(CNN) — A good advertisement ought to capture attention and generate buzz, but an Iowa billboard worked a little TOO well! A mannequin atop a car dealership billboard had folks calling 911!
Hundreds of cars travel U.S. 61 in Iowa — past the billboard, and the man on top of it is causing quite a stir!
“We put him up there and holy smokes! I had no idea what would happen next,” Brad Deery, the owner of Deery Brothers of Burlington said.
What happened next was a 911 call to the Des Moines County Sheriff’s Department. They responded to the scene.
“We sent two cars out to check it out and of course after dark it’s very hard to determine that he’s a mannequin, so our deputies conversed with him for a short period of time and realized that he wasn’t real,” Sheriff Mike Johnstone said.
Following that initial call, Sheriff’s officials took around 20 more!
“They all assume that it’s a jumper — someone going to commit suicide and there’s a lot of concern for his safety. He is very realistic looking so I understand that,” Sheriff Johnstone said.
“The police call him Manny the mannequin but we call him Bill because he belongs on the billboard,” Deery said.
Dan Wyss passed by and had to take a photo of the very real-looking mannequin.
“Especially if you see it from back there, once I got close though I figured out it wasn’t and once I read the ad too,” Wyss said.
While Deery hasn’t sold a car as a result of the mannequin yet, he says Manny has gotten a lot of buzz.
“It definitely created a lot of interest and it was probably one of my more novel ideas but I’m going to have to top it somehow,” Deery said.
After being born on a Monday, Manny’s life atop the billboard ended on a Friday in the interest of public safety.