Big ideas are rare. So if you are going to go big, go really big; let's say 22 metres high by nine metres wide. That's the size of the new Doom billboard up in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
You get a real kick out of this demonstration ad - courtesy of more than 5 000 surplus shoes, spray-painted in Doom can colours and bolted to the billboard.
Look closely and you see this really is an off-the-wall idea. The billboard is fixed to a metal sub-frame bolted to the side of Noswell House at the corner of Jan Smuts and Stiemens immediately north of the Mandela Bridge.
Thanks to the sub-frame the billboard is offset from the wall of the building. The Doom ad covers eight storeys. It's huge ... just like the interest created by our clients at Tiger Brands, owners of the Doom brand.
It took three trucks to transport the 18 metal panels that make up the ad, but the effort was worth it. The roads next to the site are trafficked by thousands of vehicles every day. Foot traffic is just as busy.
The site is right next to Wits campus. So presumably some maths students have been craning their necks to check out the ad. Hopefully, their arithmetic was up to the test set by the billboard. The headline asked...
"How many shoes equal the killing power of Doom?" The shoes cobbled to the billboard indicate that it's a helluva lot, while indicating that a squirt of Doom is a lot more effective than trying to stamp out pesky insects with your footwear.
One glance at the billboard confirms product potency while the question creates a big talking point. Commuters and passers-by tried to count the shoes or guestimate, segment by coloured segment. Others simply took out their cellphone cameras for a shot of the Braamfontein Biggie.
When you create impact like this there is a temptation leave it at that. Not this time. Tiger Brands maximised the opportunity by rolling out a multimedia campaign.
The question was featured as a quiz on Kaya FM, Jozi FM and Highveld Radio, in Drum
magazine and on the Doom website. Big cash prizes were on offer. Reach expanded even further when online audiences began viewing 'behind-the-scenes' video clips showing how the ad was made. The billboard stays in place for three months, so it will attract a lot more attention.
I congratulate our client, our Johannesburg agency and every contributor to this campaign. If you're going to cobble together an ad, make it a great one...