Purpose in Advertising

While temporarily living in small town Texas, I have been deprived of the big city way of traveling – the subway. For those of us who have traveled to or lived in big cities, we are aware of the enormous amounts of advertising done under the city streets. Subways are a wonderful place for companies to advertise and when done correctly, can serve a much greater purpose than what passengers are initially led on to believe.

Earlier this year, Akestam Holst ad agency and production company Stopp produced a digital ad for Apotek Hjärtat’s Apolosophy hair products. These Swedish companies ran an advertisement on the digital billboards underground in the subway stations. These boards were pictures of women with daintily styled hair but were rigged up so that each time a train arrived at the platform, the women’s hair blew around in the wind. Creative, right? This genius out-of-home advertisement idea was a hit and caught the attention of all the subway travelers and many advertising gurus.

Just recently, Garbergs ad agency (also Swedish) came up with an even more genius idea. Using the same concept and same type of photos, they relaunched this digital billboard advertisement. Although this time around, they did so for a greater purpose than just shampoo.


If you are interested in watching the video, do so now. Otherwise, feel free to continue reading.

The Apolosophy hair care product advertisement was turned into a heart wrenching campaign for childhood cancer. The digital display was triggered by the trains in the same fashion but after blowing around for a few seconds, the hair comes off of a child’s head to reveal evidence of her wearing a wig due to chemotherapy. These words scroll scroll across the screen:

“Every day a child is diagnosed with cancer. Text “HOPP” to 72900 to donate 50 kronor.”

This creative idea which was originally used for shampoo was turned into a campaign to raise money and awareness for childhood cancer. The good that advertising can do is incredible.


One thought on “Purpose in Advertising

  1. I really really loved the video and the recycled idea. A lot of times in advertising we’re always looking for the “next big thing” as opposed to looking at how to revamp something old and make it great again. This is an example of just that and you can really see that it lost no power just because it was an old set of pictures.


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