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'Person Of Interest' Launches A Creepy Billboard Campaign

September 13, 2011 | Hogan Keyser
September 12, 2011 Johnathan Moormann - The new CBS crime drama "Person of Interest" will be on the air soon, but until then, they'd like to keep an eye on their viewers. The drama, starring Jesus and Ben Linus (or, if you're boring, Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson), is about an eccentric billionaire and an ex-CIA agent who join forces to stop crimes before they happen using high tech surveillance. With both J.J. Abrams and Jonathan Nolan as executive producers, the whole production has a pretty good geek pedigree, so it's not surprising that they've gone for a fancy bit of marketing.

Specifically, CBS has deployed two special billboards for the show, one in New York and one in Los Angeles. These signs seem like mirrors until a passerby turns to take a look. Then, the words "Person Of Interest Identified" pop up on screen and the billboard takes your photo. The photo is then incorporated into the sign and the viewer is given a phone number they can text in order to receive a copy of the picture.

I guess one way to get people thinking about surveillance is to take a bunch of unwanted pictures of them on the street and then let anyone who can read the billboard have access to the pictures. If I understand the plot of the show correctly, calling someone a "Person of Interest" also implies that they'll be involved in a murder, though we're not sure whether as the criminal or the victim. I just hope it doesn't also involve Ben Linus showing up to my house to investigate; that guy still creeps me out.

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