Deadline Express Self Destruct in Auckland

Deadline Express Couriers in 2007 used an exploding billboard to raise their profile in Auckland, New Zealand. A single billboard was placed on Nelson St, in the middle of Auckland city, with a digital countdown clock, together with the promise that the billboard would self destruct at zero hour, 6 pm on Sunday July 22 2007.

Deadline Self Destruct Billboard

When the digital clock counted down to zero the billboard was blown up with nitramine dry powder, strobe grenades and smoke bombs. A live streaming webcam of the countdown, posted at and linked to Deadline’s homepage, was seen by thousands of people, in addition to the people driving past on the motorway. The message throughout the campaign, “When we give you a time we mean it.”

Click on the image below to play the video.

Another view…

Click on the image below to play the video.


The Self Destruct billboard was developed at Colenso BBDO, Auckland, by creative director Richard Maddocks, copywriters/art directors Jamie Hitchcock and Josh Lancaster, designer Simon Redwood, agency producer Paul Courtney, photographer Stephen Langdon (Reload), account supervisor Brent Smart, interactive creative Mark Addy and interactive producer Rebecca Holt.

Greg Skinner and the team at Roller Coaster organised traffic control, obtained resource consents and fire deparment permits. Pyrotechnics were organised at Film Effects.

Web technical consultants were Richard Pilkington and Daniel Too. Media Strategist was Andrew Reinholds.

Deadline Couriers Billboard

The Self Destruct campaign won a Grand Clio and Gold award at Clio Awards 2008 and a Silver Lion at Cannes International Advertising Festival for Ambient: Stunts & Live Advertising.