The Joy Team Puts a Smile Across America for International Day of Happiness... in Billboards

Vancouver, WA, March 12, 2015 --( Thirty-seven billboards with positive messages aiming to spread joy, optimism and inspiration will start popping up the week of March 16th from coast to coast, forming a smiley face when you connect the dots on a map of the US. The messages are part of Smile Across America, a national campaign from The Joy Team to help Americans celebrate and rekindle their inner joy in honor of International Day of Happiness on March 20th.

The messages will be up for four weeks in 16 states in what is believed to be the first time ever billboard advertising has been intentionally placed in the shape of a smile.

Here are some cool facts about Smile Across America:

37 billboards (22 static, 15 digital) are going up in 16 states the week of March 16th and every one of them will be up in time for International Day of Happiness, a day created by the United Nations in 2012 to recognize the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal human goals.
The smile spans from Vancouver, WA (where The Joy Team is headquartered) to White Plains, NY; with "eyes” in Billings, MT; Casper, WY; Minneapolis, MN, and Des Moines, IA.
Estimated number of impressions (ie: smiles) over the four week period is 10 million.
Partners of the campaign range from businesses to entrepreneurs to families, and one by the class of ‘88 of a small high school in Estacada, OR, in honor of a classmate who passed on.
In Albuquerque there are 3 bi-lingual billboards with messages in English and Spanish.

"One positive message can make a huge difference in someone’s day," said Michele McKeag Larsen, founder of The Joy Team. "Seeing that message on a big, yellow billboard is pretty surprising, and it infuses people with a boost of inspiration and optimism before they even realize it."

"Love who you are. We do." "Something wonderful is about to happen." "Inhale. Exhale. Smile. Repeat." "You make a difference. A big one." These are just some of the messages that will inspire and uplift people across the nation. A complete list of the smile cities, the messages in each, and the partners supporting them can be found at Images of the billboard designs can be downloaded from this Dropbox folder:

Why positive messages?
Positive messages influence our thoughts. Our thoughts affect our beliefs, the words we speak and the actions we take; which shape the circumstances and events of our lives. Happier, more optimistic thoughts lead to happier, more optimistic people. Why does happiness matter? Not only does research show the health benefits are huge; but it also shows happiness leads to success in nearly every domain of our lives; including marriage, friendship, community involvement, creativity and, in particular, our jobs, careers and businesses.

Why billboards?
Billboard advertising works. You can't turn it off, fast forward it or mute it. If you drive by it, you see it. Most people can't help reading something they see, it's automatic. Want to share a happy thought? A billboard is an excellent way to do it.

Smile Across America partners include Cobalt Designworks, Discount Tire, Dr. Romie, Emer Kelly, Estacada HS Class of '88, Heather Strang, Kamama Consulting, Maddux Family, Maria Dismondy, NM Blaze Volleyball, NNNet Advisors, Radiant Om Yoga, Reinhart Family, Starla Fitch, M.D., Stutsman y Marquez Family, The Magic Touch, Thrivant Financial, Total Merchant Concepts, Up Your Creative Genius, What's Under Your Cape?, Clear Channel Outdoor and Lamar Advertising.

About The Joy Team
Founded in February 2010, The Joy Team is a 501c3 corporation based in Vancouver, Washington, with the mission of building community by spreading joy, optimism and inspiration. Projects of the positive thought organization include putting up 115 positive messages (and counting) on billboards, delivering over 2,450 Happy Packets to the staff of organizations serving the community through The Junior Joy Team, giving over 4,400 jars of joy-wrapped peanut butter to hungry kids through the PB & JOY Project and the annual international Chalk the Walks event. Learn more at, like them on or follow them on Twitter @TheJoyTeam.

About International Day of Happiness
The General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution document of July 12, 2012, proclaimed March 20th the International Day of Happiness recognizing the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives. Learn more here:
The Joy Team
Michele Mckeag Laren
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