Snickers Monroe Billboard

Snickers Billboard

Billboards aren’t always used to continue a previous ad campaign, but it can be a great idea. Also, billboards don’t usually insult or scare the customers watching them. Not only was that seen as impossible throughout most of advertising history, but it was also viewed as a bad idea to hurt the feelings of the people who you want to buy your product.

However, one well-known candy bar brand managed to do all of the above with their Snickers billboard, and it worked out well for them.

Marilyn Dafoe Scaring People

A digital Snickers billboard was set up on a street in New York City. The image showed the famous scene from the 1955 film Seven Year Itch when Marilyn Monroe was standing over a blowing subway grate in a white dress. But, when passersby stopped to look a little bit closer, something happened. Marilyn suddenly looked, well, different.

She would quickly change into the face of Willem Dafoe, but he was still wearing the white dress and recreating the scene. He’d be looking right into their face, and he’d have a big frown – quite different from the lovely smile worn by Marilyn. It may have freaked out quite a few pedestrians, but it certainly got people talking.

Part of a Bigger Snickers Campaign

This may sound like a bit of a random thing to have a billboard do, but it makes complete sense if you know the whole story. Snickers has had a long running campaign of famous people being angry in situations where they didn’t quite fit, and then someone around would give them one of the candy bars. After eating a bite, they’d turn back into someone who made complete sense in the situation.

The whole concept is that “You’re not you when you’re hungry,” but the Snickers bar can bring you back to life. So, the brand decided to use that concept to make that a Super Bowl commercial in 2016, and they went with the whole scene of Dafoe reenacting the iconic image before some tasty chocolate turned him back into Monroe. They made the billboard a few months later, and it served as a brilliant continuation of the ad.

The Snickers Billboard Was Watching

It may seem like this was just a random changing billboard, but that’s far from the truth. It actually had facial-recognition software built in, so it knew when people were stopping to look at it. If it didn’t have this capability, it wouldn’t have had such an impact because it wouldn’t have been able to startle people. But now, the timing was perfect, and the angry Dafoe was glaring right at the people who would soon subconsciously purchase a Snickers bar when in a bad mood.

Snickers Billboard

Reaction in the Ad World

Both ads were created for Snickers by BBDO New York, and they got a lot of praise throughout the ad industry. Many were impressed at how they were able to resurrect a Super Bowl ad months later, and it’s used as a case study about the successful implementation of facial-recognition software in a billboard. It seems that’s something that people are going to see quite a bit more of.

Snickers Monroe Billboard

Billboards Are Still Relevant

In a world where technology seems obsolete about a week after it’s introduced, many people think that billboards are an advertising form of the past. However, this is a perfect example of why they’re not. Most of the people walking by the billboard were interested in it just because it was digitally moving and recreating a famous movie scene where it would’ve taken place. The rest of the world took notice of the campaign because of what happened after that, but the people who saw it would have been interested even if it didn’t have Willem startling them in such a memorable way.

More Media is Better

Another big lesson to learn from this campaign is that you don’t have to limit your advertising to one type of media. Different ads can serve various purposes across multiple different platforms, and this can help to increase engagement and spread your message. This situation even shows that they don’t have to be made at the same time. The Super Bowl commercial came out months before the billboard, but it was brought back to life by the new sign that pushed its way into people’s lives.

Get Creative with Your Own Campaigns

Even if you’re not a producer of candy bars with a budget able to hire celebrity endorsers, putting some creativity into your advertisements can really help your bottom line. But, you don’t necessarily need to pay top dollar to an advertising agency to make it happen. If you have an idea you’d like to see turned into a reality, just get in touch with us for some help. Just make sure to grab a Snickers first, we prefer to deal with people in a happy mood!

Best Dental Billboards

The Best Dental Billboard Advertising Ideas

Everyone needs a dentist at some point in their lives. That being said no matter where you live, odds are there are a large number to choose from. Dental advertising is a very tough and competitive space to try and get the message and brand across to potential customers. That being said, when the going gets tough, the tough get going, and some dental offices have used humor, creativity, and a number of other ways to utilize outdoor media to their advantage. Here are some of the best dental billboard advertising ideas we’ve seen around.

Whitlock Dental: Getting Some Work Done

Whitlock Dental Billboard

Billboards which use dummies dressed up to look like people can be an incredibly effective tool at getting the attention of drivers. Most people are not very used to seeing crews working on installing a new billboard. This means that when a driver does indeed catch someone working on a billboard it catches them off guard, even more so when they realize that the person’s actions are actually in line with the billboard.

Here of course, the message is supposed to demonstrate that the whitening offered by Whitlock Dental is as easy and effective as painting over a billboard.

Coast Dental: Fill In The Gaps

Braces Dental Billboard

Speaking of catching people off guard and making them feel uncomfortable, here is another billboard which aims to do just the same. When one looks at a billboard, they expect to see one continuous image. The gaps in this billboard defy the expectations of the viewer and thus catch their attention. More than that however, a desire to fix the gap in the billboard is created within the viewer. Those needing braces or who know others who need braces will ideally end up connecting these two thoughts together.

Excellence Dental: Monster Mash

Excellence Dental Billboard

Frankenstein’s monster is a classic and memorable pop culture icon. Regardless if one is familiar with the source material, it is highly unlikely that they aren’t familiar with this giant green abomination. By editing this well known character Excellence Dental is able to grab the attention of drivers who will recognize that something is off.

This is coupled with the clever play of words in the ad, “A great smile changes everything.” While in the context of the ad it is meant as, “a great smile can make you feel more confident,” it takes on a secondary meaning in that “this thing added to something else makes it look very different.”

Rhoads DDS: Scrubbing Away Filth

Best Dental Billboards

While many probably remember being told to color inside of the lines during kindergarten and elementary school, this isn’t always the case in the world of professional graphic design and advertising. Thinking outside the box, literally in some cases, will lead to gripping and visually interesting ad campaigns. This ad may not be as exciting as some of the other selections on this list, but in its subtlety lies its brilliance. Having the toothbrush just ever so slightly extend past the borders of the billboard adds a necessary level of dynamism to the ad.

In addition to this, the ad’s use of color is striking and does much to convey its message. The absolutely filthy yellow and the texture used on it creates a sense of unease in the viewer which is then contrasted with the beautiful pure white background that the company’s logo sits on.

Community Dental Care: Billboard Destruction

Best Dental Billboard Advertising Ideas

As previously demonstrated- breaking the “fourth wall” is an effective way of grabbing the attention of your audience. In this case we have a billboard which utilizes two different backgrounds to give the impression that a child is actually eating the billboard.

Given how seemingly bizarre and difficult this task would be, this advertisement is able to use this exaggeration in order to get across the idea that they help build strong teeth. The text goes out of it’s way however to make references to other services, of which are implied just to be as effective as the teeth strengthening.

Center For Dental Implants: Bite This

Bite Me Dental Billboard

Perhaps one of the more unique examples here, this billboard actually doesn’t feature any images of teeth or dental products on it. Instead it attempts to paint a vivid mental image in the viewer’s mind of them biting into an apple.

It uses this as a sort of filter in order to connect with its target audience. Those that imagine biting into the apple and enjoying it are essentially disqualified from the offer. If the viewer however were to imagine going through pain or difficulty then the billboard has found someone who stands to benefit from their service. It reminds these viewers of the pain they experience and offers a personal and relevant solution to them.

Funny Signs and Billboards Featured

Funny Signs and Billboards

Who says there isn’t humor to be found in advertising? Truly great ads are capable of evoking strong emotions within their audience, something which can also be achieved through comedy. We’ve compiled some of the funniest signs and billboards we could find which show just how effective humor can be at grabbing someone’s attention.

The Stuff Of Nightmares

Funny Sings and Billboards

If one hasn’t experienced this situation at least once in their lives, then it is for the best that they never do. No words are even needed for the message in this billboard. It presents a problem and a solution side by side, relying on the imagery of the problem to be strong enough to make the solution look attractive.

What Did You Just Say?

Hot Wife Funny Billboard

The classic bait and switch. Catch someone’s attention with an alarming out of context statement, then clarify the usage. The result is most likely a hearty chuckle and some more eyes on your billboard. While it might seem that this billboard would lose its effectiveness if the viewer isn’t married, the resulting confusion would only make the statement more perplexing.

Puns Are Hanoi-ing

Phuket Funny Sign

For those not in the know, Phuket is a popular beach resort destination found in Thailand. As far as location themed puns go, the jokes write themselves. Still, it’s refreshing to see an airline company have a sense of humor. There’s some tact to the implementation of the pun as it doesn’t come off too tasteless or brash.

Camera Shy

Pimples Outdoor Media

Beautifully elegant and creative- this is simply a non-rectangular billboard with a tarp covered over part of it. However, the message and visual effect is clear and effectively gets its point across. Most everyone can relate to being embarrassed by pimples so the humor in this billboard comes from the how relatable and human the message is.

Personal Hygiene

Nose Hair Trimmer Billboard

When advertisements interact with the surrounding world in a creative and unique way, it can catch oneself off guard. While this ad seems like a potential safety and fire hazard in the making, it catches the eye and makes creative use of something we usually ignore. It’s gross enough to create a sense of discomfort in the viewer which it then offers a solution to.

Your Dog Has A Case Of Humans

Frontline Fleas Outdoor Media

Ever heard someone say something along the likes of, “those people look like ants from up here?” Someone at Frontline ran with the concept, except with fleas instead of ants. The imagery of the obviously uncomfortable and itchy dog goes a long ways towards providing the framing required to interpret the people as fleas.

Happy Little Trees

Bob Ross Billboard

No matter what’s troubling you, hearing Bob Ross say his signature line, “let’s paint some happy little trees” has a mysterious soothing effect. The tribute offered by this sign is sure to bring a warm smile to the face of just about anyone. Sure, there’s no joke per se, but it’s cute and playful- traits not normally found in road signs.

Calling You Out

Funny Parking Billboard

Despite being placed in public spaces, the communication that happens between a billboard and the viewer is actually quite a personal and private one. The one-way direction of the message allows this billboard to call out passing drivers and personalize its message without actually adapting to each individual. Sure, it won’t hold true for everyone passing by, but it will be more effective for those that fit the message.

Worst Possible Spokesperson

Flu Shots Billboard

Context is key when it comes to delivering a joke. In this case, the signs themselves are what you would expect. Instead it is their creative placement by employees that brings forth humor from the created implication.

The Best 3D Billboards

Especially in our era of digital media, advertisements which utilizes real-life 3D space are often overlooked by creative agencies. Billboards offer advantages and freedom that other mediums such as banner ads won’t be able to compete with. Here are some of the best and most creative examples of 3D billboards from a variety of companies and industries.

Donatos Pizza

Donatos 3D Billboard

The most impressive part of this billboard is the fact that they’ve actually teamed up with another advertisement. Consumers are used to advertisements competing with each other, each in their own little separate pieces of the world. When two advertisements end up crossing paths like this the result is an unusual but unique synergy which ends up benefitting.

It doesn’t stop here though, Donatos has actually teamed up to do similar ads for their pizza with other brands. The fact that they were able to coordinate this level of cross promotion not just once, but multiple times, is astounding.

Hairclub

Hair Club 3D Billboard

Compared to some of the other selections on our list, this ad doesn’t necessarily push the boundaries of what can be done with 3D billboards. Compared to lavish and impressive set pieces on some of the other billboards, this ad’s simplicity shows that creating an effective 3D billboard doesn’t necessarily require a huge budget.

Quitplan

Quit Plan 3D Billboard

If one were to take a moment to really look at the actual graphics of the billboard, they would quickly realize that it is comprised entirely of some plain text on top of a colored background. It seems like a lot more is going on here thanks to the 3D cigarette butt under the sign, but this billboard is the picture of simplicity. The majority of the ad is actually in the cigarette butt itself- the sign conveys the information it needs to convey but the eye is naturally drawn to the cigarette due to the contrasting light color compared to the billboard.

Galavant

Galavant 3D Billboard

Cars and planes “breaking through” the billboard are a commonly recurring theme when you look at many 3D billboards. A horse however is a new spin on the old formula. While the visual interest and excitement of something approaching the audience is still there, the horse, night, and fantasy environment aren’t something people are as used to seeing and make it stand out.

Fallsview Casino

Fallsview 3D Billboard

There’s a certain magic about big things that shouldn’t be big and small things that shouldn’t be small. When we end up seeing something that isn’t the size we’ve come to expect, it invokes a sense of wonder and giddy. This concept is used frequently in film and many amusement parks to great measure. Thus, the concept of making a giant ad out of a small commonplace object does well to capitalize on this idea.

The Peanuts Movie

Peanuts Movie 3D Billboard

While most other “crashing through the billboard” ads simply stick out the front of a thing, this one goes a step further and actually makes it appear to destroy the ad. Similar types of ads also don’t usually have a good reason for the subject of the ad to be coming out the front- what is it moving towards? Those familiar with The Peanuts series of comics and cartoon shorts though will recognize this billboard as a small recreation of one of the more famous strips. Even for those not familiar with the brand, it’s still visually interesting and does a good job of conveying a sense of excitement about the movie.

Absolut

Absolut 3D Billboard

Ever gone to a furniture store just to get inspiration from how they’ve set up their mockup living spaces? There’s something cool about seeing dioramas, how perfect and frozen in time they appear to be. This Absolut ad invokes the same spirit while also adding in a different layer of visual interest, the 90 degree angle of the furniture.

Much like a piece of art conceived by MC Escher, the rules of gravity just don’t seem to work the same way on this ad. Drivers will inevitably be drawn to the piece out of curiosity and wonder, thus inadvertently exposing themselves to the Absolut brand.

Nike Unicef Treadmill Billboard

The Best Interactive Billboard Campaigns

The best way to have consumers remember and form a connection with your brand is to have them interact with it directly. Some examples of this would be providing the consumer with a positive customer experience inside a retail outlet or by hosting a some sort of competition involving your brand. However, with a bit of creativity and the right marketing team, you can get consumers to interact with your brand through the medium of billboards. We’ve collected a list of some of the most inspiring ones that have caught our attention.

L&P Summer Swag

L&P Summer Swag

The biggest obstacle when it comes to interactive billboard is the interactive part. What is the billboard supposed to interact with and how does it interact with that thing? The goal is often to get consumers to interact with the billboard, but in order to do so the proper motivation must be in place. There has to be some sort of reward that one can gain from taking an action.

While similar in concept to the Burt’s Bees ad we’ve covered previously, New Zealand soda company L&P goes a step further by upping consumer motivation with better rewards.

This L&P billboard gives everyone who interacts with it a free wearable merchandise. On top of being an effective ad, the merchandise provided by the billboard continues to remind the consumer of the brand.

Nike’s UNICEF Treadmill Billboard

Nike Unicef Treadmill Billboard

Many interactive billboards generally rely on the use of an app or website which can be accessed from a smartphone. This billboard however is powered by your feet! And legs. And rest of your body.

Nike teamed up with UNICEF in order to publicize a 10k run in Argentina, they partnered up with while also spreading philanthropy. They set up a three dimensional billboard that was linked up to a treadmill. The treadmill would track the distance run and send the information back to the billboard, which would display the number

The piece that ties everything together is the motivation given to the audience. For every kilometer run, Nike promised to donate a set amount of money to UNICEF. Given the billboard’s timing right before Nike’s 10k, preparing for the run using this billboard’s treadmill would directly end up helping others in need.

Bustop’s Naughty Peekaboo

Bustop Naught Billboard

From Marilyn Monroe’s famous sewer grate picture to countless cartoon chases, the concept of a skirt accidentally being lifted up by the wind has proven itself a truly timeless gag. Unlike Marilyn Monroe however, lingerie company Bustop actually wants you to see what’s under their skirt.

This clever ad relies on the wind to blow up a physical over sized skirt placed on the billboard. While it might seem a little counter-intuitive and over reliant on weather conditions, it is actually more reliable than it looks. Districts densely packed with tall buildings will often act as wind tunnels, increasing the speed at which the wind passes. Placed in the right spot, this ad will do its job consistently and with style.

Prigat Smile Stations

Best Interactive Billboard Campaigns

When you’re having a bad day, sometimes all it takes is a kind word in order to make you feel a bit better. Whether it’s a compliment from a stranger or a joke made by a friend, a small amount of joy goes a long way. Israeli juice company Prigat teamed up with famed branding firm Publicis in order to test out this concept and spread some happiness.

These billboards, dubbed “Smile Stations” by Prigat, were set up in train stations dotting Israel. The idea for the smile stations were to have an interactive billboard which provided amusing or uplifting content to anyone who passed by. Instead of just having the billboard spout inane, cookie cutter compliments, Publicis and Prigat instead decided to let consumers create the content themselves.

People who liked Prigat’s page on Facebook were invited to post content with the intention of making the reader smile. This content was then sent to the smile stations for passerby to see and interact with. If someone looking at the billboard enjoyed the content, they would be able to hit a physical Facebook “like” button on the smile station which would then capture their expression.

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.

Burts Bees Billboard

A Billboard of Coupons from Burts Bees

In October of 2012, personal care products company Burt’s Bees created a unique interactive billboard campaign for their new Intense Hydration line. The billboard is not your typical billboard; Burt’s Bees got creative, redefining billboards and how customers interact with them. As a result, the campaign was quite successful. What was the Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration billboard campaign all about, and what made it so successful?

Burts Bees Billboard

Background

Instead of showing a side by side comparison of the same woman before using the Intense Hydration skin line and after, this campaign gets a little more creative.” — Meghan Young, trendhunter.com

The campaign takes place along the busy street life of Minneapolis, where Burt’s Bees had decided to construct a billboard using thousands of coupons. This requires the team to attach each coupon to the board one by one; when put together, the coupons show the image of a woman with dry skin. After the billboard is done, the crew sets it up on a busy street.

Once the billboard is up, several curious passersby stop at it and peel off coupons over the course of the day. As the coupons come off, the billboard eventually reveals a different image of the same woman underneath, now smiling and with a more vibrant complexion, obviously happier than before, presumably in order to show the intended effect of using Intense Hydration products. Why did this campaign get such a positive response?

Burts Bees Coupon Billboard

1. It takes a unique approach.

In the past, Burt’s Bees also worked with its agency Baldwin& to celebrate Earth Day with a unique “music video” that incorporated sounds of several common ingredients found in Burt’s Bees’ products.

For starters, Burt’s Bees reimagines the typical, run-of-the-mill advertising campaigns and gets creative, doing what other players in the industry haven’t done before. People tend to get desensitized to predictable, generic marketing strategies and tune out anything that’s ordinary. Burt’s Bees makes a memorable impression by taking the boring old “before and after” and adding a unique element by using detachable coupons to show a gradual transition from the “before” to the “after” stages instead of showcasing a simple static side-by-side comparison or something similar.

2. It engages and rewards other people.

Burt’s Bees uses their billboard to interact with actual people, helping to boost the campaign’s message.

Traditional billboards are rather passive and one-sided in their communication, expecting nothing but for people to stop and read the billboard. After Burt’s Bees’ team members put together the billboard in an interactive way (read: setting it up with a layer of detachable coupons), they get actual people to interact with their advertising, peeling off the coupons and eventually showing the result. Getting real, genuine people to interact with the billboard strengthens the campaign’s message as well as rewards these individuals with $3 discount coupons, in this case.

Billboard Burts Beees

3. It shows, not tells.

Burt’s Bees lets their campaign show consumers the potential of their product instead of merely telling them about it.

Far too many brands market their products in a way that merely tells the audience how great their product is, instead of actually showing it. Burt’s Bees sets up a superb unique before-and-after demonstration that sends a powerful message effectively without needing to fill the billboard with superfluous information. Not to mention that the coupons Burt’s Bees used were printed on post-consumer recycled content and the billboard they used was printed on recyclable nylon. This eco-friendly position, even behind the scenes, sets a stellar example and aligns with Burt’s Bees’ dedication to using all-natural products.

After the campaign, Burt’s Bees released a video that shows the creation of the billboard and the actual campaign in action.

Quebec Magic City Festival Billboard

Using Magic in Billboards

Advertising is often thought of as pretty straightforward, and it can be tempting to follow boring formulas to try to get your message across to consumers. But, there’s one thing that many people forget: advertising can be magical! When making an effort to push the limits of what’s possible, you might just be surprised at the results you’ll get.

Are you not convinced? Then just keep reading to see how one group said some magic words on their billboard, and really got noticed because of it.

Magicians Need Advertisements Too

There has been a magic festival held in Quebec over the past few years. In order to prove their entertainment value, they always seem to come up with some impressive ads that are much more than just a poster on the wall.

One of their most spectacular was a billboard that… Well, you should see for yourself. Watch this video before reading on.

The Magic Behind It

As the video shows, an average man was using a big mop to plaster up a straightforward sign about the show, but then things took an exciting turn. As the mop continued to work while flying through the air, many stopped to watch and be amazed.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, the video revealed the trick. It’s not actually magic (sorry). There was an elaborate system on the back that pulled the mop around using a chain and magnets, but made it look from the front like it was the result of magic actions.

Starting the Performance Early

True magic or not, this was really a preview of the show that they would offer. The festival is all about entertainment and allowing people to suspend their belief of reality in order to appreciate something spectacular, and they managed to prove their offerings before anyone had to pay for a ticket.

Essentially, they gave a free sample, and all they needed was a billboard to do it.

Simple, Well-Delivered Message

A good billboard drills everything down to one clear message and this one managed to do that.

Magic!

There wasn’t any extra noise on the sign screaming about headliners or where to read the program. In fact, it was extremely minimalist. It said the name of the festival, the date, and the location. Nothing else except for a little star.

Anyone viewing it would quickly realize that if they wanted to see more (probably better) magic tricks, this festival was the place to be.

Not the Only Trick Up Their Sleeve

True to their roots as magicians, they made sure that this wasn’t the only time to wow an audience. They’ve worked with the Ig2 agency over the years, and they’ve had quite a few impressive campaigns.

In one, they looked like they were too lazy to create much of a poster, but it turned out that they needed a little help from the audience (some were even rewarded for their efforts).

Another installation in a bus stop put the power of magic in the hands of people waiting for public transit – no magic wands required.

Couldn’t Be Done Digitally

This is an interesting example of advertising in our modern times because many people are turning towards making elaborate digital displays. This is something that could have quite easily been animated, but then it never would have been so impressive. It was completely dependent on having an actual man and a physically flying mop finishing up a billboard of real material.

That doesn’t mean that it had to remain out of the digital world, however. Many of those who saw it took photos and videos, and those will spread like wildfire on social media. Plus, a nice case study video like they created will let it live on long after the sign has been taken down – and people will still be interested in watching it.

Encourages Curiosity

Another benefit of this is that it makes people wonder how it happened. That’s the most common question at a magic show, and anyone who can’t figure it out is likely to share it with their friends to try to help solve the mystery.

Magicians don’t always want to reveal their secrets, but it was a good choice to do so in this video. Knowing how it works really convinces people of its authenticity, and that makes it all the more impressive.

Quebec Magic City Festival Billboard

Many Ways to Build Billboards

Another takeaway from this is that there are always more creative ways to build billboards. The digital age is pushing us toward signs that interact with people using complex systems and digital displays, but doing something like this can be just as creative.

Mystify Your Audience

Do you have any clever ideas to give your customers a sample of your work while also keeping them entertained? If so, we’d love to help make them happen!