"Dude With Sign" walked around Penn's campus on Thursday to promote the opening of Penn Medicine's new Pavilion.
"Dude With Sign" runs a viral Instagram account with 7.7 million followers, where he posts pictures of himself holding up cardboard signs with different phrases. On Thursday, his sign read "Scan Me" with a QR code that led to a 10-question riddle about the Pavilion.
Penn Medicine brought the Instagram celebrity to campus to increase students' awareness of its new $1.6 billion facility that is set to open on Oct. 30. Dude With Sign went to College Hall, the LOVE sign, and the hospital campus around midday on Thursday.
The new 17-story building, which serves as an extension of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, is designed around patients’ needs rather than the needs of the staff. It will add approximately 500 beds and 50 operating and procedure rooms to the health system, along with amenity spaces designated for patients and staff of the hospital.
Chief Marketing Officer for Penn Medicine Tanya Andreadis said Penn Medicine wanted someone who would bring a lot of buzz to the Pavilion opening and landed on Dude With Sign. Crowds of students surrounded Dude With Sign in front of the Benjamin Franklin statue outside of College Hall, posing for photos with the F**k Jerry employee.
Every time someone took a photo, the QR code popped up, leading to the riddle with information about the Pavilion. Some students brought their own signs to take pictures with, including a pizza box reading "KCECH is the best dorm @ Penn" and a sign from the University asking students to wash their hands.
Andreadis said Dude With Sign was "honored" to help promote the building's opening. Other promotional efforts include a voiceover from 1999 College graduate and Grammy-award-winning artist John Legend and advertisements with players on the Philadelphia Eagles.
"What we really want people to know is this is happening right here in your community," Andreadis said. "Not only are we going to change the world with medicine but you have access to really great health care so take advantage of it," Andreadis said.
Dude With Sign previously worked with President Joe Biden to promote the COVID-19 vaccine, posing for an Instagram photo together. Dude With Sign held a sign reading "Let's Look Our For Each Other and Get Vaccinated" while standing next to the president who held a sign reading "This Dude Gets It, Folks."
"Without the University of Pennsylvania none of this is possible," Andreadis said. "It's a pride point for not just us on the medicine side, but the University overall.