The Coughing Billboard

Apotek Hjärtat opened its first pharmacy in 2010, and today is Sweden's largest private pharmacy chain, with more than 390 pharmacies around the country. Its mission is to help people live longer and healthier life.

In December 2016, the pharmacy released a YouTube advertisement about The Coughing Billboard -- a (you guessed it!) billboard that helps people with their New Year's resolutions. The video describes the experiential billboard.

The video opens to a black-and-white scene of a man explaining Apotek Hjärtat's intention with The Coughing Billboard. The video then colorfully zooms out to reveal that the man is actually speaking from the billboard, as he states that he’s there to help people create new and healthy habits just in time for the new year.

He goes on to explain that the billboard has been outfitted with smoke detectors, and placed in a smoke-heavy neighborhood. Every time a smoker passes by, the screen is immediately simulated by the installed smoke detectors, and a clip of the man coughing begins to play.

Viewers of the video are then shown real-life scenes of people smoking around the billboard and noticing the coughing man. The billboard aims to portray one overarching message to smokers: Not only are they damaging their own lungs, but they’re also harming those around them when they smoke.

At just 59 seconds, the video is quick and crisp and gets the message across while still engaging the audience. The technique used is great; it focuses on telling the story in a compelling manner. It comprehensively explains The Coughing Billboard to the audience without losing their attention.

The musical score is soft and peppy. Meanwhile, the video also takes great care to not come across as preachy, instead maintaining an energetic vibe throughout. The writing is concise and clear, ensuring that the video sticks to the message without detracting. In all, the video uses strong editing, technique, storytelling and audience appeal.

The Coughing Billboard is an engaging commercial video.

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