The Contagious Billboard is a live action advert that yawns at passers-by to make them crave coffee.
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Everyone knows yawning is contagious, so it is no wonder we have seen it used as a marketing tool more than once. The Bye Bye Red Eye campaign, deployed at a South African airport, rewarded any yawning customers with a free cup of coffee. Now, the Contagious Billboard is a video ad, whose live action digital display has caused a yawning epidemic on a Sao Paulo subway platform.
Created by agency Lew’Lara\TBWA and coffee brand Cafe Pele, the billboard has a built-in motion sensor which triggers a video of a young man beginning to yawn whenever a commuter comes near. The more people are nearby, the more the advert will yawn, until after a few moments it asks ‘Did you yawn too? Its time for coffee.’ At this point, Cafe Pele representatives with free espresso shots appear, to fulfill the desire that the ad has created.
While clearly a marketing stunt, the Contagious Billboard integrates real-life and digital experiences in an irresistible way, enabling the consumer to truly interact with the brand at the very moment of advertising. How else could companies use the physical environment to enhance digital advertisements?