FCB Mayo and Peruvian engineering college UTEC—the folks behind award-winning ventures like the "Potable Water Generator," "Purifying Billboard" and "Air Orchard"—are back with what may well be their brightest idea yet.
Peru is in the middle of a construction boom that generates a lot of unhealthy pollution. Peruvian engineering university UTEC and its ad agency, FCB Mayo, decided to create an air-purifying billboard designed to mitigate the environmental damage the school causes as it builds a new campus. The billboard has the added advantage of promoting the new campus, boosted by the claim that the school will help students learn how to do things like create billboards that filter about 100,000 cubic meters of clean air a day, reaching as far as five blocks away and equivalent to what some 1,200 trees would do. The environmentally friendly campaign is part of a tried-and-true strategy for UTEC and FCB Mayo. Last year they famously created a billboard that helped address a rainfall shortage in Lima by converting atmospheric humidity into clean drinking water. (That work earned numerous accolades, including Adweek's Isaac Gravity Award and a gold Lion in Outdoor at Cannes.) The new one is a welcome follow-up, possibly even more powerful—though perhaps less so—as it addresses a problem the school helped create. In fact, the thing that may be most wrong with it is that it makes every other billboard in the world look bad by comparison. Credits below.