At the height of winter, a goofy costumed dude called "Mr. Sunny," the official mascot of Fort Lauderdale tourism, hung out at Pompano Beach and bantered in real time via satellite with people at snow-streaked bus shelters in Boston and Chicago as part of the "Hello Sunny" campaign engineered by Starmark.
The shelters were decked out like beach cabanas, complete with heat lamps, which probably saved the bikini-clad models on hand from hypothermia.
"The brutal wrath of Mother Nature—record-breaking snowfall and Arctic temperatures in both Chicago and Boston—motivated us to deliver a little warmth and sunshine to our northern friends," says Starmark CMO Lisa Hoffman-Linero. "It's all about a positive brand experience. At the right, sometimes unexpected, place. At exactly the right time."
This is the latest in a series of bus-shelter advertising stunts, and they've really run the gamut. PepsiMAX staged an alien apocalypse, Duracell encouraged commuters to join hands to activate battery-powered heaters, and a charity in Norway learned if people would lend their coats to a freezing child.
Those efforts were innovative and memorable. Alas—and here comes the pun—Mr. Sunny leaves me a little cold. He's like a dimmer version of Jimmy Dean's sun. (Now that dude's chill!) Still, catching some rays inside a bus shelter beats pouring rain any day.