Ivar's Undersea billboard was a hoax - but a good one.

The Denver Egotist reports on the undersea billboards hoax, a stunt pulled by Ivar’s Seafood Restaurant in Seattle has veered off the storytelling map and is read as outright lying by punters. In this very creative piece of viral marketing Ivar's had underwater billboards at the bottom of Puget Sound anchored in the mid-1950s to greet the future when everyone would be traveling by submarines.This hoax was backed up with nicely crafted forgeries of old documents from the state's Department of Fisheries and a Ballard diving service, and todays Ivar's promised to bring the billboard back up to the surface - and to celebrate they'd roll back to 1950s prices. When they hauled the (planted) billboard up in August, TV and press and curious onlookers were there to watch the spectacle. Now that everyone knows it's a clever ploy created by Heckler Associates, Seattle, some are feeling quite had. Did this entertaining piece of fiction go too far?

...and it reminded me, just a little of Ving travel agency Underwater Billboard in 2007 - which got a lot of negative publicity as well as positive. The negative was created by divers protesting against "dumping garbage" in the actual sea, but King had no intention of leaving the half-tonne billboard in the water. To show goodwill they brought the billboard back up after four weeks, a shorter run than intentionally planned. The single billboard was much talked about still for months afterward.

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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