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Outdoor Network’s burning billboard keeps it legal

British American Tobacco South Africa (BATSA) and Joe Public United have teamed up with Outdoor Network in association with Beith Digital to create an eye-popping ‘burning billboard’ that draws attention to the problem with smoking illegal cigarettes.

BATSA Burning Billboard2

Clearly visible in a prime location, the Johannesburg billboard’s special effects are entertaining and educating a highly sought-after audience for the week of 21-25 August, as part of BATSA’s broader ‘Keep It 100’ campaign. The tagline ‘Smoking illegal cigarettes burns homes’ can be taken literally but also implies that households will be affected because illegal cigarette manufacturers do not pay taxes and therefore stunt social development. The aim of the campaign is to alert consumers to the fact that smoking illegal cigarettes can have dire consequences for both families and the country as a whole.

“The cleverly constructed ‘burning billboard’, which is not really burning at all and complies with the city’s safety regulations, is manned by a special effects crew and a health and safety representative. After a week, the ‘burning billboard’ will be replaced with a static billboard for a month to reinforce the message.

BATSA Burning Billboard3

Outdoor Network believes the innovative billboard, which has garnered a lot of media attention, demonstrates how custom-designing for OOH can deliver a ‘burning message’ with optimal creativity. Media such as: Radio 702, online news portals EWN and Times Live and The Citizen newspaper, to name but a few provided extensive coverage of the ‘burning billboard’.

Impact is created through visual effects and shows how a simple yet powerful campaign can drive engagement and generate debate. This premium location, situated near the off ramp to Barry Hertzog road in Johannesburg and seen from Empire Road, delivers maximum audience numbers, reaching 583 075 commuters, with 3 338 136 impacts and an average frequency of 6 per month (which amounts to approximately 6% of Gauteng’s population) according to ROAD.

BATSA Burning Billboard4

By drawing attention to illegal cigarettes, BATSA hopes to drive consumers to smoke legal cigarettes and ‘Keep It 100’ – a phrase that means ‘keep it real, keep it honest’. To further encourage this, BATSA will be offering consumers a premium red cigarette in each of its boxes, signifying that they are ‘smoking legal’, which they hope will become a status symbol.

The ‘burning billboard’ shows that out-of-the-box thinking can go a long way towards increasing impact, recall and engagement simultaneously.

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