I think billboards are such an underutilized and underappreciated medium. Too often people ignore their value or overlook the creative opportunities they can provide. For lack of a better term, billboards have been type cast and many feel are only good for advertising your companies contact information.
This is why I think they offer an opportunity to stand out and get noticed and why I love seeing outside the box billboard concepts. I recently came across two examples on AdFreak (here and here) that I think do a great job of standing out and go beyond the boring billboard stereotype.
1. McDonalds Chalkboard Menu Billboard
Chalkboard menus can be creative in their own right, but taking that concept and putting it on a billboard scale is impressive. I like this concept for a few reasons. First, it’s creativeness, taking a chalk menu and putting it somewhere it doesn’t really belong. Who thinks to do hand drawn chalk boards at that size. Second, the commitment to the concept, they could have just done a drawing and when it faded, take it down or then draw a new one. No, they changed it out two times a day to keep it fresh and make a statement. This leads to my third point, it ties so nicely into their new fresh menu items. When I think of chalkboard menus it makes me think of small local sandwich shops. Also using chalk gives it a real rustic and homemade feel, not some mass produced piece, which is what McDonalds seems to be going for with its new items.
2. Orphea Bug Spray
I like this one because it takes a billboard and makes it what I am going to call indirectly interactive (a mouthful I know). As an observer there is an interactive quality to it. I understand that an individual cannot directly do anything with the billboard, but the real life changes that take place because of the bugs sticking can be immediately observed. As a passerby you can clearly see the changes taking place and have an immediate reaction to those changes. Another thing that I really like about this billboard is how clearly it demonstrates the purpose of the product. The bug spray claims to kill bugs and its billboard illustrates the bug spray killing bugs.
The next time you are running a campaign; don’t underestimate using a billboard for your advertising. If you can come up with an outside the box idea like one of these, it just might help you stand out.
Author: Gary Balakoff