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Smoking billboard

Agency: 
Published/Aired: 
September 2010
Description: 

For two days, drivers who passed a smoking billboard in Sioux Falls, honked and cranked their necks to get a better look at the board everyone was talking about. The billboard, promoting the website WhyImAlive.com, for Avera Health was meant to draw attention for the importance of having an emergency medical plan for your family. It showed a woman sitting on a gurney in front of a terrible car crash, with one of the cars actually smoking behind her, that at least for two days, the smoke billowed off the photo into the sky, thanks to a hidden smoke machine behind the board.

It worked, driving thousands of people to go online in the first week of the campaign. It also drew an unintended consequence. It got the attention of the fire department, who, after two days of smoke, decided to shut it down.

Advertising Agency: BVK, USA
Creative Director: Gary Mueller
Copywriter: Ross Lowinske
Art Director: Ryan Smith
Interactive: Charlie Marsh
Photography: Jeff Salzer
Producer: Allison Lockwood

Comments (14)

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Highest Rated

aRianna_.'s picture
aRianna_.
Activity Score 281

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atb2005's picture
atb2005
Activity Score 13561

"It also drew an unintended consequence. It got the attention of the fire department, who, after two days of smoke, decided to shut it down"

That's the problem with this stunt..

Guest's picture
Guest

pffft. chill out...

having the fire department called was probably a good thing. i bet it got their client more free press and contributed to the traffic on the site. only uptight prudes would frown it. loosen up.

atb2005's picture
atb2005
Activity Score 13561

Yeah it was a good thing indeed. They took that thing down. That said it's not "frown it", it's "frown upon it". I am not only a prude but also a stickler for proper English grammar.

Jaap Grolleman's picture
Jaap Grolleman
Activity Score 6992

Woman can't drive!

sorry ;p

AdsofChina's picture
AdsofChina
Activity Score 99

Nice thinking.

Ads of China // 中国广告
http://adsofchina.wordpress.com

Guest's picture
Guest

"For two days, drivers who passed a smoking billboard in Sioux Falls, honked and cranked their necks to get a better look at the board everyone was talking about."

Thus, real accidents happened and the message got even stronger!!!

Guest's picture
Guest

Interesting.

s1bs's picture
s1bs
Activity Score 397

i thought this was gonna be for coffee. i'm glad it wasn't.

Guest's picture
Guest

This is old creative, nothing new.

Billoughsby's picture
Billoughsby
Activity Score 5144

Maybe this is Old School to a fault, but the line "Why I am Alive", coupled with this somewhat eccentric image, pulls me in more than any technical tricks.

"Ubi hubave lubearned thubat ubanuby fubool cuban wrubite uba bubad ubad, bubut thubat ubit tubakes uba rubeal gubenubiubus tubo kubeep hubis hubands uboff uba gubood ubone."
-Lubeo Buburnubett

silvi's picture
silvi
Activity Score 4172

Smoke is not neccesary for the message

Dzsoi's picture
Dzsoi
Activity Score 8135

Good point. They just had an image and made it more interesting with some real smoke. It's just a juggle.

bobby666's picture
bobby666
Activity Score 1460

i like it. but the explanation or the after-effect as mentioned is too much to believe. anyways it is an eye-catching campaign.

aRianna_.'s picture
aRianna_.
Activity Score 281

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