Morphing from careworn to cared for
Billboard shows her transform from rough to radiant skin
November 30, 2012
Not to be unkind, but the woman on the billboard appears worn out by life.
Her face is craggy, with visible lines around her eyes and rough patches on her skin.
She looks as though she could use a good moisturizer to smooth things out.
Unlikely as it may seem, that’s exactly what she got.
The billboard was part of a clever alternative media campaign that took place at the Minneapolis farmers market last month.
The client, Burt’s Bees, wanted to demonstrate the effects of using its new Intense Hydration line of moisturizers.
Instead of simply showing before and after photos on the billboard, Burt’s Bees’ agency, Baldwin& in Durham, N.C., figured out a way to make the before picture turn into the after picture right before the eyes of passersby.
“It came like any good idea does: After a lot of banging our heads together and coming up with 99 bad ideas, the good one appears out of nowhere. And then you get to work,” says Chad Temples, a copywriter on the project.
The execution was actually pretty simple. The billboard measured 11 by 6 feet.
When viewed from afar, passersby saw a question on the left side of the billboard: “Does your skin feel dry and flaky?”
On the right side they saw the picture of the worn woman.
But when they got closer, they noticed that the billboard was actually covered in hundreds of 3- by 3-inch papers, stuck on the billboard with a low-tack adhesive backing.
When a passerby plucked one of those papers off and turned it over, they discovered a coupon for $3 off the new Burt’s Bees product line.
The coupons covered a second version of the billboard. The same words appeared on the left, but on the right was a different image of the same woman.
She looked revitalized, her skin smooth and glowing.
The implication, of course, was that after using the Burt’s Bees product, her skin had been transformed.
That in and of itself would have been a notable stunt. But Baldwin& took it one step further.
It positioned a camera across from the billboard at the farmer’s market. The camera took photos every three minutes as people removed the coupons, a process that took about five hours.
Then it turned the photos into a time-lapse film that shows the billboard lady’s transformation from dry to well-hydrated skin.
It put the video on Facebook and YouTube, giving the campaign a second life online.
The stunt worked because it was a clever way to illustrate the tangible effects of a product. Too often beauty supplies focus only on the after photos and not the before.
This tied the before and after together in an easy-to-follow way, plus the video was a great way to bring the campaign to a new audience.
“Getting people to interact in a meaningful way in real life is a lot more powerful than merely clicking a button or banner online,” says Shaun Sundholm, art director at Baldwin&.
“And then if you can translate that real-life experience into online content or a digital experience that engages people further, that's where big numbers of people quit being passive bystanders and become active participants in your brand.”
Tags: alt media, alternative media, art director, baldwin&, billboard, burt's bees, burts bees billboard, campaign, Chad Temples, coupons, execution, Intense Hydration, online, papers, people, Shaun Sundholm, time
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