end of THE line

Public transportation has become a rolling public service announcement in Chicago through a new ad campaign from Hadrian’s Wall.

The Chicago agency has wrapped a Pace (the Chicago area’s regional transportation system) bus in an ad that features the image of a hearse the length of the vehicle, and a Chi cago Transportation Authority train car in an ad that’s a close-up of a diseased lung. An adjacent car sports a healthy lung.

It’s the latest in the shop’s anti-smoking work on behalf of the Illinois Department of Public Health. The bus ad features copy below the hearse that reads, “Today, 52 people in Illinois will die from smoking.” Both ads carry a number for the Illinois Tobacco Quit Line, which smokers can call for help with kicking the habit.

“There has been no word of ridership going down,” said shop partner Kevin Lynch.

The agency for the past couple of years has done TV work featuring “All Smoke High,” a satirical look at a school where everyone has to smoke. The budget for that work, from Illinois’ share in the anti-tobacco settlement, has been slashed, so a few more outdoor ads are all that remain. Given that, Hadrian’s Wall found no room for subtlety.

“Outdoor has to be quick,” Lynch said. “It demands to be that much more dramatic.”