Great Experiential Marketing: Café Pele’s contagious billboard


It’s a fact of life that we’ve all pondered over; no one really knows why, but boy are yawns contagious.


Indeed, according to social research conducted by State University of New York 70% of people yawn when they see someone else yawn.

So tapping into this phenomenon, Brazilian coffee brand Café Pele installed a yawning billboard in a metro station in Sao Paolo.

Using a hidden motion sensor, the billboard could detect when and how many people passed in front of it. When someone is nearby, the man on the screen starts yawning, triggering a series of yawns amongst the subway commuters. The more people that walk by, the more the billboard yawns, and the more obvious it is that a boost of caffeine is needed.

After what could really be called a yawn-off, the screen changes to say, “Did you yawn too? It’s time for coffee.” Café Pele brand ambassadors then appear with trays of coffee, handing out espresso shots to those in need.What we love about this brand experience is that it blends together digital and physical environments, granting a multi-sensory brand experience. And like a lot of the best experiential marketing campaigns, this brand was there for its consumers at a time of need. But what was very clever about this is that the brand actually created that need in the first place, and then demonstrated how its product fulfilled it. 

If you like this responsive billboard experience, you’ll love Pictionary’s interactive billboard and this hair-raising poster campaign.

Author bio


With nearly 30 years of marketing experience, both client and agency side, I’ve acquired a rare perspective on brands and business: I believe you have to challenge things creatively if you want to grow sales. Consumer technology is reshaping our world, and it’s only the great brands that stay on the crest.