You know, when I first got the release for the Digital Billboard that I posted here: "Funeral Home encourages motorists to Text and Drive in billboard", and I saw the image, I thought "that's great, that'll make people do a double take!" It may take a moment for the "aha-moment" to hit, but eventually it will. Or so I thought.

John St. in Montreal left nothing to chance though, they set up the website www.wathanfuneral.com, just in case people would be very angry with the "funeral home", and wanting to complain somewhere. A drab site that looks a lot like a funeral home's site welcomes any potential complainers:

If you're here, you've probably seen our "Text and Drive" billboard. And if you have, you probably came to this website to tell us what horrible people we are for running an ad like that. And you'd be right.


It is a horrible thing for a funeral home to do.

But we're not a funeral home.



We're just trying to get Canadians to stop texting and driving, which is projected to kill more people in Ontario this year than drinking and driving. That's right. More. And while most people wouldn't even think about drinking and driving, over half of Ontario drivers admit to reading texts while behind the wheel. That's more than half of the drivers on the road today risking their lives, their passengers’ lives and the lives of their fellow motorists and pedestrians.


Which should make you even madder

than our billboard did.

Well, maybe a handful would have to see that website to 'get' the billboard, I figured, and then I sent the billboard out on our social media, and watched as many many many many people began complaining how a funeral home could have such bad taste. Thereby proving that once it's a bite-sized headline on twitter, few ever read the articles before reacting. I'll hand it to you John St. , you pegged the public just right when creating the site too. Well done. I just hope motorists don't rubberneck and forget to watch where they're going when they see this thing. And I hope people who doubt this digital billboard exists, watch the video.

The agency approached Cieslok Media (in Toronto) who embraced the idea and the cause. “As a premium large format company, we are right there on the streets and highways where distracted driving takes place every day,” says Jörg Cieslok, President and CEO of Cieslok Media. “We thought this was a powerful way to tell people how dangerous distracted driving is and hopefully get them to stop doing it. It’s also a very impactful way of showing how powerful digital signage can be.”

Ad agency: John St. Montreal
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about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

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