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Projecting crying babies onto pollution is a great way to sell air purifiers

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Pollution in China is a very real, very serious problem, with around 750,000 people thought to die prematurely each year because of it, with most of these caused by air pollution, both outside and indoors. It's a scary figure, but a Chinese firm named Xiao Zhu — that just happens to be in the business of selling air purifiers — apparently thinks it's not scary enough.

To remedy this, the company has decided to highlight the dangers of pollution by projecting images of crying children onto clouds of smoke emerging from factory towers. The resulting advertising campaign named Breathe Again looks like the debut of a Chinese David Lynch, with the huge bawling faces hanging menacingly in the night sky. Presumably, it'll also shift a few air filters.

(Design Boom/Handsome Wong)

(Design Boom/Handsome Wong)

(Design Boom/Handsome Wong)

The over-the-top marketing campaign was first posted on Design Boom via the site's DIY Submissions feature, with someone identifying themselves as Handsome Wong responsible for the post. A Twitter user by the same name is apparently a creative partner at a company named Veracom, and has previously tweeted about Xiao Zhu, the firm behind the ad. If it's the same individual, then he's also responsible for a similarly arresting Chinese environmental campaign: placing massive, shark-finned coffins in public places to highlight the wasteful killing behind shark fin soup.