Talk about viral marketing.
If seeing (or just hearing about) the box-office topping movie "Contagion" didn't already have you drenching yourself in Purell, this Toronto billboard may do just that.
Warner Brothers Canada made two storefront billboards for the movie completely out of live bacteria, fungi and mold. According to the Montreal Gazette, the media promotion agency hired 25 microbiologists and immunologists to test which bacteria would work best. Then the signs were hand-stenciled and the bacteria brushed on to the letters spelling out the movie's name.
When the ads first went up, the name of the film was hardly visible, but as time went by, the word "CONTAGION" began to show up in completely creepy mold.
The attached video shows the setup of the ad and the development of the fungus over time, as well as the repulsed reaction from Toronto shoppers.
These are reportedly the first live-bacteria billboards ever attempted. The bacteria used was harmless, a spokesman told the Gazette, though he said "we wouldn't recommend anyone eating it or anything like that."
Toronto was apparently chosen because the city is currently hosting the Toronto Film Festival.
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Gael Fashingbauer Cooper is TODAY.com's movies editor.