Here’s an Outback Steakhouse Billboard That’s Really on Fire

But once again, don't call 911

Headshot of Tim Nudd

The motorists in Georgia who called 911 after seeing a little smoke coming out of that Outback Steakhouse billboard will feel a little foolish after seeing this Outback board, which goes spectacularly up in flames. It looks like a home movie, complete with bleeped-out F-bombs and some serious-looking damage. But this August story from the Los Angeles Times, reporting on plans for a commercial shoot in Glendale, would seem to confirm it as a hoax. "At approximately 10 p.m., three long, brown cylinders running along the front of the billboard—symbolizing a grill—will be ignited," the Times reported dryly. "The flames will then consume the billboard and the grill will fall off, landing on a car, which will result in an explosion, said city spokesman Tom Lorenz. All of the work will be closely monitored by firefighters, Lorenz said, and police officers will be keeping pedestrians at bay." UPDATE: The campaign is by Deutsch in New York. Chief creative officer Greg DiNoto says: "Outback came to us looking for really breakthrough ways to help introduce their new Wood-Fire Grill cooking platform in their restaurants. Our idea was simple: where's there's smoke… there's fire.  Along the way we learned fire goes better with steaks than it does with billboards." 

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.
Publish date: September 28, 2011 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT