No matter how powerful your web broswer's ad blocker may be, there's no escaping the influence of Madison Avenue. We live in a world plastered with advertising, and, thanks to budget cuts, in recent years some school districts have even agreed to allow ads on school buses and report cards. But what if instead of promoting the latest movies or reality television shows, those advertisements educated people about science?
That's the goal of a 10-year partnership between Vancouver's Science World Museum and Canadian advertising agency Rethink. They've created a series of billboard and commercial advertisements like the one above—which was actually covered in 2 ounces of real gold hammered so thin that it covered 200 square feet. The advertisement even required round-the-clock security and sparked the curiosity of city residents.
And, even the most jaded TV consumer is sure to be captivated by this award winning commercial, "Airport Security":
The reveal is a shareable tidbit of science that leaves you wanting to know why. That's where the clever tagline, "We can explain" comes in. Everyone wants an explanation after seeing that commercial—and the message is clear: science can give it to you.
If every city put billboards up like this, they might help kids keep their inherent curiosity about the world around us. And with constant visual reminders of the practical, fun nature of science, students might be more likely to want to study it. After all, given the push for more science, technology, engineering, and math grads, using a little Madison Avenue muscle to get more biologists or physicists can't hurt.
Gold billboard image via Rethink