Beware Of The Falling Muffins

Boone/Oakley's striking giant-muffin billboard for Bloom supermarkets is the ad that keeps on giving.

A few weeks ago, the Charlotte, N.C., agency, working with Adams Outdoor, put the billboard up in nearby Mooresville, with all six muffins in place. It then bought a crappy old Kia for $300 and parked it under the ad, complete with a for-sale sign ("$1,000 or best offer") and a phone number. Some 10 days later, at 3 in the morning, people from the agency came by, smashed the Kia (not an easy task, it turned out, as the car proved to be somewhat resistant to wrecking balls dropped from cranes) and bolted one of the six muffins to the car's roof, as though it had fallen from above. Before the "accident," the shop had gotten about 10 calls about the car. Suddenly, the phone was ringing off the hook. "People were yelling, 'You're not gonna believe this, but a giant muffin fell on your car!' " says creative director David Oakley. "It was so freaking funny."

The ad, thought up by art director Brian Fink and copywriter Paul Korel, continues to turn heads. At a gas station nearby, disposable cameras are selling briskly. And last week, some delinquents tried to steal the muffin. It was found later, unbolted from the car and lying in the grass. Says Oakley "I guess it was too big for whatever getaway car they had."