Not all billboards are created equal.
The market and the audience of certain billboards must be taken into careful consideration in order to maximize their effectiveness. Because of this, billboards around the world are designed in different ways and seek to capture different audiences. We’ve compiled some examples of different successful billboards across the world and how they attempt to reach out to their respective audiences.
Billboard: Mt. Fuji’s Litter
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this billboard is that it technically isn’t a billboard. Sure, it has the frame and structure of a successful billboard- but it’s missing the actual content of a billboard. Of course, the position and intended viewing angle of the board attempts to turn Mt. Fuji- as in the actual Mt. Fuji itself, not a drawing or a recreation of it, into the content. Given the cultural significance and sheer recognition of Mt. Fuji to its target audience, the effect is substantial.
Billboard: Skype Qik Live
Mobile devices and social media are huge in Asia. Whether it be a mobile game, the hottest new trending app, or just chatting with friends- the smartphone is a gateway into a world of almost endless entertainment. This company created a billboard which allows mall goers to record themselves on a nearby mobile phone installation and have their clip appear on the ad. This manages to make physical advertising media relevant to the many enthusiastic smartphone users in Manila.
Billboard: Broken Screen
How many times have you interacted with a person, only to see that have them pull out their phone and noticed that it was broken or that the glass was “spidered”? Usually this is pretty noticeable and just as disconcerting. By replicating this effect on the billboard, it catches the viewer’s attention and reminds them of their broken phone screen if they have one.
Billboard: Rising Ocean Levels
This one is interesting as the viewer has to see this billboard multiple times at different points in the day to get the full effect. Basically the awning on top of this billboard is supposed to cast a shadow- the shadow that is cast will change depending on the sun’s relation to the billboard. As the sun moves throughout the day the shadow will change in accordance, making it seem as if the water line on the board is moving upwards. Given that Denmark exists next to the Atlantic, rising ocean levels actually do affect them as they change the shoreline of the country.
Billboard: Adam Ruins Everything
Anyone who has spent long enough time on Facebook has probably seen a video snippet of Adam Ruins Everything, a new series dedicated towards dispelling half-truths and common misconceptions. While one can imagine that such an “in your face” ad might not be incredibly popular with all Americans, there’s no doubt that it’s effective in attracting the attention of its home audience.
Billboards: Silberman’s Fitness Center
Obesity is currently an issue which many Americans are confronted with. The US has some of the highest obesity rates across all countries. This ad is very relevant for its home market and does its best to grab the attention of obese Americans who are looking to slim down.
Billboard: Clean Air
The city of Lima located in Peru was estimated to have the highest pollution levels in all of South America back in 2012. This billboard was created in response- a billboard which actually takes the surrounding polluted air and purifies it, spitting back out fresh air. Since this billboard has gone up, the city has experienced a 50% reduction in pollution. As one can imagine, it was incredibly well received by it’s target audience due to the fact that it actively improved their lives.
Who said billboards needed to be roadside? These billboards can be found either on the beachside, or out in the water themselves. Given that South America is known for its fair share of beautiful beaches, it only makes sense to play up to the region’s natural strengths and advertise in popular beach spots.
Billboard: Porsche Ads
If you have enough money and the inclination to buy a Porsche, you probably feel good about the purchase and enjoy it when other people notice your car. The Porsche company itself understands this and put up an ad in Melbourne that can tell when a Porsche is approaching. The ad calls out Porsche drivers and compliments them on their car, making them feel good and adding a little bit of additional value to their purchase.
Billboard: Cannon Safety Inspector
Finding the right person for the job can be tough, especially when the person you need has to have an incredibly specific and obscure skillset. This billboard put up in Perth might not be the fanciest, but is still entertaining and effective. The imagery gives off sentiment that would feel at home in a “Monty Python” skit, appealing to the sensibilities and humor of Australians.