signs of the times

Traffic signs with unexpected messages serve as visual cues in a breaking print campaign for Boston’s Copley Place shopping mall.

“We wanted to position Copley as the definitive place to buy fashion,” said Gary Greenberg, co-chairman, co-creative director at Greenberg Seronick O’Leary & Parterns, the Boston agency that has handled the account for the past four years. “They look at themselves as a fashion mall.” Copley Place is known for high-end stores such as Neiman Marcus and Tiffany & Co. and designer boutiques Hugo Boss and Gucci.

One execution shows an attractive male model crossing the street; the sign behind him says “Do not drool.” Another execution shows a female model with a sign that reads, “Don’t Gawk.”

The ads, which have the flavor of fashion magazine layouts, were the first full-color work for Copley Place by GSOP. They were shot in Boston and have no copy or headlines. There is no tagline for the campaign. “We felt that words would get in the way,” said Greenberg. “We wanted to get people to stop and stare [at the ads],” said Greenberg.