Mystery billboards revealed
Grand Rapids nonprofit D.A. Blodgett-St. John’s uses provocative creative to generate conversation of important topic
(GRAND RAPIDS, MICH) March 20, 2019—A number of billboards have been baffling West Michigan for two weeks, and the advertiser has finally been revealed.
The anxious-looking designs with handwritten words like neglect, abuse, and fear have been posted around the Grand Rapids region, prompting a variety of responses and guesses to what the meaning may be.
However, earlier this week, a new design revealed the message belongs to D.A. Blodgett–St. John’s, a local children advocate agency that offers services like adoption, counseling, foster care, mentoring and more. Grand Rapids creative agency Extra Credit Projects was the creative partner on the project.
From cynics to proponents, speculations of who was behind the boards ranged from megachurches to PETA, to the visual representation of “what it’s like to travel US-131 during rush hour.”
Area residents took to social media to seek answers or express opinions about the mystery messages. Some online users expressed discomfort at the content of the billboards, while others argued that the subject matter was important to address.
It’s that level of engagement that D.A. Blodgett-St. John’s was seeking to evoke in the weeks leading up to April’s “National Child Abuse Prevention Month.”
“There have been a lot of comments online that the billboards have made people uncomfortable,” said Katy Buck, public relations and marketing manager for D.A. Blodgett–St. John’s. “Unfortunately this is the reality for many of the children and families that we serve in our community. Our goal was to evoke in viewers the same feelings that some children face every day—anger, fear, frustration, confusion, angst–and to have the reveal visually express that D.A. Blodgett–St. John’s is a refuge from that.”
D.A. Blodgett – St. John’s provides more than 20 services, impacts 9,000 lives every year, and work tirelessly to ensure all children and families have the love, support, and resources they need to thrive – today and into the future. To learn more about D.A. Blodgett–St. John’s, visit www.dabsj.org.