Congrats, Omaha, You Now Have the Country’s Most Disgusting Billboards

STD warnings look like infected flesh

A graphic sexual health campaign aims to combat rising STD rates in Omaha, Neb., by grossing out young people with giant flesh-and-pus letters that deliver off-putting puns.

Billboards and bus posters around the city, as well as digital ads, feature twisted plays on sentimental clichés, with lines like "Him and Herpes" and "Ignorance is blisters."

The Women's Fund of Omaha's Adolescent Health Project created the visually striking ads, with all-volunteer ad agency Serve Marketing, to encourage viewers to capitalize on free testing, and ultimately lower infection rates. (Serve was also behind these fake storefront businesses in Omaha with STD-type names.)

But, especially with flourishes like toupees and tattoos, the humor-meets-horror approach may also risk coming across as ridiculous—if not just too terrifying to get through—to the target audience. In any case, they make Unilever's hideous-germs-on-holiday ads look gorgeous by comparison.


Agency: Serve Marketing

Executive Creative Director: Gary Mueller

Creative Director, Art Director: Matt Hermann

Art Director: Carsyn McKenzie

Copywriters: Bruce Dierbeck, Evan Stremke

Illustrator: Shawn Holpher

Retoucher: Anthony Giacomino

Account Executive: Heidi Sterricker