Now this what we call effective advertising: Two ad agencies in Brazil have created a sign that not only informs people about Zika virus, but actually — physically — helps in the fight against the outbreak.
The billboard doubles as a mosquito trap, and the creators claim it can kill hundreds of the bugs every day. What's even more buzz-worthy (no pun intended) about The Mosquito Killer Billboard is that it's DIY! That's right, folks: You can build one yourself thanks to free open-source blueprints and instructions available online. But it's not exactly your average Pinterest craft. Each one costs about $2,800 to construct, according to Campaign.
Here's how it works: A solution of lactic acid and carbon dioxide is spread into the air, mimicking the scent of human sweat and breath — something mosquitoes are attracted to. This chemical combination can reach the insects from over two miles away.
Fluorescent lights also help attract mosquitoes to the sign, and once they enter the device through small openings near the "sweat glands" of the sign, they'll be trapped and fly around until they die of dehydration.
Harsh? Yes. But the billboard specifically targets the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is the species that carries the Zika, dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever viruses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There are currently two billboards installed in neighborhoods of Rio de Janiero that have been hit hard by Zika, which the CDC recently confirmed causes birth defects and brain abnormalities, such as microcephaly, in babies of infected mothers.
"This idea reflects a lot of our beliefs in terms of what communication means in the contemporary world — that speech is not enough anymore," Andre Lima, creative vice president at ad agency NBS, told Campaign. "We need to do real things, not just talk about it."
Lima also expressed hope that brands, governments, and citizens will all join them in building these billboards to help fight the outbreak.
"The greatest thing would be not needing a billboard like this," he said. "But while the situation is out of control, we can all do our part in the effort to stop the disease."
For more information on the billboards, visit cargocollective.com.