How many billboards do you actually remember? Be honest. If no examples immediately come to mind, then you’re probably in the same boat as the rest of us.
It’s no wonder we don’t remember ads since we’re bombarded with them on highways and busy streets. Advertisers compete like they’re in the Hunger Games just to borrow a few pairs of eyeballs for an average of 3 seconds, but who knows if they’re actually making an impact.
These 13 examples managed to make an impact on me for a number of reasons, and I hope they’ll do the same for you!
Interactive Billboard: TNT’s Perception
The creators of TNT’s Perception wanted to intrigue people and spark interest in the show, but they recognized that passersby don’t spend a ton of time pausing to read advertisements. So, they created an interactive experience triggered by movement. That did the trick!
You can watch the video here for the full experience:
Interactive Billboard: Allen Solly Clothing Drop
How do you spread the word about your new clothing line? If you’re Allen Solly, then you set up an interactive billboard that incorporates both social media and foot traffic. The brand asked people to Tweet using a particular hashtag and mention their new line for a chance to snag a free shirt. They called it “the first ever Tweeple-powered collection launch.”
Watch it in action here:
3D Billboard: Kraken Rum
What pairs better with alcohol than mythological creatures? Kraken Rum used their mascot to its fullest in the advertisement below. I know I’d do a double take if I saw a 3D billboard this realistic!
Strategic Billboard Placement: Newcastle
Stella Artois couldn’t have predicted Newcastle’s snarky response to their original billboard below. As a fan of both brands, it’s hard for me to take sides. However, you have to admire Newcastle’s guts on this one.
Interactive Billboard: Center for Domestic Violence
Domestic violence tends to fester beneath the surface of our society rather than get widespread media attention. The National Center for Domestic Violence aimed to change that with their ridiculously interactive billboard below, which was set up in a train station in London.
See it in action here:
Innovative Billboard: Taystee Chili Sauce Burned Ad
Taystee Chili Sauce got eyes on their ad in Kenya with an interesting concept; they eluded to the idea that their topping is hot enough to singe an entire billboard. Now that’s spicy, ladies and gentlemen!
Innovative Billboard: McDonald’s Night Vision Ad
No, you didn’t need those fancy night vision goggles from Jurassic Park to see this McDonald’s billboard. All you needed was your headlights and a strip of highway, and this otherwise-blank ad sprung to life.
Check it out here:
Connect the Dots Billboard: Red Bull for Jessie Ware
Studio Moross paired with Red Bull last year to promote musician Jessie Ware’s new album. The result? They got attention with an innovative connect-the-dots billboard! Fans gathered to fill the blanks and create her likeness (while they heard the album, of course). How cool is that?
Eco-Friendly Billboard: Urban Air
The Urban Air billboard began as a Kickstarter project and became a reality in 2013. Its goal isn’t advertising, but rather to give weary travelers’ eyes a break from the crowded highway billboards and promote eco-consciousness instead. It consists of living bamboo, water, and climate monitoring technology, and it’s also Wi-Fi enabled.
Learn more by watching the video and visiting their FB page (it’s fascinating):
Interactive Billboard: Burt’s Bees
Burt’s Bees is no stranger to quirky advertising, but this billboard truly shines. Not settling for a simple “Before and After” ad, the company stuck thousands of coupons to the ground-level surface and waited for people’s curiosity to do the work for them. Wouldn’t you have grabbed one? I know I would have.
Here’s how it worked:
3D Billboard: Volkswagen Up
How big is the Volkswagen Up? Just take a look at the gigantic ruler on the side of a building and see if that helps you! This French billboard is a great example of 3D advertising that’s not too distracting.
Pedestrian Pong Traffic Light Game
Okay, so this one isn’t exactly a billboard. It’s not even an advertisement. Don’t be mad; I thought it was cool enough to feature on my list because it uses exactly the kind of engagement techniques that more ads should be using. This traffic light game appeals to pedestrians by giving them something to do while they wait for the stoplight to change: PONG!
Check it out and be jealous of Germany:
Interactive Billboard: ING Free Throws
ING DiBa Bank, an official sponsor of the German Basketball Federation, organized a promotion in 2012 that really got people involved — a virtual free throw contest. Not only did they engage people, but ING DiBa got hundreds of players and thousands of new Facebook fans in the process. Not bad at all!
See for yourself:
What would you like to see on a billboard? How incredible does an advertisement have to be in order for you to interact with it? Which of these did you like the most?