Orphea billboard traps live bugs
How do you promote a new outdoor insect spray, Orphea, on a billboard in Milan? This clever effort turned the portion of the corresponding to the “spray” from a pictured can into a giant piece of fly paper. Over a period of days, the sticky trap captured hundreds of thousands of real insects. Watch the video:

Assuming that viewers can decode what is going on with this billboard – perhaps not a certainty for motorists whizzing by – it works on multiple levels. By incorporating live (at least to begin with) insects, the sign both attracts attention and appeals to multiple senses. While a picture of a bug on a sign may make our skin crawl, how about the thought of thousands of squirming, creepy-crawlies?

trapped bugsLikely, though, the press coverage of the billboard has extended its reach far beyond those passers-by able to view it in person.

In addition to its sensory aspects, the sign may score some points with viewers for actually removing a couple of hundred thousand bugs from the area. As impressive as that number is, it probably won’t put a serious dent in Milan’s insect population. Nevertheless, it seems like a lot and should earn Orphea some points with those viewers who think of bugs as pests to be destroyed. And, it ties in neatly with the outdoor-use nature of the product.

The sign concept was developed for Orphea by Publicis. The agency might have drawn even more attention to their effort had they been able to goad PETA into protesting the deaths of so many six-legged victims. More collateral damage: one has to sympathize with the unlucky signage workers tasked with removing the gooey, bug-laden billboard!

What do you think – one of the best billboards of the year?