Is that really a polar bear Manhattanites are hearing?

Yup. NYC storefronts are abuzz with sounds from Canada, including the illusion of getting up close and personal with a polar bear.

The latest campaign from Vancouver-based Canadian Tourism Commission, created by DDB Canada, aims to intrigue folks who pass by three Manhattan storefronts with unique storefront executions. Not only are they sporting 18′x24′ vinyl wraps with engaging imagery illustrating Canadian experiences – they also include complementary sound effects.

One of the illusions is a tundra buggy driving over ice-packed snow. It includes a tour guide directing observers to a polar bear, and the reaction of photo-snapping tourists as the bear approaches. The tag: ‘Does polar bear breath smell like fish?’

The initiative was launched this week and will continue through the summer. DDB achieved the magic using a technology called ‘Whispering Windows,’ from London, U.K.-based tech company Feonic. It works by turning the store window into a large sound radiator, emitting audio at a volume level that’s only loud enough to hear when a person is right in front of it.

Street teams will entice pedestrians to come close enough to hear the show, converse with them about the experience and hand out CTC-branded bottles of water.

NYC-based International Robotics produces a similar audio technology called Hypersonic Sound Beams, which works by projecting sound waves and using the target’s surface as a speaker. So if the target is a person, their head becomes the speaker. Sound waves can be projected from up to 300 feet away.