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Ordinance smokes out S.D. hospital ad campaign

Sioux City Journal, September 15, 2010

Marketers from Avera Health in Sioux Falls, SD, must be collectively putting their palms to foreheads over this one. The hospital erected a billboard showing a woman in a traffic accident as part of its campaign to encourage accident preparedness. The problem is that the billboard included a smoke machine, which was intended to make it look as if the busted-up car was fuming. Unfortunately, multiple commuters called 911 because they believed the sign was on fire. The hospital has since turned the smoke machine off after learning it violated a city ordinance.

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1 comments on "Ordinance smokes out S.D. hospital ad campaign"


Susen Rasmussen (9/16/2010 at 2:13 PM)
What the story does not share is the rest of the story... Emergency dispatch for the community had been contacted and no concerns were raised at that time. The smoking board was never intended as an ongoing feature [INVALID] it was a very short-lived tactic (just a few hours) designed to [INVALID] visual interest for a press conference held under the board. The article fails to note that the patient and a physician were interviewed on the launch date and the smoke machine was shut down only minutes earlier than intended. The smoking board corresponds with "smoking" banner ads and a landing page that followed the teaser outdoor. The resulting broadcast media told the whole story. The Fire Marshall did indeed ask for the smoke to be shut off for the sake of public safety stating he had previously denied a permit from the outdoor company. That was news to both the Avera and agency teams and the smoke ceased immediately. The broadcast coverage can be found at http://www.ksfy.com/global/category.asp?c=185294&clipId=5081174&autostart=true and http://www.keloland.com/NewsDetail6162.cfm?Id=104503. An overview of the campaign is at http://susenrasmussen.wordpress.com/2010/09/02/on-february-29-bryan-shouldve-died/