Swedish pharmacy chain Apotek Hjartat has used a digital advertising board to cough at passers by who smoke.
The panel uses an extremely sensitive smoke detector and when activated plays a video of people coughing. The stunt was the idea of Akestam Holst working in conjunction with Apotek Hjartat who wanted to encourage people to carry out their New Years resolution to quit smoking.
Even though the pharmaceutical chain has said their intention is to “encourage” people, it’s quite clear that (perhaps unintentionally) they are shaming members of the public. As with all shame campaigns the reaction from the public has been split.
Personally, I think this is a great stunt. They’ve used digital, interactive technology to get across exactly what they wanted. But you have to wonder if people who smoke would actually care? I imagine most would just glance at it and walk on.