‘The Coughing Billboard’ Hits The Streets Of Stockholm

Swedish pharmacy Apotek Hjärtat collaborated with Åkestam Holst to create an interactive billboard that coughs when a smoker passes nearby. Neat eh? 

Apotek Hjärtat wants to encourage people to keep their New Year resolutions with an interactive billboard. So, with the Åkestam Holst agency, a screen was set up at a plaza in Stockholm on Odenplan Square, where people regularly gather around to smoke. On the animated advertising screen, a man coughs whenever a smoker passes by, owing to the smoke detectors which are placed underneath the billboard.

The in-built alarms sense cigarette smoke with the detectors in a clever working process, the screen then changes offering various products sold by pharmacy chain Apotek Hjartat that can help smokers quit. The agency also filmed the reactions of smokers; some express surprise, some react with laughter.

Let’s watch the ad here:

In the video, the coughing actor explains how the pharmacy hopes to motivate smokers to quit this year, saying ‘Our mission is to help you live a longer and healthier life. That’s why I’m here, to help you get new, healthier habits.’ 

Fredrik Kullberg, Marketing Director at Apotek Hjärtat, says,

The purpose was to drive the conversation about this topic, documenting the reactions, encouraging people to live a healthy lifestyle.The reaction has been mostly really positive.

Ida Persson, spokeswoman for the agency, said,

We released this initiative that aims to help people with one of the most common New Year’s resolutions – quit smoking.

This advertisement is one of the best examples of outdoor billboard usage in the recent times.

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  • Eileen Kurlander

    I want to start using them in my advertising. What key words can be used to find them on Shutterstock? I don’t see them anywhere on Shutterstock.