Recently, passersby at the Place du Palais Royal in Paris had the pleasure of experiencing “la Machine à voyager” (The Escape Machine), a wild, interactive public ad for France’s SNCF, a travel agency. Co.Design called this campaign “genius,” “the most fun marketing campaign of the year,” and one “of the best campaigns we’ve seen in recent months.” More specifically, marketing-wise, Suzanne LaBarre of Co.Design explained, “[The Escape Machine] does two things guerrilla marketing should always do: it’s got tangible stakes (vacation!), and it grabs the holy hell out of your attention.” And it certainly has gotten attention, virally spreading across the web. Looking at SNCF’s YouTube channel, it looks like they have done quite a few unique guerilla public displays before (check out all the “bienvenue” and “au revoir” videos from August 2010).

A collaboration between advertising agency DDB and digital artists Pleix, see The Escape Machine in action below.