Cheeky 3D board brings down-home touch from down east

In a novel use for the common clothesline, a message from Newfoundland & Labrador is meant to evoke air quality envy in Toronto drivers.

Until the end of August, drivers on Toronto’s clogged Gardiner Expressway will be seeing a tantalizing glimpse of the exact opposite of what they’re enduring in their hot, humid, smoggy city. Thanks to a tourism pitch by Newfoundland and Labrador, crisp, white sheets appear to be snapping in a cool breeze. And in the background of the three-dimensional superboard, the pristine coastline of the easterly province beckons.

Why a clothesline? Several reasons, Noel O’Dea, director of planning at Target Marketing & Communications in St. John’s, tells MiC. ‘This campaign is designed to demonstrate the personality of Newfoundland – unpretentious, spontaneous and even a little rebellious. The clothesline is metaphor for (all that), especially because a lot of other places actually have bylaws against drying clothes outside.

‘The tactical element, of course, is pointing out the difference from a big city like Toronto, where summertime brings poor air quality, humidity and unbearable temperatures – none of which we have in Newfoundland.’

In addition to the billboard in Toronto, Target’s campaign for the province’s ‘Fresh Air’ initiative includes equally cheeky radio spots on several GTA radio stations, with air quality reports ‘brought to you by Newfoundland & Labrador, where there isn’t any smog.’ As well, a double-page spread with the province’s ‘manifesto’ appeared last week in the Globe and Mail and will be repeated this week. The copy refers to ‘the sheer soul-filling pleasure of the wind and the sun.’

O’Dea says his agency handled both the creative work and the media buys for the clever, multifaceted campaign.