By KERA MORRIS of Westword | JULY 20, 2018 | 7:59AM
If you’ve been down 18th Street in downtown Denver lately, you might have spotted an eye-catching billboard that seems to be inviting you to do something rather explicit to yourself. Look a little closer, though, and you’ll see that its message is a puzzle, a simple cipher that replaces letters with numbers and invites you to “Come Free Yourself.”
The billboard is the latest advertising campaign for the Denver Escape Room, one of the early pioneers of the live-action games that have exploded nationwide, places where you must puzzle your way out of mazes and mysteries before the clock runs out. But are drivers and pedestrians making the connection?
“Overall, the response has been very positive,” says Denver Escape Room marketing manager Melissa Hirsch. “Most people get the puzzle and joke, though sometimes it takes a minute to figure it out. Our guests know a puzzle when they see one.”
The company has escape rooms in a half-dozen cities. According to Hirsch, one of the billboard companies that her outfit works with thought that the “Come F Yourself” concept was the most creative it had seen in a long time, while another had to check with local ordinances to ensure that the puzzle was fit for public display. Ultimately, Outfront Media’s Denver outdoor advertising branch put it up without comment.