Philips invites Londoners to listen to music through “You Need to Hear” bar tables

Philips has turned pub tables into iPods to support the brand’s new urban headphones campaign, “You Need to Hear This.” The ambient marketing project by Ogilvy & Mather London has been rolled out across bars in Eastern London, inviting consumers to enjoy specially selected music tracks from a uniquely designed table while sitting at it.

For the effort, they have created several curated lists of trending music—each of the compilation is developed specifically for the pub’s neighbourhood. The tracks start playing when the people plug their Philips earphones (that can be recieved at the bar) directly into the table just like into any regular audio device.

The technology is simple—there’s just a player inside the table,—but the creative execution is impressive. As part of the campaign, tables for each neighbourhood have been created using various techniques including marquetry, laser etching, wood burning and hand distressing. The wood surfaces made of American oak, fumed oak and maple feature illustrated typography and iconography that explain the visitors where to plug in their headphones to hear the music of the certain area of the city.

Other traditionally silent objects, train windows, were also turned into an audio medium as part of another marketing effort for Sky Go. In a bid to promote its mobile streaming services, the company put a special transmitter, which released high-frequency vibrations, on a train window. When people rested their heads against the glass, they heard a voice inside their head. No magic here—with bone conduction, the oscillations from the transmitter were transformed into the promotional message. The ad was heard only by the passenger leaning on the talking window, for the other people on the train the message remained inaudible. Watch the video below to see how the project by BBDO Germany worked.