Peru: Where Billboards Meet Functionality

An unlikely partnership between Peruvian researchers and an ad agency has resulted in billboard’s providing much needed services to neighboring communities.

The first of these billboards captures air humidity and turns it into drinking water. Ideal for the city of Lima, Peru which is the second largest desert capital in the world. The billboard fulfills its traditional function as an advertising tool by marketing the courses of Lima’s University of Engineering and Technology, while also producing 25 gallons of water a day. The water is stored in 20-liter tanks and dispensed at the bottom of the structure for the community to freely enjoy.

Also in Lima, the Peruvian duo created a billboard that purifies the air around it. A different functionality than providing clean water, but a much-needed one as Lima is known for having the worst air quality in South America. It works by sucking in the polluted air and filtering it through a water-based system that traps 99 percent of the pollutants. Only consuming 2.5Kw of energy per hour, this unique air-purifying filter does the work of about 1,200 trees, clearing the air for a 5-block radius.

Most recently, the Peruvian landscape has created a new billboard, once again proving that they can provide a very functional utility. Advertiser Sodimac Homecenter has taken into consideration that one in three road accidents are a result of fatigue, and has created a billboard that provides comfort to tired drivers. The board functions as a rest stop station where drivers can park below the neon arrow that signals them to a single-car garage decorated like a bedroom. Offering constant security, as well as sleep masks and Wi-Fi connection, drivers have said that the ad, “doesn’t just sell you something for your house, but delivers the restful comforts of home when you need it most.”

These billboards demonstrate that marketing can easily fuse with functionality and project an even larger message. Peru is on the forefront of this idea and we can only hope it spreads, quickly.