Funny Billboard Mistakes

Outdoor media has always been an industry filled with creativity. We live in a world where most people witness thousands of advertisements every single day, so being different and cutting through the noise is crucial for anyone who wants to get their message across. Humor is often an angle advertisers take to reach potential customers. Sometimes it’s intentional and other times it’s not. We’ve put together a list of our favorite funny billboard mistakes.

A Senior Citizen Washing and Vacuuming Service

If this was an actual service someone was offering- we wouldn’t be too surprised. The price seems about right as well.

Outdoor Media Mistakes

Bye Used Cars

This one stands out so much that we almost want to believe that it was done intentionally. Think about it- you’ve got a used car and you want to get rid of it, where do you go? Here I guess, because they’ll make that car go bye?? Even if it’s not a horrible misspelling, it’s a terribly forced pun and we aren’t sure which one is worse.

Bye Used Cars

Eccept the Challenge

I’m hoping this was the result of “let our students change the marquee” day. If not then this elementary school has probably very few future spelling bee champions…

6

A Really Bad Billboard

Not only is there major issues with the grammar and spelling of this billboard, but it’s hard to understand the purpose at all? From a poor clipart design, to the irony of it all, we just don’t really know what to think about this one…

7

A Mistake on Pupose

One has to wonder whether the banner on the bottom was added after the fact or whether this was done intentionally. We missed it the first time too…

Funny Billboard

Stealing Letters

Imagine needing to update a marquee with a new discount or offer, only to find out that you don’t have the letters you need. Now imagine having that happen again and again.

Funny Billboard Errors

S p a c e  O u t  F o n t s

Font spacing can be very important. This billboard looks a bit different from a distance…

Funny Billboard Problems

Spelling Problems

This might not be the best school to go to…

Funny Billboard Mistakes

Another Purposeful Mistake

Unless you’re bilingual in English and Chinese this playful billboard is a good example of a mistake on purpose.

Funny Billboard Errors

The Fast Food Marquee

While the branding of the signs themselves are always carefully managed by corporate and contracted out to professional design firms, the marquees that go under them are left to the local management. This results in such gems as this Wendy’s marquee. Bonus points to the hiring request adding even further unintentional humor.

Outdoor Media Errors

Most Expensive Billboard

The Most Expensive Billboard In The World

Advertising is much more than just the act of getting your product out in front of your customers’ eyes – it’s an art that balances sociology and style. Endless attempts have been made to create outdoor media which is profound to the place and time they are produced in, and many have succeeded. But what about those advertisements that simply wow with size and spectacle? That’s right, we’re talking about the biggest and most expensive billboard ever– but which billboard, exactly, is the ‘most expensive?’ Read on to find out!

The Most Expensive Billboard

When we talk about the most expensive billboard in the world, there is a little bit of confusion about whether or not the prize will be taken by North America, or by the increasingly eminent Dubai, long considered a bastion of wealth and opulence in the Middle East. For as far as the plain facts are considered, though, the most expensive billboard is one that went up in Times Square in the late part of 2014.

A picture of the billboard, with a crowd for scale

Most Expensive Billboard

This billboard, recently unveiled in the heart of Times Square, is longer than a football field and boasts an unreal 24 million pixel display to embolden the next generation of high-definition advertising. You can see the display dwarfing the crowds below.

So, what does this expensive billboard cost the advertisers of the world to use? A whopping 625k/week. Or, in other words, roughly ~$100,000 a day. The billboard is rented in 4-week periods, meaning that companies will be dropping about $2.5 million for a 4-week advertisement. While this price is pretty much unprecedented, the area sees hundreds of thousands of people a day – people who are likely to notice the gargantuan display that illuminates the marquee above them. For many advertisers, this is a worthwhile investment to make.

While this billboard is one of the largest and definitely the most expensive, it is not the largest in the world. It’s not even the tallest! The distinction of tallest belongs to another Times Square billboard, the uber-iconic vertical one at One Times Square. Meanwhile, the largest billboard in the world is in Saudi Arabia which is the length of almost three football fields!

A Possible Competitor

Most Expensive Billboard Dubai

The massive new Times Square billboard may be the most consistently expensive billboard in the world with its weekly rate of $625,000, but there is one billboard that has a higher cost in terms of potential. This billboard is none other than the Skydive Dubai billboard that debuted in front of the Burj Khalifa back in 2012, in conjunction with Denver-based Go Fast Sports. Sure, it’s in a prime location… But how does it manage to risk a cost higher than $625k?

The answer lies in the peculiar nature of its presentation. While the billboard is relatively standard, it debuted with a display from a Go Fast jetpack rider – no doubt due to the ties that Go Fast Sports has to the Jetpack International. Since the advertisement debuted with the jetpack rider as a key part of its presentation, it can be considered to be something of a part of the ad itself. See a demonstration in the video here.

It is estimated that for this billboard to operate at full capacity (that is to say, with a jetpack rider circling it) it would cost a completely unreal $1.3 billion a month to operate. For clarity, that’s operating 24/7, for a whole month. Even still, you might be wondering, how is it so expensive? The answer is that jet-packing is still an incredibly expensive hobby, taking an estimated $500 a second. Until we see those costs drop, this will be without a doubt the most (potentially) expensive billboard in the world.

Expensive Billboard

Reflections On the Two

So here we’ve looked at the two most expensive billboards in the world – one is a massive screen in a key center of the city, and one is in an even more opulent location but requiring an unsustainable display to make the most of itself. They are certainly two different ways to spend, so which one is ‘better’?

Without a doubt, the Times Square billboard is the safer investment. It has a hefty cost, but a great location with a fantastic display. The things that make the Dubai billboard so expensive mostly come down to novelty, which while worthy of conversation, are no way to sustainably invest in your business. So if you see billboards out in the wild that echo these two, take the option that is the most stable! After all, there is a reason that brands like Google are already seeking to place multi-month displays on a display like the one in Times Square.

Orphea Bug Trap Billboard

The Billboard That All Insects Fear

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but what about an action? It is one thing to say you are capable of doing something, but an entirely different thing to actually demonstrate it. This logic governs the concept of resumes and portfolios in the working world. Unlike day to day life, billboard advertising usually relies more on telling than showing due to the restrictions imposed upon by the medium.

Enter Publicis and their innovative billboard for the insecticide company, Orphea, which has found a creative way of getting around the limitations of physical ads.

Orphea Billboard Bug Killer

Location, Location, Location

First, in order to add a little bit more context to this ad we must understand its location. While easy to overlook if one isn’t careful, the location of an ad is crucial to reaching your target audience. This very same billboard would not be nearly as effective in say, Antarctica, for instance. Even though it is not present for long, the video does a good job of establishing the climate and conditions of Milan, Italy, with a shot of a nearby cloud of bugs. This communicates the idea that to the locals insects are a constant and troublesome issue during the spring.

Even though most everyone can relate to bugs being annoying, the location for this specific ad caters to an audience with a real and prevalent need.

Orphea Insecticide Billboard

Idea Through Action

In order for Orphea to sell their bug spray they must convey to their audience, “our insecticide is effective at killing insects.” If one were to just look at the original graphics of the billboard though, only the name of the company and the product are displayed. The billboard informs the consumer that the product exists, but ultimately fails to get across how effective said product is. Technically, this would mean that a violation of the basic guidelines has occurred.

“Rules are what the artist breaks; the memorable never emerged from a formula” – Bill Bernbach

Compare the live performance of a speech versus the transcription of said speech. Elements such as body language and eye contact are lost when only one form of presentation is utilized. In order to fully analyze the strategy of this campaign one must look past any individual medium of information and must take in the piece as a whole. In this case, the ad uses action instead of using static images and text to convey efficacy of the product. This ad doesn’t need to say anything because it directly shows the purpose and result of the product. This creates a wordless and automatic association of action and product within the minds of the audience.

Orphea Bug Trap Billboard

A Matter Of Time

Things normally become less interesting the more we experience them. Even someone’s favorite song runs the risk of becoming dull if heard often enough. Billboards are much the same way. A creative and unique billboard might grab your attention the first time, but what if you had to drive past that same billboard on your way to work every day for a month? The novelty wears thin eventually.

Most shopping decisions are made on the move. Drivers stuck in traffic or on a long commute have time to think about their wants and needs. -SmartDataCollective

The temporal aspect of this ad makes it even more effective over time however. The true nature of this ad isn’t stuck in any one point in time. From the original posting to the final result, none of these are really the “completed” ad. The billboard continues to change and grow in an organic way which adds something new for the consumer every time they may pass it. If this was a part of someone’s morning commute, tracking the progress of the ad would no doubt become a staple of their morning routine while it was around. This keeps the ad, and likewise the product, at the forefront of the consumer’s mind. If one secures that very precious spot in the consciousness of the consumer, it becomes much more likely that they will be remembered when a purchasing decision is about to be made.