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In a classic "billboard liberation front" move, a creative team from BBH hijacked the Protein World posters in the NYC subway to celebrate the US women's soccer team instead.
"Are you world cup ready?" asks both the posters and the tumblr-based website created by the creative team Lannie Hartley and Alia Roberts, after a few strategically placed stickers are plastered onto the posters. All sorts of billboards at Union Square subway station were defaced, including hard to reach ones above stairs, and electronic backlit billboards (image below).
The team have this statement (and hashtag, because we can't do things without hashtags these days) on their Tumblr site.
Women have better things to do than be beach body ready – like winning the world cup.
After realizing that the Women’s World Cup is a dramatically under promoted event, we – two twenty-something girls – decided to change that ourselves by taking over Union Square and these over promoted, oppressive ads—and turn the attention away from women’s bodies and back to their abilities.
# TeamUSA WorldCupReady
BBH's official account bragged about the stunt. I wonder what the billboard media company thinks about an advertising agency supporting a team defacing ads.
— BBH New York (@BBHNewYork) July 3, 2015
Really good timing for this stunt, as these posters were defaced and circulated on social media, just before the Women’s World Cup final on Sunday, when the US team beat Japan 5-2. The posters have since been restored. The Protein World billboards caused some controversy when the campaign launched in the UK as the CEO took to social media to reply to those who complained.