Real-Time ‘Breathable Billboard’ Urges Us Not to Let Air Pollution Go Back to ‘Normal'

Collaborating with Wonderhood Studios and Ocean Outdoor, the charity's billboards with feature at digital sites in Canary Wharf, Finchley Road and Westfield Square.


To promote cleaner air in London and help prevent the return of pre-lockdown air pollution levels, Global Action Plan, the charity behind Clean Air Day, in partnership with Wonderhood Studios and Ocean Outdoor, has launched the 'Breathable Billboard' with flowering lungs to visualise local air quality.

The lungs on the breathable billboard react to localised pollution data from the ‘Daily Air Quality Index’ based on the billboard’s location. When pollution levels are low the sites are bright and clear, and the lungs are blooming. But when air pollution is high or approaching illegal levels, it changes colour and darkens. The lungs are withered and brown and the messaging changes.



Wonderhood Studios and Global Action Plan were one of the charity prize winners of Ocean’s 10th annual digital creative competition. The billboards mark the launch of a new campaign toolkit by Global Action Plan, containing OOH and social assets which is being distributed to 250 supporting organisations to enable local authorities and national charities to amplify the campaign on their own OOH sites and social channels.

The Coronavirus pandemic has brought our ideas of ‘normal’ into question and this is especially true of air pollution. Pre-lockdown, the illegal air pollution levels in our towns and cities was an environmental health risk causing up to 36,000 deaths in the UK each year. At the height of lockdown however, No2 levels were 20-30% lower than ‘normal’ nationwide, with roadside emissions halved in places. With significantly reduced numbers of cars on the roads, our air quality was the best it has been in decades.


The campaign drives the public to the online hub which informs them on the steps to take to help tackle air pollution. Although traffic levels are starting to return to pre-lockdown levels, a recent study has shown commuter behaviour can have an impact on the pollution levels in our cities. Analysis has found that air pollution was down 50% of pre-lockdown levels at key commuter spots in London, with staggered commutes, less car use, and home-working reducing congestion.

Global Action Plan hopes this work will be a reminder to commuters to be conscious about their travel choices, so we do not go back to the ‘normal’ levels of pollution.

Larissa Lockwood, head of health and air quality at Global Action Plan says: “In lockdown we literally woke up and smelt cleaner air. While air pollution is largely invisible we have now experienced what it feels like to have cleaner air, and know what we can personally do to keep it this way by using the car less, and walking, cycling or working from home more often instead. While we can’t see it, air pollution can have a huge impact on our health, so it is important to visualise the problem in a tangible way through these lung images and remind people to keep doing their part so that we can all breathe cleaner, healthier air.” BRAND: Global Action Plan AGENCY: Wonderhood Studios CREATIVES: Ads Dechaud and Phil Le Brun PRODUCER: Georgia Totvanian DESIGNER: James Wakefield Source