Long gone are the days where billboards were used only for the purpose of advertising. We’ve seen billboards serving as urban furniture or bedrooms, ones that offer audio travels to foreign cities, and even smart advertisements that can hide from the Russian police. Increasingly, billboards combine marketing and.. well, let’s say ‘useful functions’.
Rio de Janeiro’s latest billboards, however, are directed to be ‘antiviral’. In response to the massive outbreak of the Zika virus in several Latin American countries more recently, Brazilian ad agencies Posterscope and NBS designed a billboard that fights this virus. The Mosquito Killer Billboard, with its technology, is able to replicate the smell of human sweat, and with that, to lure, trap and kill the Zika-carrying mosquitoes.
So far, only two billboards have been put up in Rio de Janeiro. Since the idea and technology behind the Mosquito Killer Billboards have been made available under a Creative Commons licence, hope is that more billboards will follow. Although some remain skeptical regarding the billboard’s effect, arguing that the Zika virus is simply way too big and widespread to exterminate with such a method, the billboards do kill hundreds of Zika-carrying mosquitoes per day. Two billboards may not be able to solve the problem, but at least they do promote the seriousness of this recent outbreak.