Tag Archives: billboards

Let them eat cake

Over the years I have seen some pretty creative outdoor advertising. Like the billboard made out of cheese, crying billboards, a billboard that smells like steak… very creative and off the wall ideas. But this one… I’m going to say it… takes the cake.

This billboard, created by Michelle Wibowo of Michelle Sugar Art, is made from 13,360 Mr Kipling cakes. The whole thing took 6 hours to assemble. No word on how long it took for the public – and their filthy mitts – to disassemble it.


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The Art of Advertising

This is amazing. Truly advertising as an art… or art as advertising? Either way, this video showcases a day in the life of the brave men and women, known as Wall Dogs, who paint billboards on the side of buildings in New York.

Stolen from these guys.

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Filed under Just General Ad Stuff

Colour Me Mortgage Free

I’ve been writing this blog for over a year now – and in that time, we seen a lot of attention-grabbing outdoor ads. But this – as bizarre as it seems – is a very smart idea.

A new company called Adzookie (eight employees and growing) has launched a campaign that is getting a lot of attention online. They are encouraging people who own their own homes to sign up and if selected, they will paint the house and turn it into a giant billboard. For each month that the advertising stays up, Adzookie will pay the monthly mortgage (minimum of three months).

They just launched the program on Tuesday – and already have more than 1,000 applicants. There will be a few disappointed home owners, however, as the full budget is $100,000 for the campaign, and the painting alone costs $8,000.

HOWEVER, the amount of online buzz that this stunt has created values far higher than $100,000. This article was on CNN Money! That exposure ignited a ton of chatter. News, blogs, PC magazines and more.

It just goes to show you that you don’t need millions of dollars – you just need one great idea. Now we wait and see if they follow through with an equally great product.

If you want to know more about the company, read the full article on CNN: link

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Playing Outside: Today’s Evolving Outdoor Advertising

Outdoor advertising has been part of the media mix for a long time, but over the past couple of years, advertisers have been getting progressively more creative in order to catch and hold your attention. Some recent billboard creative has even gone viral online which is pretty amazing. The medium crossed over and its reach grew exponentially.

But what is it that makes this cross-over happen? Gimmicks? Great creative? Tie-backs to the product? If you ask me, you need all of the above – not to mention a great media buy.


Think back to Rethink’s sneezing bus shelter for Science World:

I remember seeing this creative all over the internet when it first came out. It was picked up by a lot of different creative sites and media outlets. However, pick-up isn’t the be all and end all for a campaign. In most cases, the bottom line is to drive business for the client.


What better way to catch the attention of drivers then clouds of billowing smoke on the side of the road? That’s what BVK, USA thought when they created this unique billboard for Avera Health, promoting their website WhyImAlive.com. The creative was meant to draw attention to the importance of having an emergency medical plan for you and your family. It drove thousands of people online within the first week, but after a few days, the fire department shut it down because it was such a distraction.


Colenso BBDO, Auckland decided to literally reshape billboards with its campaign for the HBO series “Hung”. The show is about a basketball coach who becomes a call-boy to make extra money on the side after his house burns down.


In North Carolina, you can literally smell the outdoor advertising. ShopBloom.com, an online grocery store decided to introduce viewers to their new line of meat with not only delectable, giant visuals, but by smell. Paired with this billboard was a machine that pumped the smell of hickory BBQ and black pepper. This was the first scented billboard of its kind in the country and that drummed up a ton of media coverage.

There are so many more examples of evolving outdoor advertising, including 3D billboards, steaming bus shelters, and living billboards. Face it. We will stop at nothing to get your attention and the change in your pocket.


One last creative I wanted to share with you is a hand-carved billboard for Lay’s Kettle Cooked potato chips located in San Francisco. I find it very interesting. With all of these new technologies and advancements in the world of outdoor, it almost seems like this is a nostalgic step backward. And that’s how the company wanted to show product tie-in. Hand-crafted artisan billboard advertising hand-crafted, artisan chips. It took ten days to complete this piece of work.


Filed under You Better Work

Get Out!

As you walk around Vancouver during the Olympics, you may notice that every billboard, every bus shelter, every panel inside the buses, and all the skytrain advertising spaces have been taken up by Olympic sponsors. Your friends at Coca-cola, McDonalds and other healthy, obvious Olympic-relevant products are taking over. It got me thinking about outdoor advertising.

It’s always good when an ad makes you do a double-take. When there is something that makes you look closer. That helps to make the message sink in. And this is especially true for outdoor advertising. Speeding past a billboard doesn’t leave a lot of room for wordy tag lines, intricate imagery and product detail. I’m not commenting on the creative execution and effectiveness, but here are a few ads that I think would at least constitute a second look.

This was done by Y&R Peru. I think this MIGHT pass in Canada, at least, until a few complaints start coming in. But put this up in the States and I could just imagine the backlash. Oh you boobs.

I love to see this kind of thing. It shows that either the planner really got involved in outdoor location choice, or that the client has one billboard that they just keep buying and the agency finally convinced them to do something creative. That agency would have been BBDO, Auckland.

And finally;

This was the brain child of my dear pals at Cossette Vancouver. I thought twice about posting it here. This video has been all over the interwebs since the ad was placed. I read that a lot of viewers actually thought the transit shelter had caught fire. But truthfully, it IS eye-catching… but it would still NEVER convince me to forgo JJ Bean and hit up McD’s for my morning coffee. There is too much riding on my morning coffee to put it in hands of a 15 year old kid who doesn’t taste the difference between milk and cream.

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Filed under Just General Ad Stuff