Why pay a human if a mannequin can do the job better?

I have talked about mannequins before, but the idea of mannequins replacing humans is back in the news again.

Meet Sandy

“Sandy,” a sign-waving mannequin, helps bring in customers to a Los Angeles smoke shop. Image by Alex Schmidt/NPR.

NPR reports There’s A New Kind Of Sign Spinner In Town.

Meet the sign-spinning mannequin. She’s freakishly tall, and her head is turned way back, Exorcist style.

It’s more than one job. There are several sign-spinning mannequin companies now, in LA, Oregon, Florida and beyond. Some business owners are going the Geppetto route and making them from scratch.

Christopher Hunanyan enlisted the help of relatives to create the 6-foot-tall bombshell he named Sandy in front of his LA smoke shop.

“It is a good investment,” Hunanyan says. He says the mannequin is bringing in customers, sales and profits.

The way advertising works is we get used to stuff, then we stop noticing it. So marketers are in a constant arms race to get our attention. They have to get weirder and weirder — like with the mannequins — and more sophisticated.

Carnegie Mellon robotics professor Illah Nourbakhsh says one day the mannequins may become actual robots — able to see us, guess our age and gender and customize their marketing messages with frightening accuracy.

Sign Waving Mannequin Video

Link if image does not play: Replaced by a Mennequin

Here is my favorite image clip from the video.

That mannequin rates to bring in far more business than even a good looking sign waver (which most are not).

Mike “Mish” Shedlock