If you’re a Bostonian and were recently handed a piece of fruit with a sticker that reads “Orange you happy?” do not be alarmed.Unexpected social experiments are popping up throughout Boston as a part of a new campaign aimed to prevent suicide in the city.
Although Massachusetts still has one of the lowest suicide rates in the country, the city-wide rate has grown in the last decade. So ad agency Hill Holiday took on a pro-bono project for Samaritan Inc. to create the “Happier Boston” campaign.
In addition to a website, the campaign sends strangers out into the streets to randomly cheer on people getting off public transportation or a capella-bombing them in elevators going up skyscrapers.
For those who aren’t fans of impromptu singalongs, AdFreak asked Samaritans executive director Roberta Hurtig what happens if the stunt backfires.
She explained that while depressed people don’t want to be told to smile and that will eliminate the pain, “Our events are an invitation, not a command—the difference matters, and it’s noticeable. A smile shared is contagious, and we’ve had very positive feedback.”
What do you think?