Advertisers have long been drawn to Times Square as a valuable place to reach consumers, paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for space on billboards and blazing video screens.

But recently they have discovered that down on the ground, new technology has given low cost, face-to-face marketing campaigns something of a cutting edge as consumers spread their messages on the Internet.

Take the recent display of public toilets set up by Charmin bathroom tissue: Used by thousands in Times Square and viewed by 7,400 Web users on one site alone. Or Nascar’s recent display of racecars; videos of the event have been viewed on YouTube more than 1,800 times. More than 60 people wrote about the event on their blogs and 60 more spread the word — and pictures — on the Flickr Web site.

“The great thing about the digital world is you can capture these events,” said Christian McMahan, brand director for Smirnoff Ice, owned by Diageo. “People can see them whether they were there that day or 3,000 miles away.”

Get the full story at The New York Times