Hill, Holliday Boosts Street Furniture Program

The medium is the message in a poster campaign from Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos for Wall USA’s citywide “street furniture” program.

The program will include bus shelters, information panels, telephone kiosks and automatic public toilets.

Thus far, toilet facilities have been installed on Congress Street near Boston’s City Hall and at Langone Field in the North End. Wall plans to install 20 city information panels and 10 phone pillars by year’s end. The rest of the pieces will be installed in 2002.

The so-called street furniture, commonplace in several European cities, is provided at no cost to Boston. Wall makes its profit from advertising sold at each location, sharing some revenue with the city. Hill, Holliday, Boston, was selected to produce a series of posters adorning the street installations.

An effort was made to “demonstrate to advertisers how good a placement can look,” said Hill, Holliday president Mike Sheehan.

Each execution plays up the “street” theme and depicts the city’s charms, old and new. One poster, labeled “The intersection of Progressive and Quaint,” contrasts Boston’s modern skyline with a flower pot decorating the steps of a 19th-century brownstone. Another poster shows historical statues in one panel and kids lounging on a pier at sunset. The headline: “The intersection of Solemn and Carefree.” Yet another execution, headlined “The intersection of Charm and Honor,” offers photographs of Boston’s famed swan boats and sculptures of Civil War-era soldiers. Wall USA’s number in Boston closes out each poster.

Though the campaign includes no paid media and at present is confined to Boston, Hill, Holliday is hopeful the work will be adapted to other cities as the client expands operations, Sheehan said.

Wall USA is also providing Street furniture for St. Louis and is bidding for a contract in Chicago, but has made no decision about exporting Hill, Holliday’s work into those markets, said company chief operating officer Martin McDonough.