Minneapolis real estate agent Lynn Morgan has her face on bus-stop benches to get exposure, she said.
But a bench-altering project she had no idea was in the works has given her more facetime than she could dream of.
This fall, an artist posed himself as Morgan’s bus-stop mug shot— complete with hoop earrings and scarf — and taped his photo over hers.
“I just love it,” Morgan said. “It’s awesome.”
The project shot to the front page of the site in two hours, got picked up by Buzzfeed soon after and has been a social media click monster since. It even got some airtime on “Good Morning America” on Wednesday.
“It’s unbelievable, the reception,” said Phil Jones, the Minneapolis-based creator of the gag. “Amid all of this holiday chatter, for me to get pushed to the top … it was the right time, the right thing to do.”
Jones said the idea came to him during his daily commute to his job as an artist at a local ad agency.
“I ride by all these billboards, and I see these faces every day,” he said. “It’s almost a character that they’re playing.”
And they were characters he wanted to try to play.
“They’re projecting a certain image toward their clientele, and it’s hard to do that in an image,” he said. “I thought it was so fun, I’d love to re-create that.”
He worked with producer Alexis Jones to find clothing and wigs, then tried to re-create the real estate agents’ poses in the studio. Final pictures in hand, Jones used double-sided tape to adhere the images to the benches.
“I didn’t want to damage the ads,” he said.
He decided to post the project online Monday afternoon.
Minneapolis real estate agent Scott Parkin has his face plastered across six bus benches in Minneapolis, “a long-term impression thing” to attract clients, he said.
He said he heard about the project when a friend posted it on his Facebook timeline.
“I don’t mind. I think it’s hilarious,” Parkin said Tuesday. “You can’t put your face out there like that and not expect something to happen to it. We get mustaches, and our teeth blacked in. It’s hilarious.”
Both real estate agents said they’ve fielded dozens of phone calls, emails and text messages about the pictures. Everybody thinks it’s hilarious.
Except the respective legal departments.
“(They) called me today, asked if I was OK with it,” Morgan said. “I was like, ‘Oh, yeah!’ ”
She said she likes the picture so much, she might even make it part of her holidays.
“I might replace my husband’s face with Phil Jones for our Christmas card,” Morgan said. “I think I’d like him. He seems pretty funny.”