The Coughing Screen
The unusual occurs when smokers walk by a particular billboard in Stockholm: The billboard begins to cough.
The unconventional advertising of the Swedish pharmacy chain Apotek Hjärtat, wants to animate smokers to give up their unhealthy addiction.
The screen is placed outside a metro station and shows just a simple photo of a model on first sight. But the magic happens if someone walks by with a lit cigarette; the man in the picture starts coughing, obviously irritated by the smoke.
The screen then goes on showing various products sold by Apotek Hjartat that are supposed to help smokers quit.
Akestam Holst, the agency working for Apotek Hjärtat, made this possible by adding smoke detectors to the digital screen. With Stockholm’s Odenplan, they have deliberately opted for a place where people often smoke.
The smokers reactions where filmed and surprisingly, most of them took it with humor. Some displayed surprise, others reacted with laughter. The end-video has been published online and has been already seen by more than 175,000 people.
Fredrik Kullberg, marketing director at Apotek Hjartat said, “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.”
The time of the campaign launch wasn’t coincidental, but well thought out. “We released this initiative that aims to help people with one of the most common New Year’s resolutions – quit smoking,” said Ida Persson, spokeswoman for the agency.