the most outlandish location to sell us on products. Ads while washing your hands? Really?

NBC Chicago is reporting that O’Hare International Airport (ORD) is allowing Clear Channel Airports to install 40-inch mirrors which will display ads to the nearly 200,000 people who pass through the airport daily. The high-definition mirrors have motion sensors, as they display ads until restroom users saddle up to the sink, minimizing them into a corner to make preening in the mirror possible. The mirrors, created by a company called Mirrus, will be able to track viewing statistics for advertisers.

A video on the company’s website ( shows a demonstration of how the mirrors work. The best part of the video is the man in it, who behaves just as I imagine I would when encountering these odd ads. I am torn between being vaguely outraged the idea of ads (and cameras?) encroaching into one place I thought they would never reach and looking forward to hamming it up just as the man does in the video. Tested at the airport in December, NBC reports that the mirrors will be in ORD within the next 3 months, and possibly in sports venues like Wrigley Field and Soldier field later this year.

Has the search for advertising revenue gone too far, or would you be interested in seeing something like this in an airport near you?

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