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Digital billboard spies on Torontonians to promote Snowden

snowdenA digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising campaign for last month’s release of the movie Snowden turned a downtown Toronto billboard into a surveillance screen, live-streaming footage of pedestrians crossing Yonge-Dundas Square.

Creative agency DentsuBos and out-of-home (OOH) ad firm Cieslok Media planned the stunt—which used hidden cameras with motion-tracking technology—to coincide with the Oliver Stone picture’s premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Snowden, as the title suggests, tells the story of U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) mass-surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden.

“It was interesting seeing people’s reactions,” says Jon Freir, creative director for DentsuBos. “Almost all of them looked around to see if there were other cameras spying on them, which is very telling.”

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