This Bus-Stop Ad for The Young Pope Gives Off Puffs of White Smoke

Is it a holy plume ... or a cigarette?

Headshot of Angela Natividad

In addition to being the first-ever American Pope, the youngest one, and Jude Law, The Young Pope’s got a big responsibility on his shoulders: Keeping HBO rolling in viewership while Game of Thrones takes a dragon nap.

Its capacity to do this from a storytelling perspective is debatable (even if it’s already given us a delightful collection of memes), but its launches in other countries have proven whimsical and imaginative. To wit: The Papal A.I. that trolled French users with Bible verses, powered by IBM’s Watson, for the Canal+ debut in France.

For The Young Pope’s debut on Fox Channels in Brazil, agency Z+ created an out-of-home campaign at a bus stop situated near a chimney that sends out white smoke. White smoke in Vatican-land represents the election of a new Pope, news that the Sistine Chapel transmits to the people through a white plume.

But in this case, and when you stand at just the right angle, the smoke also looks like it’s coming from Pope Pius XIII’s cigarette. Saucy Jude!

The campaign will also include an activation of local influencers, who received a media kit with a Bible, a bottle of Pope Pius XIII’s favorite drink (Cherry Coke Zero…?) and a stole.

Client: Fox Channels
Agency: Z+ Brazil
Title: The Young Pope
Product: The Young Pope
VP of Creative: Fernando Rodrigues
Executive Creative Director: Alexandre Vilela (Xã)
Creative Directors: Alessandra Muccillo e André Mancini
Creatives: Paula Dias, Guilherme Azevedo e Gabriel Lima
Project Manager: Rafael Coelho e Felipe Mabuti
Accounts Manager: Guilherme Alonso, Thiago Barboza e Thais Carbonell
Planners: Daniel Rios e João Guerra
Client Approval: Sergio Domanico e Danilo Campos
Graphics Production: Z+ – Claudio Gome e Carlos Vieira
Art Buyer: Alice Sueko
Technology Producer: BIZSYS
Technology: Fábio Palma e Filipe Palma
Producers: Rodrigo Cassino e Fábio Alves
Vehicle: Clear Channel

@luckthelady Angela Natividad is a frequent contributor to Adweek's creativity blog, AdFreak. She is also the author of Generation Creation and co-founder of Hurrah, an esports agency. She lives in Paris and when she isn't writing, she can be found picking food off your plate.