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.