56 Happy Billboards Put a Smile Across America for International Day of Happiness

Fifty-six billboards with positive messages aiming to spread joy, optimism and inspiration are popping up this week in 41 cities across the U.S. The billboards are part of Smile Across America, a national campaign from The Joy Team (a positive thought non-profit based in Vancouver, WA) and Natural Life (an artisan retailer of happy treasures based in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL) to help Americans celebrate and rekindle their inner joy in honor of International Day of Happiness on March 20th.

​​​​​​Fifty-six billboards with positive messages aiming to spread joy, optimism and inspiration are popping up this week in 41 cities across the U.S.  The billboards are part of Smile Across America, a national campaign from The Joy Team (a positive thought non-profit based in Vancouver, WA) and Natural Life (an artisan retailer of happy treasures based in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL)  to help Americans celebrate and rekindle their inner joy in honor of International Day of Happiness on March 20th.​

"One positive message can make a huge difference in someone’s day," said Michele McKeag Larsen, founder of The Joy Team. "Our affirmative billboards have inspired people, made them smile, helped them celebrate birthdays and deal with cancer, memorialized loved ones and even saved a life at least once. Imagine what 56 of them across the U.S. can do." 

Fun facts about Smile Across America:

  • 56 billboards are going up in 41 cities the week of March 14th 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 billboards will be up for four weeks and garner roughly 17 million impressions (ie: smiles) while they're up.
  • Pdf's of each message are available at SmileAcrossAmerica.com so anyone can download them and post them in their windows to spread joy, optimism and inspiration right where they are.
  • Smile cities include:
    • Albuquerque, NM;
    • Atlanta, GA;
    • Baltimore, MD;
    • Billings, MT;
    • Birmingham, AL;
    • Boston, MA;
    • Chicago, IL;
    • Coer d'Alene/Post Falls, ID;
    • Columbia, SC;
    • Dallas, TX;
    • El Paso, TX;
    • Fayetteville, NC;
    • Gainesville, FL;
    • Gulfport, MS;
    • Hannibal, MO;
    • Houston, TX;
    • Indianapolis, IN;
    • Jackson, MS;  
    • Jacksonville, FL;
    • Las Vegas, NV;
    • Lenoir, NC;
    • Los Angeles, CA;
    • Miami, FL;
    • Milwaukee;
    • Minneapolis/St Paul, MN;
    • Mobile, AL;  
    • New York, NY;
    • Ocala, FL;
    • Orlando, FL;
    • Philadelphia, PA;
    • Sacramento, CA;
    • Salisbury, MD;
    • San Antonio, TX;
    • San Diego, CA;
    • San Francisco Bay Area;
    • Tampa Bay, FL;
    • Tucson, AZ;
    • Vancouver, WA
    • Washington, DC;
    • West Palm Beach, FL;
    • White Plains, NY
  • The Joy Team worked with Clear Channel Outdoor, Lamar Outdoor and Billups for billboards space.
Our affirmative billboards have inspired people, made them smile, helped them celebrate birthdays and deal with cancer, memorialized loved ones and even saved a life at least once. Imagine what 56 of them across the U.S. can do.

Michele McKeag Larsen, chief joy officer

"The moment we saw the billboards and story behind The Joy Team we knew we wanted to be part of it," said Patti Hughes, Founder/CEO/Creative Officer of Natural Life.  "We love to make the world a better place and inspire people to live happy. We, too, believe that words can change the world. One kind word can change someone’s entire day!"

"Think happy. Be happy."   "Something wonderful is about to happen."  "Stop. Smile. Breathe. Life is beautiful."  "You make a difference."  "Do more of what makes you happy."  These are just some of the messages that will inspire and uplift people across the nation. A complete list of the smile cities and pdfs of the positive messages can be found at SmileAcrossAmerica.com

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.

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 273 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 thejoyteam.org, like them on Facebook.com/TheJoyTeam or follow them on Twitter @TheJoyTeam.

About Natural Life

Natural Life makes irresistible treasures with a free-spirit style and positive vibe…inspiring people to Give and Live Happy!  We believe that it’s the little things that mean the most, that kindness really does matter, that you should always be yourself, do what you love, and try to make the world a better place! It was founded by Patti Hughes in 1996 fueled by everyday life with three daughters, nostalgic memories and global artisan markets!

The Natural Life brand can be found in retail stores all over the world, online and its Flagship Store at the St. Johns Town Center in Jacksonville, FL. The Natural Life store and online community have become a destination where people come to share stories and inspiration, enjoy the little things and discover Natural Life treasures for themselves and their loved ones. For more information about Natural Life, visit: www.naturallife.com and connect at facebook.com/naturallifegifts and @naturallife on Instagram.

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: http://www.un.org/en/events/happinessday/   


Categories: Non Profit, Advertising and Public Relations, General Interest, Urban Living, Signs, Bill Boards, Marquees, and Displays, Personal Growth

Tags: billboards, inspiration, international day of happiness, non-profit, optimism, positive psychology, positive thought, smile across america, the joy team, UN, united nations, well-being


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About The Joy Team

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The Joy Team is a non-profit corporation with the mission of spreading joy, optimism and inspiration. Since 2010, they've put 273 (& counting) positive messages on billboards; effectively placing 100 million seeds of joy out into the world.

Michele McKeag Larsen
Michele McKeag Larsen
The Joy Team

503-724-7442
The Joy Team
3012 NE 43rd Street
Vancouver, WA 98663
United States