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Work & Wellbeing Mental Health

Supplement brand lights up billboards to boost serotonin on Blue Monday


By Ellen Ormesher, Senior Reporter

January 16, 2023 | 3 min read

On the so-called ‘bluest’ day of the year, Solgar has taken inspiration from Sad therapy lamps to glow up 12 billboards across the UK.

SAD billboard

The DOOH campaign says it can help boost serotonin levels / Solgar

In the depths of winter, shorter and darker days can affect our moods and immune systems. To combat the January blues, Solgar is inviting commuters to stand in front of its new billboards ‘to help boost serotonin’ and reminds them to top up their vitamin D levels with the brand’s vegan vitamins.

The work, developed in collaboration with Saatchi & Saatchi, won funding at the Ocean Outdoor Digital Competition 2022 and uses Ocean’s OOH technology in London, Manchester and Birmingham to host creative emitting a lux level that can help boost serotonin.

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Helen Davis, senior brand manager at Nestlé Health Science, said: “With more limited sunlight, winter is the time our natural vitamin intake may suffer, so what better way to lift spirits on the bluest day of the year than with sunlight-inspired creative? We want to give commuters a little light as darkness falls on the ‘bluest’ day of the year and are delighted that Saatchis was able to bring this ambition to life in such a practical and unique way across the UK’s three major cities.”

Franki Goodwin, chief creative officer at agency Saatchi & Saatchi, added: “The best ads are often the ones that bring a bit of light relief, but they are rarely scientifically proven to do so! Harnessing Ocean’s technology and some amazing sites across Britain to bring golden light to the nation on its most miserable day is really special and we’re basking in the joy of it.”

SAD billboard
SAD billboard

However, the campaign launches at a time when the climate impact of DOOH is under question. Recent investigations suggest that just one standard six-sheet screen uses the energy equivalent of three average UK homes, while a larger digital billboard uses the same electricity as 11 UK homes. Yet the overall carbon impact of DOOH remains hard to measure.

The Drum enquired with Saatchi & Saatchi as to whether the emissions created by the campaign had been considered and was told by a spokesperson: ”The billboards are operating within the normal range expected for digital OOH creative.”

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