An interactive coughing billboard has been brought forward by a Swedish pharmacy that sniffs around and coughs loudly in order to encourage people to give up smoking.
This coughing billboard has been created by an advertising agency ‘Åkestam Holst’ which can detect smokers and reacts to them by coughing aggressively. Featuring an annoyed handsome man, this interactive billboard has been designed for the Swedish pharmacy ‘Apotek Hjartat’. Although it appears to be a very queer idea for an advertisement, however, it has been reported by the company that mostly people have reacted positively. According to the spokesman of the company,
“All smoking is a problem for people who smoke, if not now, later. Just recently Sweden introduced warning pictures on all cigarette packs. Why? Because smoking is not good for you. You can’t get too many reminders about this.”
These interactive billboards equipped with smoke detectors have been installed by Åkestam Holst in public places like bus stops. As soon as the man on the billboard identifies a smoker, he starts coughing loudly which also disturbs the people around in a way. The key purpose of this idea is to remind people that smoking is injurious for you and the ones around you, in addition to proposing different ways to break the habit and treat addiction. The ad definitely promotes the smoking suppressant products such as nicotine patches, chewing gums, and pills.
At present, smoking is already banned in Swedish restaurants, bars, and shopping malls. In addition to this, the government also proposed to prohibit smoking at all outdoor public spaces like playgrounds, bus stops, and cafes.
You must know that this is not the first interactive billboard advertising of Apotek Hjärtat. This pharmacy is also famous for their Blowing in the Wind project, which was designed to give a mind-blowing experience to the subway commuters. The designers customized digital screens on the platform in order to exhibit the effect of air flow caused by trains passing by. The ad together with an ultrasonic sensor, a Raspberry and a local network socket server is connected to the digital screen. This advertisement that featured a woman with her hair swirling with the arrival of trains was created for the first class beauty care brand of Apotek Hjärtat ‘Apolosophy’.
Check out the video of this ad that went viral and spread in over 190 countries:
Well, the Apotek Hjärtat is certainly not the first one to use such interactive coughing billboard methods. KitKat, one of the leading chocolate brand, began a campaign named “Have a Break” featured on interactive billboards as well. Touch sensitive billboards were set by the brand that vibrate when people lean against them, thereby offering a quick, stress-reducing massage. In this way, KitKat took interactive advertising entirely to a next level by physically communicating with the customers. Hence, we can say that billboards are the best method of advertising even now, be it vibrating or coughing or just standing still.
By converting the coughing billboard into a reality show, a new use for the conventional billboard was created by McCann London during the launch of the new Xbox Tomb Raider game. This billboard allows the gamers standing before it to take part in an endurance test and face the harsh weather conditions controlled by the people via live stream. It is called “The Survival Billboard”.
Take a look at the campaign that drew thousands of viewers within 22 hours.
This interactive billboard technology appears to spread across the world owing to the imagination to designers and engineers. And it might turn out to encourage even the new media artists to install their works in public spaces as well.