Funny Signs and Billboards Featured

Funny Signs and Billboards

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

The Stuff Of Nightmares

Funny Sings and Billboards

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

What Did You Just Say?

Hot Wife Funny Billboard

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

Puns Are Hanoi-ing

Phuket Funny Sign

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

Camera Shy

Pimples Outdoor Media

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

Personal Hygiene

Nose Hair Trimmer Billboard

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

Your Dog Has A Case Of Humans

Frontline Fleas Outdoor Media

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

Happy Little Trees

Bob Ross Billboard

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

Calling You Out

Funny Parking Billboard

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

Worst Possible Spokesperson

Flu Shots Billboard

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

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.

Spotify Billboard Campaign

Spotify’s Hilariously Personal Billboard Ads

Billboards are a popular advertising medium because they’re a great way to get a simple message to a lot of people quickly and affordably. They can target people based on the location where they will be viewed, and they often have a captive audience who has no choice but to notice the sign.

But, in the internet age, are they becoming less useful? Do we depend on electronic targeting and digital technology to get our point across?

No, not with a little creativity. In fact, one recent campaign is a perfect example of how outdoor advertising can be even more successful than something posted online.
Spotify Billboard Campaign

Thanks 2016, it’s been weird

In November of 2016, the online music streaming service Spotify launched a global campaign using billboards. Each sign contained messages that were localized for the markets where they appeared. The messages were crafted using Spotify data to find what people were listening to, and they often matched with specific and memorable events that occurred that year. Then they added in a strong mix of humor to make sure they were entertaining, and splashed them proudly on billboards.

Some messages were specifically for the local audience, such as this one in the UK:

“Dear 3,749 people who streamed “It’s The End Of The World As We Know It” the day of the Brexit vote, Hang in there.”

Others showed where the data came from, but still could work anywhere in the world, like:

“Dear person in L.A. who listened to the “Forever Alone” playlist for 4 hours on Valentine’s Day, you ok?”

Brexit Spotify Billboard

Indirect Brand Advertising

One thing you’ll notice about these ads are that they don’t say anything specific about what Spotify does. They all refer to people listening to songs, so they imply that the company has something to do with playing music, but it doesn’t have any other information about why you would want to use the service. They assume that everyone who would use them to stream music already knows about their offering and how it works, or is smart enough to pop the name into a search engine.

This saves valuable real estate on the sign to show the new look of their brand, and it doesn’t distract from the humor.

Showing Their Fun Side

One of the biggest reasons that companies go with ads that deliver some sort of emotion is because they give personality to a brand. This works in the case of Spotify, because one of their main purposes is to offer entertainment. These signs weren’t music to your ears, but they probably caused you to laugh a little bit. This adds to an overall image of a company that will make you happy, and you’ll subconsciously remember that when choosing which website to get your music from.

Funny Spotify Billboard Advertisement

Relevant to the Time

Another brilliant aspect of this campaign was how it was relevant to the time. 2016 was a busy year in the world, and there were many celebrity deaths, unexpected political situations, multiple international crises, and a lot of other difficult or surprising events. Social media users had become used to blaming everything on 2016, and this campaign played right into that – in a non-depressing way. It even managed to take all that distress and turn it into something funny.

Billboards Going Viral

One of the common concerns about billboards is that they’re not as likely to go viral as something that’s easy to share online. This campaign helped prove that not only are billboards not outdated, but the number of digital cameras out there may make them more likely to go viral than an image saved on a website. A campaign has to be made correctly, but physical objects can be less likely to get lost in the noise.

Spotify Hilarious Billboard

Big Data in a New Way

Speaking of going viral, this campaign used another buzzword that’s popular in the internet era: big data. Many companies are gathering and cataloging massive amounts of data from their customers, and most are still trying to figure out what to do with it. This information is a dream for marketers and advertisers (especially in the online space), but this is a creative use of it that many hadn’t thought of. Big data in an ironic way really stood out.

Grab Attention with Your Billboards!

This example with Spotify is just one of many recent campaigns where outdoor advertising was still going strong in the 21st century. It’s often a good idea to balance it out with the other advertising media you use, but it can be a strong way to boost sales and build brands in many different industries.

Reach out to us if you have any ideas you’d like to discuss seeing on a sign, and we’ll be overjoyed if it’s a funny campaign like this that will spread the laughs around!

Use Only What you Need

Using Outdoor Media to Save the Planet

If you’ve ever visited the state of Colorado, you’ll know that it’s an extremely beautiful place. Unfortunately, if you were there in the summer, there’s a good chance that you encountered how dry it is. It may seem like lack of water is something that couldn’t be helped with billboards, but Denver Water has gone above and beyond to prove that wrong. They’ve been so successful that they’ve actually made people excited to talk about watering grass and fixing toilets.

So, how did they manage that?

Use Only What you Need

Lack of Water in Colorado

It does go back and forth over time, but quite a few recent years in Colorado have been spent in drought conditions. Unfortunately, this has caused many devastating wildfires and other environmental impacts. It’s something that residents of the state are having to get used to, but the water companies are realizing the problem of not having enough supply to serve their customers. They knew it wasn’t an option to just walk into houses and turn off taps, so they decided it was time to get creative.

The Use Only What You Need Campaign

It’s not very easy to convince people to give up on something that they’re used to always having, but this campaign did a great job of pointing out that people are using far more than they need. Often companies go the angle of talking about how much money the customers will save, but this plan managed to avoid that completely, and it kept things fun. The whole theme was to “Use Only What You Need,” and it generally had two comical ways of showing that people were using too much.

The first method was to show to objects, such as fire hydrants or newspaper boxes, and one would be much larger than the other. The big one would say something like “How much you water your lawn,” and the little would state “This is how much it really needs.” The bright orange installations were such a different way of looking at everyday objects that people loved interacting with them.

The second method was to take an advertising medium, often a billboard, and show that it isn’t necessary to use the whole thing. The majority of the sign would be empty, and there would just be a little spot left with the “Use Only What You Need” message.

Denver Water Outdoor Media

Everything is a Canvas

This campaign has been running for quite some time, and it has successfully shown that anything can be a starting point for an ad. It’s already been mentioned that they used fun objects of everyday life, but they also got people excited to see billboards and posters at bus stops. Let this campaign serve as a reminder that any part of your sign can be integrated into your campaign.

For example, if you’re making a campaign about not using too much water in your grass, why not change the pole that holds the billboard into a giant garden hose? Making your ads burst out of their normal constraints and into the lives of consumers is a great way to get the reaction you’re hoping for.

Denver What Use What you Need

Surprise Your Customers

Having a shocking advertisement can many times (but not always) be a very successful strategy. However, it will have even better results if you manage to break a few of the traditional barriers. This campaign used a lot of similar tactics to guerrilla marketing campaigns. One of the main characteristics of that form of advertising is to break the rules, and it also makes sure to get onto the same level as the customers (making them feel like it was created by their peers – even when it wasn’t). So we advise taking a page out of the playbook of this campaign, and give this sort of feeling to your ads in the future.

Ethical Advertising

This campaign also helps to shed a different light on advertising as a whole. It’s an area of business that’s often viewed as evil and manipulative, and this generally causes people to resist the messages that are given to them in ads. However, this campaign was all about helping the environment (commonly believed to be a worthy cause), and one of the results is that it convinced people to be more open minded towards the ads they encounter every day.

Use Only What You Need When Advertising

After seeing how successful and interesting this campaign was, you should realize how good of an idea it is to apply to your own campaigns. Use only what you need to get your message across, and do it in a way that will get your target group involved and interested. If it’s fun and creative, they’ll create the buzz around it naturally, and your business will get the boost it’s hoping for.

Have a creative idea you’re not sure about? Run it by us, we’d love to help you turn it into a great reality.

Litter Hong Kong

A Billboard that Identifies People Who Litter

Do you have an opinion on people who litter?  Almost everyone does. Unfortunately, for those living in crowded urban areas, it’s really just a fact of life. Governments and societies try to crack down on it, but many people just don’t listen.

One anti-litter group decided that enough was enough, and they took a fairly radical step to fight the problem.  But, did they cross any ethical lines themselves?  That’s up to you to decide.

The Faces of Litter

The Problem

Hong Kong is a city full of people.  As a matter of fact, the more than 7 million inhabitants crammed into such a small place ranks it as the fourth most densely populated region on the planet.

That many people always adds up to a logistical nightmare when it comes to waste disposal, but it doesn’t help that littering seems to be the official sport.  Every day, there is more than 16,000 tons of waste dumped in the city, and this has given life to the Hong Kong Cleanup Initiative.  The organization’s name is pretty straightforward about what they do, but you might be surprised to learn that they literally launched an in-your-face campaign to combat the problem.

Litter Hong Kong

Basics of the Campaign

The government has already tried many methods of going after this problem, so the campaign had to find a unique way of getting to people.  There are pretty hefty fines given to anyone caught littering, but that just wasn’t motivational enough.  This led the environmental group to team up with Ogilvy & Mather Hong Kong to try and put together something that would really get people listening.  So, the strategy decided on for this campaign was to do a bit of shaming for the litterbugs in society.

They Even Found the Perfect Day to Do It

This whole project was called the Face of Litter Campaign, and they had the perfect day to launch it:  Earth Day.  Leading up to it, teams had worked to collect garbage, and they managed to pick up more than 4,000 tons from the streets.  Then, they gave it to some scientists to work their magic.

What Tech Did They Need to Do It?

Scientists at Parabon NanoLabs used Snapshot™ DNA phenotyping to analyze who had touched the various garbage samples, and this allowed them to make a digital drawing of the litterbug responsible for each individual piece.  They tended to focus on bits of garbage that would have physical bits of people left behind, and some of the favorites were coffee cups, cigarette butts, and condoms.  This technology has the ability to predict eye color, hair color, skin color, freckling, shape of the face, and a lot more about people just from a tiny amount of their DNA.  It may sound like something out of science fiction, but that’s the world we live in today.

Do Not Litter Outdoor Media

What Did It Accomplish?

The Hong Kong Cleanup Initiative has some great programs in place to clean up the trash.  Unfortunately, they were really stuck in the pattern of cleaning up after people, and they weren’t having much success in preventing littering in the first place.  That’s where this campaign really helped out – it got people talking.  In only two weeks, it managed to get 3.9 million engagements on social media, and $5 million in earned media coverage.

Advertising vs. Activism

This campaign was very successful by many measurements, but it does raise some ethical questions.  The pictures that were shown were generated drawings of theoretical people, but is it appropriate to publicly shame people?  Even if it works to solve a problem, it can cause harm to people who may or may not deserve it.  We don’t have the answer to this, it’s really up to you and your own personal beliefs.

Science!

A major takeaway from this campaign is how science can be used in advertising.  It’s likely that this whole project would have been far less interesting if they had simply taken photographs of people caught in the act of littering.  It really stands out because of the amazing science that many people didn’t realize was possible, but then it was the perfect chance to convey the message once it had everyone’s attention.

How far will your advertising go?

Have you ever done anything similar to get your message across?  You don’t necessarily have to be so aggressive with your advertising tactics, but this doesn’t change the fact that pulling stunts like this will get you talked about.  So, don’t be afraid to push the limits, but make sure you’re thinking about your image as a whole before you do anything too crazy.

If you’re not sure how to do this on your own, just give us a call.  We’re ready to hear your ideas!

Puerto Rico Business

How to Promote Your Business in Puerto Rico

If you own or run a business in Puerto Rico, there are many different ways that you can promote it and try to gain a larger customer base.  The entire advertising industry has changed a lot because of the advances in technology, but that doesn’t mean the traditional methods are simply things of the past.  In today’s world, you can put signs on the side of the road, print ads in the hands of customers, or blast them with digital pixels on electronic devices.  All of these methods can work to accomplish different goals and reach different people.

Here, we’ll focus on three of the most successful strategies to use in Puerto Rico.  If you use a mixture of these methods in your business, you should see some pretty strong results.

Puerto Rico Business

1.  Billboards

Puerto Rico is densely populated, and everyone here knows that.  With more than 3.5 million individuals living together in 3,515 square miles, the island has more than 1000 people per square mile.  Mixed in with all these potential customers is about 3 million registered vehicles, so that works out to being a lot of people sitting in traffic with eyes ready to see your billboard.  Also, studies have found that more than half of people discuss interesting messages they see on billboards, and a quarter of people go to a store because of what they read.

Many of these people are already in the car and ready to go shopping, and those are pretty good odds for any marketer.

Billboards should be primarily used to target a very general audience.  There’s no way to change the sign for each customer, so a wide message about your brand is the most helpful.  Electronic signs give the possibility for quick successions of ads, but they still get blasted across the population.

Outdoor advertising like this is a great way to remind people that your company still exists.  Overall, they’re a great way to increase brand recognition.  This can really be the difference between consumers choosing your brand from a competitor’s product when they’re sitting next to each other on a shelf.

Social Media Puerto Rico

2. Social Media

There are a ton of social media platforms already, and new ones are being launched every day.  Many of these have possibilities to advertise inside of them, and they can be useful because they’ve already convinced users to give them treasure trove of personal data.  In other words, the networks know what people are interested in, so you can make sure to only pay for showing your product to consumers who are likely to buy it.

But, out of all the choices you have, Facebook is your best bet in Puerto Rico.  The amount of users on the island has been steadily increasing, and it was nearly 90% during 2015.  That means that nearly everyone has an account, and many of them use the social network on a regular basis.

You should plan on using Facebook to advertise when you have some unique and interesting content to draw people in.  There is a lot of clutter, so words alone probably won’t be noticed.  However, if you have a video or an interesting blog post to attract user’s busy eyes, you might just get a click.  If they really like what they see, they’ll share your post.  And a recommendation from a friend is something that money can’t buy!

3. Google Strategy

Don’t forget that the internet is a big place, and social media is only a small part of it.  Getting noticed in the top few results of a Google search for a broad term can be quite tough.  But, you can get pushed even higher on the list with a relatively small investment.  Using Google AdWords, you can pay to have your result pop up (with a notification that it’s a paid ad).

However, you need to make sure that you use some search engine optimization (SEO) strategies before doing this.  This is another chance to really narrow the viewers of your ad to a specific target group, so make sure you learn what people will be searching for before you write your ad – and only include the best terms.  This option should be used when you have a very specific message for a very specific group of people.

Promote Business Puerto Rico

Strategic Combination

You’ll benefit from using one of these methods, but the real power is in using all of them.  However, you don’t need to just start throwing money.  Make sure you have an overall strategy to see how they can all work together, and be careful to let them each take advantage of their specific strengths.  Don’t necessarily split your marketing budget evenly – think of it as one big number that’s going to increase your bottom line!

Advertising with Billboards

Creating an Effective Billboard

Billboards are a great medium to use when you really want to get your message to your customers.  Some people think they’re outdated in an increasingly digital world, but there’s a reason they’re still going strong everywhere from Times Square to Puerto Rico, they work!

Advertising with Billboards

Define a Target

The first important aspect of creating an effective billboard is making sure that it’s targeting a specific group of viewers.  Since such a wide variety of people will be exposed to it, it’s very tempting to try to advertise to everyone.  Studies have shown that targeting a specific demographic using your billboard can often get the message across far more clearly than going after a broader group.  Instead of a lot of people getting your message, it generally turns into no one hearing it.

When you decide on a target group, you’ll know who you’re talking to.  Once you know exactly who’s going to be listening, you know how to craft your message in a way that they’ll hear it.

Keep It Simple

Too many words end up being too much information to remember. Don’t forget that people often see billboards when they’re driving or busy doing something else, so they don’t always have the chance to stop and read – even if they want to. Make sure you get your point across as quickly as possible.

A good general rule is to use a maximum of six words on your billboard, as this is about the most that people can quickly take in. But, just because you can use six doesn’t mean that you have to. Using only one word can be great. Zero words can be amazing.

Billboard Outdoor Media

Make Sure People Understand You

The next step is to keep your billboard understandable.  When you’re trying to sell something, you don’t want to show off in a way that strains the brain of your customer.  If someone really has to stretch to understand what you’re saying, they might start feeling stupid.  Once they associate your brand with that feeling, people aren’t really going to have a lot of motivation to give you their money.

But, if you make your billboard easy to understand, your customers will start to feel good about themselves.  Suddenly, you’re the brand that they relate to, and that’s who they want to have in their life.

Make Sure People Can Read It

We’ve already covered why your billboard should only have a few words and why it should be easy to understand, but it’s also extremely important to make sure people can read it.  By this, we mean to make sure the actual design can be taken in by the eyes of your customers.

Don’t use elaborate fonts that are difficult to make out.  Don’t use colors that are so similar that they’re hard to tell apart.  Make sure the billboard has lots of contrast between the different elements, but also make sure they’re colors that go well together.

Set a Goal

This is near the bottom of the list, but it’s still one of the most necessary parts of creating an effective billboard.  It really should be done at the same time that you define your target. Make sure that you have a specific result that you hope for the sign to accomplish, or you’re just going to be creating a colorful banner.

It doesn’t need to be a complicated or difficult goal.  Do you want to get more people in your store?  That’s a great goal.  Do you want to make sure potential customers learn about a promotion?  That’s another.  What about just making people interested in of your brand?  That’s one of the most common reasons for creating a billboard.

Billboard Advertising

Go With Brand Building

Now that we’re talking about your brand, that brings up a really good piece of advice.  Think about using the billboard mostly to keep your brand in the eyes of your consumers.  They’ll see your message every day on their way to work, but they don’t always have the chance to stop and read it.  Or, they may not even have a need for your products or services at the moment – but the sign will still be there.

If your name has been melted into their brains during a morning commute every single day, they’ll take that into consideration when they encounter you in a shop.  You’ll feel like a trusted friend who has always been there for them.

Let’s Get Building

Now that you have all this new knowledge about billboards, why not put it to the test?  Give us a call, we are the largest provider of outdoor media in Puerto Rico and can help you get started creating an effective billboard advertisement.

Outdoor Media

The Relationship Between Traditional and Digital Marketing

Shift in Marketing Techniques

Social Media
Over the last 50 years, the marketing game has changed drastically. It has closely followed developments in technology starting with print, then moving to radio, television, and now the Internet. With the unwavering popularity of the Internet, this form of marketing has infiltrated our daily lives to an extent that no one could have ever predicted. Beginning on a single household computer, now every member of most families has multiple devices that connect them to the online world. From phones, to tablets, to laptops, the average person connects to the Internet multiple days per hour! This has presented advertisers with an opportunity to reach their audience like never before, but it also presents significant challenges. In the industry we call it ‘too much noise’ – and the basic concept is that people are being so over-marketed (especially online) that it’s hard to cut through all the noise to get your message across.

For example, Facebook advertising is slowly becoming a very lucrative and effective way to reach a wide audience. However, the average Facebook user scrolls through an abundance of ads every single time they log in, so it’s tough to make in impact.

Traditional Still Reigns Supreme in Some Markets

Outdoor Media
While many companies have moved online for their advertising efforts, traditional efforts still reign supreme in some markets. One good example, which is also the one we work in every single day, is billboard marketing in Puerto Rico. As anyone who has lived on or visited our wonderful island knows, traffic can be a major problem. Nobody likes traffic, it adds to a lengthy work day, and can be overwhelmingly frustrating just sitting in your car not being able to move for long periods of time. While most would agree that there’s nothing really good about the traffic in Puerto Rico, the one major benefit comes in the exposure of billboards. The driver of a car should never be looking at their phone while operating a vehicle, so their only choice is to look out the windshield at what’s in front of them. Strategic billboard placement in high traffic areas can be a very successful method of getting marketing messages across as drivers really have no choice, but to look at them.

Effective traditional marketing efforts are not limited just to billboards though, believe it or not there is still a large sector of the population that reads the newspaper every morning and orders magazines for their interests! While online has inevitably engulfed a large portion of these types of marketing mediums, for specific products usually targeting an older demographic, traditional print and other forms of marketing are still used often.

The Marriage Between Traditional & Digital Marketing

Digital Traditional Advertising
In a world where people are exposed to nearly 5,000 advertisements every single day, cutting through the noise can be a very difficult endeavor. This is where strategy and creativity come into play which when combined produce some of the most beautiful and effective advertising. Appealing to people’s sense of humor or humility are common methods of getting a message across, but even being different and creative is no longer original enough to make an impact. What marketers are seeing these days is that volume and frequency of advertisements is one of the most effective ways to cut through the noise.

This is where the marriage between traditional and digital marketing comes into play. Advertisers must constantly remind their audience of their products and services, so the best way to do so is to get in front of them as often and in as many different ways as possible. Let’s revisit the example of outdoor media in Puerto Rico. If a driver is on their way to work and gets stuck in some traffic trying to get across San Juan, they will see a number of billboards along their way. At one particularly slow point, they notice a billboard for a beautiful new watch. They’ve been in the market for a watch for a few months now and this advertisement managed to catch their attention. While they are at work they decide to take a break during lunch and investigate some more information about the watch they noticed on the billboard during their drive. An effective web strategy would be able to capture this web visitor’s information, drop a cookie in their browser, and then show personalized ads to them on the web and social media for the watch they were looking at. While the billboard may have sparked the initial interest in the product and caused the person to gather more information, it will be the persistent reminder of targeted Google advertisements in their web browser or ads showing up in their Facebook news feed that eventually lead to making a purchase decision.

Coco Cola Outdoor Media

Coke’s Mini Ads for Huge Results!

By no means is it an exaggeration to say that the Coca-Cola Company is one of the largest companies on Earth.  In fact, it was listed as the world’s third most valuable brand in 2015. And it’s been going strong since its introduction in 1886. It may be a company valued at $83.84 billion, but that doesn’t mean that Coca-Cola’s only focus is on getting bigger.  In fact, one recent ad campaign was built around making things tiny.  Really tiny. The product they were selling was mini cans of Coke, so they had to do something to keep with a theme of being smaller than normal.  They couldn’t be overly dramatic and shrink the world, but they could shrink the shops that sold the drink.  And they did.

The Big Scoop on Coke’s Little Ad

The campaign in question was played out in five different major cities throughout Germany.  Basically, Coke installed sales kiosks that looked exactly the same as the hundreds of others that the city dwellers would wander past that day, except these new ones were very small, and they had a mini machine and a person inside.  The vending machine was the right size to still pop out the new 150 ml can, but it looked more like something that elves would shop at.

Interestingly, the shops were fully functional, and they sold many different mini products.  But, the whole setup was designed in a way that would showcase the little cans of Coca-Cola.

The only exception to the tiny plan was the person inside.  These vendors were a normal height, but they were positioned in such a way that kept them at the same level as the counter.  It was brilliantly put together in a way to keep the illusion alive.

Unfortunately, these mini kiosks were only there for a temporary time in 2014, so you don’t have the chance to hop over to Germany and go visit them.  But, they made sure to give you a way to visually relive the experience.  They did this by also creating some print ads showing the kiosk as well as a video that could be shared online.

Why This Little Stunt?

Mini Kiosk Coca Cola Campaign
This whole campaign was built around a central motto: “It’s the little things in life that make us happy.”  So, it wasn’t about spreading the knowledge, sampling a new flavor, or rambling on about some new innovative production process.  Instead, it really just aimed to show people that they could be happy, even from the littlest things.  Such as a 150 ml can of Coke.

Instead of going big and corporate, they decided to use guerrilla marketing in a localized location.  They anticipated that people would get a kick out of it, and they wanted to take advantage of social sharing to spread the message.

And, as always with Coca-Cola, they wanted to improve the customer experience and keep on building up that brand.

Outdoor Media for an Indoor Product

Coco Cola Outdoor Media
Soft drink companies generally fight viciously over interior space for their advertising, but this campaign shows it doesn’t have to be that way.  Coke easily could have made some big stunt inside of the stores, and they did put a lot of marketing materials there, but not this particular campaign.

Sometimes advertising a product where consumers don’t expect it is a great way to get noticed.  This really stood out because the scene was so typical, but so different, that people couldn’t help but notice.  It really broke through all of the noise of the competing advertisements.

Of Course It Won Advertising awards

Coca Cola Mini Kiosk

It wasn’t just the Coca-Cola Company that came up with this idea, and the advertising agency behind it was Ogilvy & Mather Berlin.  They were pretty proud of the results, and among other awards, they walked away with multiple honors in the 2014 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Coke’s Strategy is Diverse

They’ve had polar bears, athletes, normal people, and even Santa Claus as spokespeople for their drinks, but, most of those live in print ads and on television.  So it was refreshing for everyone involved to see a campaign get into the great outdoors.

Also, they’re still at it with the mini ads.  This year they ran a Superbowl spot featuring the Hulk and Ant Man (two Marvel characters), and they engaged in a big chase to see who could get the little Coke.

As Always, Coca-Cola Builds Their Brand

On average, there were about 380 of the mini cans sold each day of the campaign, and that’s a 278% increase of normal vending machine sales.  But, that wasn’t the point.  The main goal was to contribute to their overall brand image, and it really had to meet their claim that Coca-Cola will “open happiness.”  It stuck out to customers and gave them the feeling that Coke is fun, relevant, and something that makes them happy.

It doesn’t matter what your product or service is, there’s always a way to use outdoor media to strengthen a brand as a whole.  Are you taking advantage of that?  If not, feel free to contact us today.

Sprite Shower

A Giant Soda Machine Shower

There’s nothing better than catching some sunshine on a hot day at the beach.  But, after some time lounging, swimming in the ocean, and digging in the sand, there are two things you want:  A cold shower and a refreshing drink. Most companies skip straight to the second part of this consumer need, but one was thinking outside of the bottle with a guerilla marketing campaign.  And it worked.

The Sprite Soda Shower

This whole event was part of a outdoor media campaign in 2012 that the Coca-Cola Company used to help promote Sprite.  Essentially, they built a giant soda dispenser complete with the famous green and yellow logo of the lemon-lime drink, and they invited people to stand where the cup would usually go.  Once the beachgoer pushed back on the giant lever, a shower would rain down on them.

The best and worst news about the campaign is that it only poured water, not Sprite.  Less refreshing, but also less sticky people. They mixed the giant contraption with the opportunity for people to have samples of the soda, and it created quite a stir.  Since the summer days on the crowded beach in Brazil could get up to 40°C, there were a lot of people looking for something to cool them down. It managed to shower more than 1,500 each day that it was in place, and you can be sure that these people made an association in their mind with that green label.

But, Why Wash All Your Potential Customers?

Sprite Shower
If you’re selling drinks, this sounds like a fairly silly tactic.  Why wouldn’t you just spend the money on samples of your product, and then freely pass them out all over the beach? Well, that sort of strategy can work, but this was better for many reasons. First, it was talked about.  No one rushes home and tells their friends about having a free drink, but they are quick to share their story of becoming a soda.

Next, it created important mental associations.  If potential customers are just handed a drink on a hot day, they’ll down it and not think twice.  But, if they physically feel refreshment both outside and inside of their body, they’re much more likely to associate that brand with a positive feeling.  And that’s the kind of thing that will make a difference when they’re staring at a fridge full of competing brands. Also, this gives identity to a brand.  The other companies may make fine products at similar prices, but this one is playful.  When happy people head out for a day in the sand, they want to take some brands with them that match their attitude.

What Was the Reaction of the Advertising World?

In short, it was positive.  That’s a big part of the reason that we’re still talking about this campaign a few years later.

The agency behind the giant soda shower was Ogilvy Brazil, and they were quite praised for the idea. It was quite talked about at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity where it won multiple awards, and it even took home a gold in one category.

Sprite is Used to Being the Cool Kid

It’s definitely worth noting that this stunt fits in well with the brand image that the soft drink has been working on for years.  Sprite has made a name for themselves over time as being trendy and making sure that the younger generations know they’ll be stylish if this is what they’re drinking.  They’ve had a lot of basketball, hip-hop, and street art in their campaigns, so they fit right in placing themselves in the middle of a beach party.

Time to Shower Your Customers with Attention

One of the biggest takeaways from this campaign is that marketing really comes down to creative solutions, and it’s about much more than just getting the word out.  It can be fairly expensive to invest in many forms of advertising, and this causes many people to hesitate about getting the word out.  But, sometimes a campaign can be about getting your customers to decide why they like you, and then make sure this new fact sticks into their mind.  It might not get them to drop what they’re doing and run to the store, but it can be a big part of building a loyal customer base throughout the years.

If you don’t want to build a giant soda machine but still want to show some love to your customers, then try to think outside of the box.  And don’t worry if you’re having a slow day in the creative part of your brain, just give us a call and we’re happy to help.

What do you think of the Sprite Shower?