XBOX Survival Billboard

Survival Billboard

Video games are a fun concept for advertisers because of all the options they offer, and they often have some pretty high-tech solutions to get the attention of potential customers. But, they have started to stray away from simply advertising the graphics, and they’re trying to tap into the interests of those who would like a particular game. For the release of the new Tomb Raider game, the advertisers used a billboard to really push the limits of anything done before. And, it really got the world’s attention.

Survival Billboard

Live Survivors

Since the game follows the heroine through quite a few intense situations, they decided to have some people compete to see who was as tough as Lara Croft. Eight contestants stood on platforms on the side of a billboard, and they had to see who could last the longest. But, that would be too simple, so they spiced it up a bit – they hit them with bad weather: rain, snow, heat, cold, and many other things. To keep the audience involved, the whole thing was streaming live on the internet, and the audience could vote on the weather patterns.

Was It Real?

One of the first things that many people wonder is if this was actually a real project. The fun answer is that it was. It was tricky to pull off, but none of it was faked. The McCann London team that made it worked really hard to make it happen, and the contestants fought impressively with each other. One contestant even had to be removed and treated for hypothermia. If that doesn’t prove its legitimacy to you, then nothing will!

XBOX Survival Billboard

Full of Challenges

Building the actual billboard was a challenge because they had to meet a lot of requirements. They wanted to do it in London (the home location of the video game), but they had to work to find a location which would be noticeable without bothering normal city traffic. Also, they had to install the weather machines, as well as make sure the live streaming options were all going to function correctly. They even needed a special team of seamstresses to make sure that the letters on the contestant’s shirts perfectly lined up with the message on the billboard.

Another major obstacle was not knowing what would happen. This was essentially a reality show, so they had to plan for any different scenario to make sure the outcome was exciting. It was a lot of work, but they really seemed prepared.

The Advertisements of Putting It Together

This was a nice case in the advertising world, because the planning stages also worked to advertise the game. In order to find the contestants, they followed a similar strategy to what producers do when casting a television show. They used posters, social media ads, radio spots, and other forms of media to let potential contestants (and customers) know the whole event would take place. This alone carried the spirit of the campaign and the game around, so people were already excited about the billboard by the time it was put up. Can you imagine if your customers were excited for the day that your sign would appear?

Survival of the Grittest Billboard

Was It Successful?

Yes, it was a tremendous success. Video games are an extremely competitive industry, and this one was being released at the same time as some of its top competitors. However, this really rebranded the game and its main character, and it actively engaged potential players in a way that none of the others were able to do.

The Advertising World Loved It

It’s not a surprise to learn that even in the world of advertising, this whole show really stood out. It managed to win 17 Cannes Lions, making it one of the most awarded campaigns of the year, plus many other awards and recognitions. That doesn’t normally happen with a billboard, but it’s proof that anything can be great if done correctly.

Was it Dangerous?

One of the reasons that this was so successful was because of the fact that it was dangerous. That’s something that always gets people’s attention. However, it doesn’t look very good for your brand if someone actually gets hurt. Doctors performed a very strict evaluation of each contestant to make sure that they would be able to compete, and they closely monitored them during the event to keep them safe.

Would This Work for You?

Xbox and Tomb Raider really hit the jackpot with this billboard. It’s just another example of how successful this advertising medium can be – if used correctly. Would doing something similar like this work for your brand? We’d love to hear any crazy ideas that you’d like to make a reality!

Billboards of Snow

Billboards of Snow

Have you ever been stuck in a snowstorm and started dreaming of warmer climates?  You surely have if you’ve ever spent any significant amount of time in a colder area, as it’s a common problem that everyone complains about.  Even though many people seek out tanning beds and other temporary solutions, they always daydream of warm sun and sandy beaches.

But, have you ever considered that this might just be a great way to get the attention of your customers?  You might not have the budget to send them all to a beach, but what about planting the idea in their heads?

Billboards of Snow

Cold Campaigns Can Be Cool

Mexico’s Board of Tourism was trying to attract cold people from their urban homes, and they wanted to motivate them to hop on a plane and come support the Mexican economy.  They found quite the opportunity in the third most populated city in the US, and they took advantage of the fact that citizens of Chicago hate the long and cold winters.

During a spring snowstorm, some artists took to the streets of the city with the goal of using frozen water to spread warm thoughts.  They either packed the snow on to surfaces, or they shoveled it off.  In both cases, they made it into a message of words that were easily read by viewers.  They all discussed how warm it is in Mexico to try and inspire people to book a beach vacation to warm up their bones.

Four Noticeable Slogans

It was mostly text (not images), and the words weren’t random.  They used four specific slogans:

1) “Take your clothes off.”

2) “Beaches with sand this white.”

3) “Mexico: Always a warm Welcome.”

4) “Come melt under the sun.”

Snow Graffiti for Attention

One thing that makes this campaign stand out is how simple it is when compared to many of the high-tech ads that have been turning heads lately.  All it really took was a few guys with snow, shovels, and ladders.  They needed something to put it on (or take it off of) and plenty of creativity.  It didn’t need virtual reality, artificial intelligence, or any other technology that seems to belong in a science fiction story.

Billboard Snow Campaign

Playing to What People Want

Chicago is famous as being a place with cold and bitter winters, and that fact was absolutely necessary to this campaign.  There are many cities that occasionally see snow, but a lot of them generally have temperatures that are much more comfortable.  This could have physically been done in warmer places, but it wouldn’t have been as noticeable to the residents because they wouldn’t be bordering on the feelings of desperation for anything hot.

The Results Were Hot

This whole stunt was put on by Lapiz, which is a branch of the Leo Burnett Group.  They were working with an area artist, NosE Lanariz, to actually create the messages, and this helped them connect with the local scene.  It’s been viewed as a great use of outdoor media in an innovative fashion, and it’s a nice example of how a low-budget campaign can still have very successful results.

Taking Advantage of Other Ads

There have been plenty of ads talking about the nice weather of Mexico.  For an example, just think about any commercial for Corona that you’ve ever seen.  That means this campaign was benefitting from all of those.  The image that the tourism board wanted to convey was already in the minds of customers, so it wasn’t really necessary to show it to them.  All they had to do was trigger those thoughts, and once they were pulled out of the depths of frozen minds, they were now associated with the idea of taking a trip to Mexico.

Breaking Out of Standard Media

Trying to get away from using standard media channels can be very challenging, but it can sometimes be far more successful than sticking to the same methods being used by everyone else – so it’s always worth thinking about.  This strategy can have amazing results when you have such an opportunity as they did in Chicago.

Even if you don’t have an idea this great, you can still think of innovative ways to use establish forms of media.  For example, billboards can take advantage of 3D solutions, or they can integrate some sort of technology.

Have You Made It Snow on Your Customers?

Being different and unique is a great way to get customer’s attention.  It’s made even better when it plays upon their desires to solve a problem, as it did in this case.  However, don’t make it snow just because you can.  If all you are doing is trying to be creative, you might attract attention, but it won’t necessarily increase your sales.  So make sure that when you bring the snow, you drop it on the people who are actually ready to book a flight.  If you want some feedback on your ideas, reach out to us.  We love hearing your creative plans, and we’re happy to give advice!