10-foot-long mutant fire ants no match for Black Flag insecticide

Posted on Mon Jun 7 2010

Giant fire ants terrorize city! Wasn't that a Hollywood movie from the '70s? It's also an outdoor video project that likely made some skin crawl in Houston over the weekend. (It's doing the same for me now.) Between bites of peanuts and Cracker Jacks, unsuspecting fans of the Houston Astros saw a horrifying swarm of 10-foot-long mutant ants attack the Veterans Administration building in full view of Minute Maid Park. Then, our hero, in the form of an enormous can of Black Flag insecticide, showered the insects with bug spray, and that was that (except for the lingering shudders about the whole ordeal). The project, via a process called animated 3-D mapping, comes from ad agency Marcus Thomas in Cleveland, in what was its first work for the new client. Other markets could get a similar invasion, but Houston was the first because of its devastating bug problems. (Apparently fire ants cause $1.2 billion in damage in the state, Texas A&M research says.) As the agency's own press materials point out, there's nothing novel about "show bug, kill bug" in the pest control category (usually done through some kind of funny animation). But this "virtual infestation" makes it unique. And disgusting. Well done! (Maybe watch after lunch.) 

—Posted by T.L. Stanley



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