Burma Shave burst on the scene in 1925 with their now famous billboard series saluting shaving cream along roadsides throughout the country; thanks to the billboard brilliance, the message spread and Burma Shave survived the Great Depression with signs sticking soundly through 1963.
Flash forward to today.
Working to whittle down automobile fatality totals springing from a soaked season, the local government in Papkura, New Zealand introduced a billboard which bleeds when it pours. The advertisement, featuring a picture of a child, gushes red liquid from a boy’s nose, eyes and ears when the heavens open up. Despite directing drivers’ eyes away from the road, a seemingly counterintuitive call, since establishing the blood-bath billboard the town has seen zero mortal mishaps.
Greenpeace secured their own shockwaves, as climbers scaled Mount Rushmore on Thursday, launching a large sign pleading with the President. Its message — “America honors leaders not politicians: Stop Global Warming” and an unfinished portrait of Obama — was barely visible as it was whipped by wind, but still managed to build buzz.
Burma’s bid to capture (and hold attention), proved as sound as the Kiwi’s call to slow down, suggesting signs can still have an impact. Despite drastic differences in message and execution, ranging from innocuous to provocative, both proved effective in speaking to seers; more importantly, each earned a lasting impact and drove onlookers to engage in a desired deed.
While Greenpeace will assuredly garner 30 seconds of airtime on news outlets from around the country, will their sign stunt secure a similar long-standing salute minus an equally clear message and concise call to action?
As always, we leave you with a little levity to help you whistle while you work through the last of the week. Enjoy your 48 hours of freedom.