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Sly New App Turns Times Square Ads Into Political Art

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Times Square is one of the world's greatest places to be bombarded with marketing messages, but a mobile app could give you the option to change that.

An anti-public-advertising group on Sunday tested an augmented-reality app that digitally substitutes the tourist haven's billboards and movie posters with street art.

Augmented reality is a gee-whiz technology that's so far mostly been been used to increase the world's advertising quotient, by plopping angels in skimpy dresses into train stations to sell body spray, or giving magazine readers coupons for a free soda. So, impractical as it is to navigate bustling streets through your phone or tablet's camera lens, it's refreshing to see AR subverted for anti-commercial ends.

Plus, with Times Square now a car-free zone, it's not like it's that dangerous. It's also a good way for the Public Ad Campaign to make their point without getting themselves arrested, like the urban pranksters did by physically painting over street ads a couple years ago.

You can try it out yourself by going to the AR | AD Takeover channel on the Junaio app for Android or iOS, or check out the video below:

Augmented Reality Advertising Takeover in Times Square from Will Sherman on Vimeo.

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