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Sunlight billboards pop up around Manchester to help fight SAD this Blue Monday

Danny Jones

Sunlight billboards for SAD Blue Monday

People walking into work this morning may have noticed something quite unusual threatening commuters in Manchester. Have you ever seen a “sunlight billboard”?

The clever idea launched by advertising giants Saatchi & Saatchi, in partnership with supplement brand Solgar, is the latest effort to try and help people combat SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Yes, it is real.

Said to be at his worst on supposedly ‘Blue Monday‘ – apparently the most depressing of the year – Saatchi and Solgar have teamed up to create these unique solar-powered billboards, designed to help simulate the effects of the sun on passers-by.

Given the time of year, cold temperatures and customary Manc weatherIt can be hard to feel better throughout the day, but I hope these specially designed display boards can help.

These gold-hued giant screens do exactly what they say on the tin; as the caption in the middle of the signs explains, “Lounging in the light of this billboard can help boost your serotonin.”

Manchester isn’t the only place these sunny SAD screens are popping up either: there’s one in the capital’s Westfield shopping center and several in Birmingham too.

Made using Ocean Outdoor Technologywho have digital billboards across the UK, including the iconic Piccadilly Lights in London, these screens are so much more than your usual advertising space.

As for our beautiful city which is currently dimly lit, there is one in Deansgate, Piccadilly Gardensthem Printing houses and one along Market Street.

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While many people speculate on how real blue monday is – there are plenty of other days in winter that combine the post-Christmas lull with low light, bad weather, strained finances and that general back-to-work funk – seasonal affective disorder is very real.

Affecting around two million Britons every yearranging from mild in most cases to more severe in people with depression and other mental health conditions, the relapsing condition is also believed to be four times more likely to occur in women.

With the way the country is right now, that is booming energy bills and one cost of living crisisyou’d be forgiven for feeling down by default, so it’s good to see companies presenting uplifting campaigns during this difficult time of year.

Moreover, it turns out that we Mancunians could do more than most, since we’re apparently already quite energy efficient during the month of January, in particular.

That being said, for today only, Monday January 16th (aka Blue Monday), you can make the most of these UV light-emitting billboards. Think of them as giants SAD Lampslike the ones you can buy for your home or office – or, you know, a much smaller, squarer version of the sun.

Lighting up at 4 p.m. when it starts to get dark and until 8 p.m., locals can stand in front of these solar-powered billboards as they emit healthy levels of lux to boost their serotonin and hopefully lift the moral. They’re absolutely free and probably one of the best uses of ad space we’ve ever seen.

We’re sure Blue Monday will light up for you in no time.

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Featured Image — Provided

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