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!

Employ Adam Billboard

Using a Billboard to Find a Job: EmployAdam.com

No matter what state the economy is in, getting a job is always more challenging for young and inexperienced people than it is for those who have been working in their field for a number of years. Without a solid resume and some good connections, many turn to creative options to get noticed. There are many urban legends about different strategies that have worked over the years, but one man really took things to the next level with a plan involving a billboard.

Employ Adam Billboard

Adam’s Story

Adam Pacitti spent far too many months filling out a ridiculous amount of job applications, but he just wasn’t having any luck. It caused him to realize that he was going to have to try something a little bit out of the ordinary if he wanted to get noticed over all the other applicants, and he wasn’t afraid to invest some time and money in making it happen.

Instead of printing out more resumes, Adam had a billboard put up.

It had a noticeable blue background, a photo of him, and a simple sentence. “I spent my last £500 on this billboard, please give me a job.” At the bottom, he left the web address of how to get in contact with him: EmployAdam.com.

He was looking for a job in the media, so this use of clever advertising was a good idea. Among other things, the website contained a very well put together video resume explaining why people should hire him.

The Results

The good news for Adam is that the gamble worked. After the sign went up, he was flooded with emails and social media attention as it spread around the internet. It led to receiving plenty of job offers, and he agreed to accept one form a production company called KEO. His job was to promote their projects and to work on a series where they help job seekers come up with innovative ways to get hired. It sounds like it was a perfect fit.

The Billboard: Part 2

Being a true promoter at heart, Adam didn’t let things stop there. He went on to commission a second billboard to update his fans about what happened. The second one was very similar in style and image to the first, but this one said: “I spent my first wage packet on this billboard, thank you for helping me.”

Again, it contained a link to his website. It seems he was happy with his job, but he wanted to make sure to keep his options open.

The second sign also received a ton of attention, so it really kept his momentum and story going.

Employ Adam Billboard 2

A Lot Can be Learned from Adam

This whole situation is a great example to show how a wide variety of goals can be achieved with billboards. They’re not just for global corporations who have extra money to spend on additional promotions, but they can even work for very small organizations or individuals will straightforward goals.

Before making a billboard, it’s a good idea to use some of the same strategies as Adam.

A Clear Goal and Message

One of the main reasons this sign was so successful is that Adam had a clear goal before he started (get a job), and he got his simple message across easily (hire him). Billboards generally should avoid trying to solve more than one issue, and they should act as a step in larger campaigns. Adam’s did that by giving a very obvious call to action, and everyone knew they just had to visit his site to see more.

Proved His Value

Wanting a job as a media promoter really made this billboard a continuation of Adam’s brand. Not only did it show off who he was, but it proved he could do the type of job he wanted. It was a funny, entertaining, and well-made piece of media. In other words, for Adam, it was a resume and a sample of the kind of work he wants to do.

Where is Adam Now?

Adam now works for a media company called WhatCulture, and he has been very successful there. He has also become well-known for making documentaries and online entertainment about professional wrestling, so the story really has a happy ending.

Don’t Be Afraid to Be Like Adam

Even if your goal isn’t to get a job, taking a page from Adam’s playbook may be a good idea. The billboard wasn’t the only step in Adam’s search for employment, but the other methods he had been trying were unsuccessful until he created the sign.

Is there any part of your marketing strategy that’s also missing one key ingredient?

Are You Fast Enough Reebok Billboard

Are You Fast Enough? Reebok Running Billboard

In the world of marketing promotions and giveaways, not all are competitors are equal. Prizes and discounts are given out for many reasons, and it’s a popular strategy to grow a business. Some giveaways want to generate buzz, others try to get customers in the store, and some even just try to clear out old merchandise.

But, there’s almost always a better strategy for business promotions then just randomly picking a person and handing them a gift. It takes time and effort, but it can really bring rewards.

One promotion in Sweden used a billboard as part of the process, and the whole situation really got some hearts racing.

Reebok Billboard Are you Fast Enough?

The Reebok Running Billboard

The billboard we’re talking about was assembled on a crowded shopping street in Stockholm, Sweden. But, instead of just being images and text, it basically looked like a display case full of locked plastic boxes housing the new ZPump 2.0 shoe model.

And, customers could win it.

There was a speed camera set up on top of the sign, and it would track exactly how fast people were running as they went past it. It had a digital display to show the number, and they were trying to top 17 kilometers per hour.

If they were successful, a green light would turn on, and they could open a box to take out a shoe. If not, a red light sadly announced their defeat. The winners could trade the shoe in for their own size of the new model.

Encouraged Them to “Be More Human”

The relatively new tagline of Reebok is “Be More Human,” and the whole point is to show that people get scrapes, worn out shoes, and much more when they’re pursuing strong fitness goals. It encourages them to push themselves to their limits, and embrace the pain along the way.

It’s a brand that’s really been working to reinvent its image, and this sign matches with it perfectly. People don’t just get handed something, but they have to earn it. And, they don’t do it on an athletic field under perfect conditions. Instead, they do it in an everyday situation where they may or may not be wearing running shoes (it’s a lesson to always lace up the Reeboks in the morning!).

Winning Works in This Industry

The industry that houses fitness clothes and running shoes is fast and exciting, and it’s basically powered on adrenaline. Companies in this area have long known that hosting and sponsoring events and competitions will get them noticed. They slap their names on marathons, get their logos on sports teams, and make sure famous athletes mention them at the same time that they win something.

They need to be associated with successful sports, and it really helps if their name is directly attached with a competition. But, nothing’s better than customers remembering the feeling of winning when they think about a fitness brand.

Are You Fast Enough Reebok Billboard

Customers Are Competitive

Some people run because they want to lose weight, others because it relaxes them, but most simply run because they have a competitive nature. The message that this billboard conveys fits right into that, and it doesn’t even need the costs and challenges of hosting a major event to make it happen.

Plus, it works from another monetary point of view. Prizes are only rewarded if people participate, so there’s no risk to hosting it.

Using Technology With Billboards Is a Plus

Billboards are a very old advertising medium, but technology has carried them directly into modern times. Technology isn’t required for great billboards (some of the all-time greats were very simple), but it’s a great way to add interaction. Without some sort of innovative feature, people are just viewers of signs. But, when they become more involved with the billboard, they feel like they’re part of something and become more loyal to the brand.

Don’t Go With a Gimmick

Before you start to think about interactive electronics, keep in mind that one of the risks of exciting technology is the temptation to make something just because you can. This Reebok sign kept with a common theme that they like to portray, and that’s what made it so great and memorable. The difference between a gimmick and a brilliant idea usually just boils down to how relevant it is to the brand.

Let’s Run Together!

Whether you’re a running shoe company or not, there are some clever ideas like this one that your organization can use. We’ve helped plenty of businesses create their masterpieces and pass the messages to their customers, and we’re eager to keep pushing the limits. Get in touch, and we’ll run through your ideas together!

McDrive Billboard

McDonald’s Put Up a Billboard for Burger King

Billboards are a classic site alongside roads throughout the world, but most of them are fairly similar. They have roughly the same dimensions, don’t contain too much information, and are designed to get a simple message across to people who won’t have much time to view it.

On the other hand, quality billboards go much further. They follow a strong strategy, and they’re put together in a way to be very memorable. Some even go to extreme lengths to make them unique enough that people want to talk about them.

Some advertisers in France recently decide to go big with their sign, and it caught the attention of plenty of people.

McDrive Billboard

Directions to a McDrive

This situation is unique because the billboard was put up not by the company it was advertising, but by its competitor. The sign was a giant ad giving directions on how to get to the nearest Burger King, and it happened to be 258 km away. But, they did it because they could put a sign next to it showing the distance to the nearest McDonald’s, and it was only 5 km away.

This whole little plan would’ve worked without any spectacular show, but it wouldn’t have received the major attention it ended up getting without its unique aspect. The billboard showing the major distance to Burger King also included the directions that a GPS would give drivers, so the BK sign was about 10 times taller than the McDonald’s ad.

Getting the Message Across

It may seem like a weird sign for a fast-food chain, but these two billboards really communicated the main message that McDonald’s wanted customers to know.  There are around 1,000 drive throughs with golden arches on the sign, but less than 20 with a king advertising the burgers. So, rather than making people think the food was tastier, the prices were better, or any other value they’ll receive while eating there, McDonald’s wanted to remind customers how much more convenient it is to swing by one of their restaurants. This was an unusual way to show it, but sometimes that’s what it takes.

Mcdonalds vs Burger King Directions

The “Wow!” Factor

There are a lot of ways for billboards and other ads to be interesting enough for people to talk about them. Sometimes they make use of extremely advanced technologically, so they’re a conversation topic because people are impressed. Other times they somehow solve a problem that people face in their lives, so they’re interesting because of the good they do.

In this case, the billboard was talked about because of how ridiculous it was. It didn’t have any fancy technology, and it hardly had anything pretty to look at. It didn’t do anything new, and it definitely didn’t solve a problem (it’s unlikely anyone would actually use this as their key source of information on how to get somewhere so far away). Instead, people liked it because it was so dramatic. It was funny and silly, and yet it still made the point.

Risks of Mentioning Competitors

Another tricky situation involved here is mentioning the competition. When planning your advertising, this is an important thing to decide about for a few reasons. First, you need to find out what legal restrictions you face. A small mistake could cause you to end up with a costly lawsuit, and that’s not usually worth it.

More importantly, this gives direct advertising for your competitor. Everyone knows that these two chains are against each other, but some companies need to be careful about helping customers realize that other organizations offer similar products or services. Plus, if you’re too mean, it can leave you with a negative impression in the eyes of some customers.

Creative McDonalds Billboard

Outside-of-the-Box Billboards

When designing a billboard, it’s a good idea to get a little creative with the style. Remember that you don’t have to be old-fashioned and boring with what you make, and creating something that looks different from all the other signs on the road can really help yours stand out.

The Product Doesn’t Have to Be There

Another good lesson to take from this has to do with the content of the billboard. They generally need to have less information since many people see them but for only a short amount of time, so it’s a good idea to pick only one message. And, it doesn’t have to be about your product. McDonald’s does a lot of marketing about its food, so sometimes they can highlight other values that they can offer to customers – such as convenience.

Want to Make a Billboard that Stands Out?

We love working with creative ideas for our billboards, and we’ll be happy to take on the challenge of something exciting you’ve come up with. Even if you don’t want to build a tower giving directions to your competitor, we can help make your idea a reality.

Anti Smoking Apotek Billboard

A Billboard that Coughs at Smokers

Doctors used science long ago to prove that smoking is an extraordinarily unhealthy habit, and it can lead to a large number of medical conditions. Also, it’s expensive, causes damage to buildings, bothers others, and has many other negative effects.

Even with all of these reasons to stop smoking, people still do it. A lot of people. Why? Because it’s very addictive.

Anti-smoking advertising has been going on for quite some time, but maybe a new strategy will help. After all, it’s quite embarrassing when a sign gives you a hard time while you’re walking down the street, as one in Scandinavia just did.

Anti Smoking Apotek Billboard

Creating a Coughing Billboard

One of the most creative anti-smoking signs ever created was recently placed in a busy square in Stockholm, Sweden. This location was chosen because it happens to be a place where many people go to smoke.

The sign itself was a digital display showing a simple image of a person in black and white, and the name of the business was displayed across the bottom. It’s the kind of ad you see all over the place, and you may not even register it above a subconscious level.

However, what you don’t notice while just looking at it is that a smoke detector is hidden inside of the sign. When a smoker walks by, the machine picks up on the smell, and the image changes to a coughing man. It’s a very clear message that the guy is bothered by the harsh smell of the burning tobacco. Then, it shows some ads for some common products that will help people quit.

Two Ads in One

This sign was done in such a clever way that a lot of people took notice. It was clear that it was reacting to the people walking by, and that unusual behavior led to some funny (and uncomfortable) reactions from the general public.

The whole thing was a creative plan that was well executed, but the creators didn’t stop there. They also had a film crew around to discretely make a video of people’s reactions to the sign, and that was entertaining in itself.

They shared the video online, of course, and this meant that it went from outdoor advertising to something that could freely spread around social media.

Anti Smoking Billboard

It Fits the Brand

It’s not uncommon to see stop smoking billboards created by governments or other non-profit organizations, but this one was made for a business. It was put together by the agency Akestam Holst, and they made it for the Apotek Hjartat pharmacy. When you think about it, it’s a perfect match for the brand. The purpose of a pharmacy is to help you stay healthy and live a longer life, and quitting smoking really contributes to that.

So, not only was it funny and eye-catching, but the billboard remained relevant to the messages that the company wants to put out.

A Reason for the Timing

Just as the location was chosen because it’s a place where many people light up, there was a specific reason of why they released it in January. This is the month when people are trying to follow their recently made New Year’s resolutions, and quitting smoking is one of the most common goals that people set. It’s also one that many people fail to follow through on because of how difficult it is. This is a fun, catchy reminder to help people remember what they’re doing, and it would still work in August, but it wouldn’t work as well without the extra timing element.

Coughing Billboard

Brand Building Can Benefit Society

This campaign accomplishes some pretty standard goals that companies aim for when investing in advertising. It helps their brand become known, increases sales, and gives updates about current products. However, it also takes things a step further by doing something that contributes to society.

From a business point of view, a pharmacy will probably be able to sell products to smokers and non-smokers alike, so it’s not like it’s chasing away customers. But, if they build the image of being a trusted friend and valuable member of the community, they might just end up with more customers (even those who have never been interested in tobacco).

It’s Not Just for Pharmacies

Hopefully this campaign will serve as an inspiration to you in more ways than one. It’s a clever example of how you can mix outdoor advertising with a viral video, and it’s another case that proves that signs aren’t limited to being one-sided, static images. On the other hand, it should be a good challenge for you to find some social causes that can help boost your business. You don’t have to be in a field related to medicine in order to do something positive for the world, and even a small amount of effort can be enough to help you win some customers.

Resting House Billboard Featured

A Billboard Sleep Station for Tired Drivers

Outdoor advertising has the possibility to do a lot of different things. The primary purpose is to create awareness of brands to people who are out living their lives, but they’re capable of doing much more than just that. It may sound slightly dramatic, but billboards have saved lives before, and keeping the creative ideas flowing means they can do it again.

Does that sound too good to be true? It’s not. Here’s just one of many examples where a clever billboard took steps to save lives.

The Peruvian Highway Problem

Resting BillboardTo properly understand this problem, you would have to know about the driving situation in the country of Peru. There’s a very long stretch of highway that goes from the capital city of Lima to the neighboring country of Chile, and it goes through a very empty area. It’s part of the Pan-American Highway, which is a road that not only crosses two continents, but also travels the entire length of this specific country. It comes in from Ecuador, travels down to the capital city, and continues south to Peru.

There’s one big problem along this stretch, though, and that is that there aren’t many places to stop and rest. That wouldn’t be too big of a deal if it was a short part of the road, but the fact that it’s more than 700 miles makes things extremely dangerous.

About a third of all road accidents in Peru are caused because drivers are tired, but what can be done about this? It’s expensive and difficult to build rest areas, and then they have to be maintained and have the appropriate security for people to feel comfortable using them.

If only there was a cheaper solution… Well, there is one thing, and Sodimac Homecenter did it.

The Billboard Became a Rest Area

This became known as the resting house billboard, and that’s basically because it’s a billboard that has a house where people can rest. Under the sign (which advertises the spot), there is a series of little garage areas where drivers can park their cars. They are only enclosed on three of the four sides, and they’re decorated like little houses inside. The place is run by staff members to keep things organized, and they provide little things, such as sleep masks and WiFi access, to help the tired drivers successfully get some rest. This allows the travelers to rest, sleep, and get the relaxation they need to continue their long drives.

Providing the Safety

Resting House Billboard

The resting house billboard was specifically created for the drivers of the Panamericana Sur Highway by Sodimac Homecenter and their agency McCann Lima. One of the most important reasons it was successful is because of the safety it provided. The first thought about it is that it kept people safe from car accidents because of fatigue (which is true), but it also kept them secure. It has 24-hour security in place, so drivers don’t have to worry about themselves or their property while they get some sleep.

Billboards on this Highway

Despite the fact that this is a long, empty road, it doesn’t have any shortage of billboards. There are so many them that advertisers compete very heavily to get their signs positioned in a good spot, while also making sure that they have a memorable message that will be successful. With so much competition, it’s not an easy task. But, the resting house billboard seemed to work.

What is Sodimac Homecenter?

If you’re not from Peru or one of the surrounding countries, you may not even be familiar with Sodimac Homecenter. It’s a major home improvement chain that comes from Chile, but also sells things in other South American countries. That’s the big reason why this billboard, complete with little houses, was a relevant concept for the store.

Resting House Billboard Builds the Brand

Peru Resting House Billboard

This billboard builds the Sodimac Homecenter brand in multiple different ways. First, it just gives a positive image to the company, and people will remember it as a place that helps them. This will make shopping decisions easier when they need to work on their homes.

Also, it fits in with the industry of the company. They sell home supplies, but that also means they try to make people have a safe and happy place to go to at the end of a long, tiring day. In a way, that’s exactly what they’re doing here. They became a little bit of home in the middle of nowhere, and the garages were decorated in a way that remind people of that.

Third, it really got a lot of attention because of how creative it was. This made it so that many consumers could get the message, even if they didn’t drive down the road.

Build Your Own House!

The moral of this story is that brands can solve problems with their advertising, and they manage to get twice as much publicity because of it. No matter what industry your company is in, how can you use outdoor advertising to improve lives, and get noticed?

The Mosquito Killer Billboard

Humans have spent all of history protecting themselves from dangerous predators, but one specific animal brings fear into the hearts of people all over the globe. There are ways to fight back against this creature, but no one knows how to stop it completely. Because of a number of factors, it’s becoming a major hazard to the health of the public.

But, in the most unsuspected of places, a solution was found.

A billboard is saving the day in the global battle against mosquitos.

Mosquito Killer Billboard

Basics About the Mosquito Killer Billboard

The billboard itself looks normal enough at first sight, but it has a little more than your average sign. It is white with cut out letters, and it contains a message that says “This billboard kills hundreds of Zika mosquitos every day.”

There is some sophisticated machinery built inside of it, and that’s what gives it some teeth. First, it has internal containers that emit carbon dioxide and lactic acid into the air. These are attractive to mosquitos because they’re the same scents that come from humans, so the insects flock to the source. And, it’s so strong that mosquitos will come from distances of up to 4 kilometers (2.48 miles) away.

Once the little animals get closer, they notice the fluorescent lights inside the sign, and that makes them even more interested. Then, they have a little entrance that’s easy for them to find, so they fly right in. Unfortunately for the insects, it’s not so easy to get out. They remain trapped until they die of dehydration.

Why Mosquitos Are a Problem

Mosquitos are a big problem around the world since they act as mini carriers of disease, and they’re extremely hard to stop. This really came to light in 2015 when a major outbreak of the Zika virus began in Brazil, and the world took notice since so many people would be traveling there for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Since the virus can cause birth defects in babies born to mothers who have had it, it was significant enough to be called a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern” by the World Health Organization.

Billboard that Kills Mosquitos

The Agencies Behind the Billboard

When creating outdoor advertising, it isn’t normal to make a trap for a dangerous animal. It’s common to try to promote causes related to public health, but they aren’t usually this direct and efficient. However, the creativity that comes out of advertising companies seems to be never ending. This whole project was created by Periscope and NBS, two agencies in Brazil. With the threat of the Zika virus causing so much trouble, they made this solution and taught others how to do the same.

Giving the Design for Free

One very noteworthy part of this billboard is how the agencies who created it gave away the instructions on how to make the mosquito killer billboard. They went so far as to build a website that contains detailed information on how it operates, as well as how to make one yourself.

This was so important because it took it from a publicity stunt and turned it into a gift for humankind. Following a similar strategy can really serve as an inspiration for other organizations to do something similar. And, they can use this as an example if they need to justify investments they’re making in their own projects.

Mosquito Killing Billboard Construction

Not the First Helpful Billboard

A billboard was built in 2013 that helped a major problem in Peru. The area suffers from very low amounts of drinking water because there’s hardly any rainfall. What water the people are able to get is often polluted, but there is often a humidity level over 95%. Seeing a problem and a potential solution, an ad agency partnered with a local university to see what they could do. They ended up creating a billboard that collected water from the air, purified it, and stored it into tanks. Then, people were able to come with bottles and collect the drinking water for their families. It didn’t quite solve the entire issue, but it was a creative solution that helped a lot of people.

Are You Able to Solve a Health Problem?

Even if you don’t think that mosquitos are a major threat, do you have any problems you’ve thought about solving? If so, you don’t necessarily have to do it alone. Sometimes someone has already come up with a solution (like what has happened in this case), and other times you will be able to find help with it. Organizations that are fighting against diseases and other hazards on an everyday basis are usually more than happy to help you turn a dream into a reality.

Let’s try to save the world, one billboard at a time.

McDonalds Pick n Play

McDonalds Pick n Play Billboard Game

From a young age, McDonald’s does a great job of pushing its image of a playful wonderland right into your head. That works pretty well, but eventually you grow up, and Ronald McDonald becomes less and less interesting as the years pass.

But, it’s not only children who like to play. Adults may be too shy to order a Happy Meal, but they enjoy having some games in their life.

A few years ago, the fast food chain managed to get full grown adults to unleash their inner child. They even managed to make it happen in a crowded square.

But, how did they do it?

McDonalds Pick n Play

A Playground for All Ages

To set the scene, take yourself back to the year 2011, and imagine you’re walking through the streets of Stockholm, Sweden. Now, look up at the giant Golden Arches on a billboard, and pull out your smartphone.

Are you ready for a game? It’s not difficult. As a matter of fact, it’s pretty similar to the game of Pong. The digital display will bring up a video game in which a ball starts bouncing from one side to the other. Using your phone, you move a paddle up and down so the ball doesn’t escape.

Who wouldn’t want to give it a try?

The Details of the Game

This stunt was put together for McDonald’s by DDB Stockholm, and it was quite a hit. Many people participated because it was so easy to do, and if they played well enough, they could win a prize.

The game didn’t require an app download or any other complicated procedure. All people had to do was go to the website that the billboard advertised, and it used their location data to make sure they were actually there.

Consumers got to play, and they had to survive for 30 seconds. If they did, they were rewarded with a coupon for free food at one of the nearby restaurants.

McDonalds Billboard Game

Lack of App Was Key to Success

One of the major reasons this campaign was successful was because of how simple it was. When doing something like this today, many people will instinctively decide to ask consumers to download an app to play along. They even try to build that app in a way that the users can take it with them and play later, and it’s seen as a great reminder of the brand.

While that method can work, it causes a major entry barrier to anyone thinking about participating. That was the real beauty of this one. There weren’t any downloads necessary, and the players didn’t have to register. They just visited the website, played the game, and (hopefully) won.

Then, they popped into a McDonald’s to enjoy their delicious trophy.

Gave Unexpected Interaction to Customers

Another great feature of this campaign was the interactivity it offered. Billboards are often used to advertise a competition or communicate results of something happening, but they’re very rarely the actual game board. Good signs are passively seen and melted into the subconscious of the potential consumers, but it’s proof of a great idea when people want to stop and actively discuss it with each other.

Pick n Play Billboard Game

Free Prizes!

An additional clever aspect of this plan was the call to action that was disguised in the form of a prize. Instead of just suggesting that customers stop by for lunch, they gave them the incentive of free food. They may or may not buy lunch during that visit, but they’ll remember the location (and hopefully the good experience they had) next time they’re in the area.

Also, bragging to friends about winning something for free is always a great way to encourage word-of-mouth communication.

Do You Use Mobile in Your Campaigns?

If you haven’t ever tried integrating mobile experiences in your campaigns, this is a great example of why you should. Don’t forget that it can go far beyond mobile ads or having an app that makes it easier for your customers to interact with your company. Smartphones are a major part of life in the 21st century, so consider them just as strong of a medium as billboards, radio/TV, print, and online channels.

 Not The First McDonald’s Billboard Game

A year before this billboard happened, the same agency created a similar sign for the burger chain. It was less interactive because it only required customers to snap a photo of fast moving foods, and they could show that for a real version of the item for free in a local McDonald’s. As mobile technology improved, the fancier version was possible. Just imagine what we can do now!

Game On!

Have you ever had a similar idea for your business? At bMedia Group, we love to be a part of making these amazing concepts come to life, and we’d be happy to talk about how to turn your creative thoughts into a reality.

Vehicle Recognition Billboards

Vehicle Recognition Billboards

Do you notice billboards on the side of the road when you’re driving? Most people do, but they’re far more effective if they’re something you can relate to instead of a generic ad. However, this can be quite a challenge for advertisers because of the diverse backgrounds of drivers going past the signs. There’s no way that they can make a billboard that will speak specifically to each driver and blast the right message.

Or, is there?

Yes, there have been a few different times that billboards got a little bit personal with the drivers looking at them!

The Chevy Malibu Is Better Than Your Car

Vehicle Recognition Billboards

This campaign was one that advertised the Chevy Malibu automobile, but it didn’t simply stop at showing a nice message with an image. Instead, the digital billboard had special technology to register who was watching it, and then it responded in a way that would speak specifically to that audience. So in place of the generic ad, it would directly compare the Chevy to the type of car that the person was driving. For example, it would tell drivers who have a Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima, Toyota Camry, or Hyundai Sonata what better gas mileage (or other benefits) they would have in a Malibu.

Billboards Recognize Vehicles

The campaign was put together as a joint effort between Posterscope USA (an out-of-home communications agency) and Lamar Advertising Company (an outdoor advertising company). It was placed in New Jersey, Dallas, and Chicago, and the timing of the display was key to the whole process. It would change the display with adequate time for the driver to see it as they passed, and then it would change back to the original image.

Also, it’s important to know that the system didn’t save any information about the drivers!

It’s Not Always about Cars

Billboard Vehicle Recognition

This type of technology can target drivers, but it doesn’t necessarily have to talk about cars. There’s another similar example that was used in London, but it dove more into the interests of the drivers. In this case, there were three digital billboards placed right next to each other, and the whole thing was positioned next to a roundabout. This allowed for more space to deliver a single message, and it was an easier opportunity to mix images with text and logos.

This sign was developed by Ocean, a British advertising agency, and it builds a profile of a driver based on the type of car they’re in. Then it can advertise luxury goods, clothing, newer models of the same car, and other products and services that the particular group might be interested in.

Again, they made a point of saying that it didn’t store any personal information.

These Signs Can Boost Egos

There was an electronic billboard outside of an airport in Melbourne, Australia that liked to help a certain type of customer brag more than usual. Whenever a Porsche was about to cruise by, they would be greeted with the message that “It’s so easy to pick you out in a crowd,” and the Porsche logo. This one was put together by oOH! Media, and it was a great way to make a luxury brand feel even more luxurious.

Education is Necessary to Prevent Fear

One problem with campaigns like these is that people will start to be concerned about their privacy. Because of the fact that the sign is reading them, they’ll be worried that it’s using their image or license plate to store and use data about them. Since having a Big Brother feeling associated with your brand isn’t very desirable, we advise you to educate the public about the workings of any similar projects you do.

However, that can be a great opportunity for a little extra publicity. It’s fairly likely that journalists will be interested in this type of campaign, and they can help spread the message that it isn’t storing data or invading privacy in any way.

Technology is Only Increasing

Billboards like this were technologically impossible just a few years ago, but all of these campaigns managed to do it in different ways. And as the technology improves, it also becomes more affordable. Don’t rule out any sort of advertising ideas as being too expensive until you actually check the prices.

Are Vehicle Recognition Billboards the Future?

These vehicle recognition billboards are pretty incredible, so it’s pretty easy to think that they could be the future of outdoor advertising. That could very well be true, but it’s also very difficult to tell. One of the biggest problems is that a busy road probably doesn’t allow time for every driver to get a customized message, but it still can be really noticeable for the others to see multiple signs in the same place while in their cars.