Last February, a digital advertising campaign in Sweden that appeared to respond to the comings and goings of bustling subway cars captured the imagination of local passersby -- and subsequently went viral the world over.
Electronic billboards were placed underground to promote a new haircare range from the Swedish brand Apolosophy, featuring models whose hair wafted wildly in the wind whenever trains approached stations.
The digital signage, which had been equipped with ultra-sonic sensors to monitor the arrival of trains, lent an uncanny effect and also touted the artful tagline: “Makes your hair come alive.” Check it out.
Now, after having garnered substantial attention, the concept has been repurposed by Barncancer Fonden -- a Swedish nonprofit that raises money to fight childhood cancer -- for an even more hair-raising message.
The reimagined ads similarly feature a young girl named Linn whose hair starts whooshing as trains speed past -- until, suddenly, her hair flies off completely. Several commuters, as captured in this video by the foundation, gasp at the sight of the child’s bald head, as a message appears onscreen, “Every day a child is diagnosed with cancer,” alongside a mobile donation code.
In a rapidly evolving ad industry where “living pictures” are making a play to supplant traditional visual messaging, the Swedish campaigns illustrate the kind of marketing magic that occurs when technology and humanity intersect.