Beard-growing billboard unveiled in manly South African campaign

By on Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I love good advertising almost as much as I love good PR. There's just something about a unique idea sitting there for all to see – and the crossover into PR for some particularly integrated marketing efforts – that sadly, does it for me. Ads that dispense free cakes, for instance, or show you a different ad dependent on your gender. That sort of ad.

(I used to be cool, honestly.)

Well, here's a really innovative interactive billboard campaign in Cape Town, South Africa to promote footwear brand Bronx Shoes that fits firmly into this category.

Put simply, the guy on the billboard's beard grows one strand at a time based on the number of likes the campaign gets on Facebook. The tie-in is that Bronx Shoes apparently make the world's 'manliest' shoes, though I'm not sure the good people at Guinness have been consulted to authenticate this claim.

bronx men's shoes beard grow ad billboard

Click this link to go through to the app: Bronx Men's Shoes Facebook app. I had to refresh the screen as it crashed straight away, but it worked fine after that.

You can see how much of the beard growth you've personally contributed to, and the person who shares the campaign to the most Facebook friends will win six pairs of shoes. You can watch a livestream of the beard growth via the app, too.

If anybody knows how the strands are added – manually, or if the ad is wired up in some way – please do let me know and I'll update the post and credit you.


Jonty Fisher – MD of Bletchley Park, the agency behind the campaign – got in touch in the comments to let us know how the ad works:

“The rope strands are automatically pushed through the beard billboard by digital servo motors, which are given commands through software which monitors the number of likes on the page.” 

The campaign started on April 1st and will run for a month until the 1st of May.

Source: (the brilliant) Simply Zesty and Mr Cape Town

AgencyBletchley Park


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