Best Outdoor Advertising Campaigns

The Best Outdoor Advertising Campaigns

Creativity is a crucial part of any successful outdoor media campaign. With billboards being a very popular form of marketing all over the world, there’s no shortage of great examples to choose from. We’ve analyzed a variety of outdoor media from all over the world and put together our list of the best outdoor advertising campaigns out there!

McDonalds: What Time Is It Billboard

McDonalds What Time is It Billboard

Sundials have been a method of telling the time since some of the earliest parts of human history. This creative outdoor advertising campaign uses this method of time tracking in order to bind together the “time aspect” of its message, by linking the actual Earth time dynamically with the ad.

Tylenol: Wrecking Ball Billboard

Tylenol Wrecking Ball Outdoor Media

For whatever reason, painkiller commercials and billboards seem to be in love with visual metaphors. Most of the time, this is in an attempt to show empathy for those that struggle with frequent headaches and migraines. It’s as if they are saying, “We get your pain- we have a solution.”

Pond’s:  Little Pore Cleaning Guys Billboard

Ponds Pores Creative Billboard

Speaking of visual metaphors, here’s another good outdoor advertising campaign. The concept of “little men” doing tasks beyond the range of the visible eye is a very common one which helps allow people to have trust and understanding in the process that takes place.

McDonalds: BIG Mac Billboard

Big MAC Creative Billboard

This ad doesn’t even need to use words to get its message across. “This burger is so big, it can’t even fit on two billboards.” While of course, the burger’s depiction on an ad isn’t representative of its actual size, it serves as an easy visual shorthand which clicks with the brain naturally.

YMCA: Basketball Billboard

Creative Basketball Billboard

It’s fun to stay at the YMCA~ Nostalgic 1970’s throwbacks aside, this outdoor advertising ad campaign is an effective combination of form and function. Instead of simply showing an image of the inside of one of the YMCA facilities, this ad instead deigns to bring a piece of the facility to the viewer themselves.

LEGO: Constructing With Bricks Billboard

Lego Construction Billboard

This creative outdoor media is less of a billboard and more of a dynamic outdoor art piece. This ad uses the contrast between the concept of LEGO as a child’s construction toy and the serious nature of real-world construction in order to grab the attention of its audience.

Nestle: This Candy’s For The Birds Billboard

Nestle Bars Billboard

Anyone who lives in a major metropolitan area will no doubt be familiar with wild flocks of birds terrorizing parks and restaurants in the attempt to scrounge up food. This ad uses this familiar visual in an attempt to demonstrate how desirable and delicious these Nestle candy bars are.

 DHL: Unpacking The Ad Billboard

DHL Creative Billboard

Hello, your billboard has arrived! Given how iconic DHL’s packaging and branding is, this creative billboard ad doesn’t really need to do much other than remind people that the brand exists. People like to receive packages, so seeing a giant package unboxed with an express label on it triggers a specific subset of endorphins within the brain that the audience will then associate with the brand.

Science World: Diamonds Aren’t Rare Billboard

Science World Diamonds Billboard

In the world of writing, there’s an age-old adage which is show don’t tell. This concept can be held up to many other mediums and industries, even advertising! In this case, this outdoor advertising campaign comprised of diamonds makes for a quite effective means of getting their point across. It’s one thing for someone to say a fact and another for them to prove it.

Denver Water: Maximum Efficiency Billboard

Denver Water Billboard

Usually the flashier the billboard, the better. In this case, the exact opposite is true. While this creative outdoor media ad still defies audience expectations and grabs your attention, there’s no denying it’s simplicity. Given that this ad is to spread awareness about a serious issue and not to sell a product, there is also a level of gravity and somberness imparted by its stark nature.

Classic Retro Billboards

Best Vintage Billboards

Advertising has evolved much over the ages. Before the advent of cheap, high-quality photo printing, painted illustrations were required to cover the large area of billboards. This meant that vintage billboards were works of art in and of themselves. Due to the limitations imposed by the use of illustrations, even the design of such ads was different. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most effective, beautiful, and well-crafted vintage billboards to analyze and deconstruct.

Vintage Pepsi Billboard

Pepsi Vintage Billboard

For anyone who has seen the classic 1985 popcorn science fiction film, “Back to the Future”, this billboard might bring back a bit of nostalgia. There’s a scene in which the main character travels from an empty lot in 1955 to the same space in 1985, except the area is now occupied by a newly built suburban neighborhood. While this ad is clearly about Pepsi, it still manages to be highly representative of its era- a time when suburban development was on the rise as the American middle class prospered.

Perhaps the most interesting and striking aspect of this billboard is that it uses scale in order to defy the expectations of the viewer and catch their attention.

Small objects such as the Pepsi bottle cap are drawn to dwarf traditionally larger objects such as the house being constructed. The technique is quite subtle, yet still manages to disarm and interest viewers.

Vintage Coca-Cola Billboard

Coca Cola Puerto Rico

Of course, if we are to look at old Pepsi ads, it is inevitable that vintage Coca-Cola ads be brought up as a contrasting point. The evolution of the marketing behind Coca-Cola is an always fascinating subject. Here is a rare snapshot of the brand’s humble beginnings. Simple, yet ever present, this ad was found in Puerto Rico and was among the first of the brand’s international marketing efforts.

Coca-Cola’s presence has been felt around the world for decades, this image highlights just how long Coca-Cola has been in the forefront of popular culture.

1920’s Spanish Tile Billboard

Vintage Spanish Tile Billboard

The ad pictured above is from a relatively recent photograph, meaning that this ad has remained intact for almost 100 years at this point, all thanks to the quality of craftsmanship and the materials used.

This billboard found in Sevilla, Spain dates back to the 1920’s and is a beautiful and quite rare find. Comprised of painted tiles, it has more in common with traditional Spanish art than advertising materials. The amount of detail, care, and raw artistry that has gone into this piece comes off as incredibly uncharacteristic with what audiences have come to expect out of ads. Thrilling and interesting they may be- modern ads are ultimately understood to be disposable and fleeting.

Motorcar Silhouettes Retro Billboard

Vintage Billboards

Flat design is highly distinguished by shape and color instead of perspective, lighting, and detail. These two elements are commonly found being manipulated in vintage ads. This ad is a prime example of how shape can be used and taken advantage of in an ad.

This ad for some motorcars is focusing specifically on the shapes of the front of each car, relying upon the highly distinctive and iconic silhouettes of the vehicles to add impact to the billboard’s message.

1967 Chevrolet Camaro Vintage Billboard

Camaro Vintage Billboard

This famous ad for the then brand-new Chevrolet Camaro is worth highlighting thanks to its striking use of bold colors.

As previously mentioned, color is the other side of the coin when it comes to flat design. While the last ad made great use of shapes and silhouettes, this Camaro ad chooses to shift the focus mainly to its usage of color, though the shape here is still very distinctive and clear.

The high contrast between the yellow, red, white, and black, makes it stand out and leaves an impression in the mind of the viewer. Such imagery has had a drastic impact on popular culture, inspiring visual effects in movies such as Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill” and in video games such as “The House of the Dead”.

2.5D Oldsmobile Retro Billboard

Oldsmobile Vintage Billboard

The beauty of billboards as an advertising medium comes from the fact that they exist within three dimensions. Many modern billboards take advantage of this by making use of models and other 3D constructs. As previously mentioned, however, many vintage billboards favored flat designs and thus approached the use of the Z-axis in a different way, utilizing a method

In this example, the billboard is comprised of multiple 2D elements layered in such a way to give the impression of depth, guiding the eye from the front left to the back right.

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 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!

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?