Truths—inconvenient, irreverent and otherwise—are the focus of truTV’s irrepressible out-of-home campaign promoting the second season of Adam Ruins Everything, a show that amusingly debunks popular myths and sets the record straight on all manner of cultural misconceptions.
Developed with Work in Progress and themed “Contextual Ruins,” the ads share truths in or near physical locations that could be “ruined,” in theory—for some folks, at least—by such knowledge leaking out.
Take, for example, Mount Rushmore’s complicated and controversial history, truTV caused a viral stir by chiseling away at the topic with billboards that popped up around the iconic national memorial in South Dakota.
“We wanted to create one-to-one marketing on a scalable level,” says Puja Vohra, truTV’s evp of marketing and digital. “We used a few criteria—topics that were the most relatable to consumers, locations that could be tied to and amplify them, and subjects we thought would cause the most disruption and conversation.”
Sure, life’s not soul-crushing enough already. Let’s add some truth to the mix!
Which brings us, naturally, to the campaign’s take on herpes.
Thankfully, most of us will never develop icky symptoms. Isn’t that reassuring?
“The topic is so universal, the statement is accurate, and the placement really generates a surprise and grounds it in reality—just like the show,” says Vohra.
If that herpes bus wrap left you smarting, never fear. truTV dumbs things down for its next outing.
“The biggest challenge we had was finding the right media in the right locations,” Vohra says. Here’s an example of one such highly targeted buy designed to make a splash.
Here’s a spirited take on pricey wines vs. cheap hooch.
And why skirt the topic of hula dancers?
Breaking with the OOH formula, the campaign’s roadblock on SheKnows should whet baba’s appetite.