For any given product or service, there are a million different ways to advertise its benefits and offerings. The tricky part, however, is matching a brand's intended message with a creative, eye-catching execution that is both interesting and memorable to the consumer. This is particularly difficult when working with billboards, a medium that is so commonplace in our modern world that people hardly seem to notice them anymore. While most companies still struggle to find new, innovative ways to utilize billboards to reach their target audience, some companies have already begun thinking outside of the box. Since we here at StreetLevel prefer to be cleverly persuaded to part with our hard earned money rather than be bombarded by boring ads, we compiled a list of the 13 most creative and interesting billboards advertisements.
1. adidas Samba Garden Billboard
What was adidas trying to say with this unconventional billboard? Were they making an effort to go "green" and be more environmentally conscious? Or were they trying to beautify the area in which this advertisement was found? Most likely, adidas was just trying to create an unique, attention-grabbing ad that would sell some more Sambas to both committed soccer enthusiasts and ironic hipsters (since the plants were made from plastic). Either way, we applaud and appreciate adidas's effort to think outside the box and create something that doesn't feature in-your-face branding.
2. "Belt Up" Driver Safety
This straightforward ad reminding passengers to buckle up in the backseat was created by Clemenger BBDO and is located in Australia. The message on this one is clear, put on your seat belt or get launched clear across the land of koalas and kangaroos like a rag doll. We can't help but wonder if this would've been more effective if they just showed a man splattered across the pavement, but that's why we don't work for an advertising agency, mate.
3. Bic Razors
This Bic ad located in Japan is one of our favorites on the list because it is a great example of guerilla advertising. Short, simple, and straight to the point. The ad shows a giant razor shaving a path in the grass leading up to a white billboard that features a Bic logo and acts as a nice backdrop to the advertisement. The question is, who's the unlucky sap that has to keep the grass trimmed constantly? Maybe they should call this guy.
4. Bloom Supermarket Jumbo Muffins
Advertising firm Boone/Oakley (be sure to check out their unique YouTube homepage) created this outdoor ad for a North Carolina supermarket chain called Bloom. Besides their regular grocery and specialty product selection, Bloom sells several signature products including the "Bloomberry" jumbo muffins pictured above. For this elaborate advertising campaign, a strategically placed "Car for Sale" was parked underneath the giant billboard. A week after the ad went up, a muffin was made to look like it fell, crushing the car underneath. The muffin was eventually removed, and was sent to various Bloom locations for photo opportunities and special promotional events. Sounds to us like there isn't much to do in North Carolina huh?
5. Hubba Bubba Bubblegum
Bubblegum manufacturer Hubba Bubba is no stranger to using extraordinary ads (check out other examples here or here) to get their point across. This particular billboard depicts the aftermath of a bubble blown too big. Besides making a mess of the kid's face, the gum also seems to have gotten on the surrounding trees and environment. Even the kid pictured in the ad doesn't seem to be too happy with his current predicament.
This innovative billboard was created for the cell phone provider CIngular, a joint venture between AT&T and BellSouth. Not only does the ad utilize bright, easy-to-read colors and copy, the play on words involving "dropped" calls really makes this ad unique. The overall concept makes the billboard interesting to look at and more importantly, clearly conveys the intended message. Now if Cingular's service were as good as their ads, then we would really have something to talk about.
7. Nationwide Insurance
This one-of-a-kind billboard is easily one of the best on our list. Nationwide Insurance took a fictional paint company's billboard and turned it into colorful, messy disaster in the parking lot below. Giant globs of yellow paint poured down the side of building, creating a massive puddle on and around the cars parked underneath. At first glance, you would think "Someone's getting fired for this," but upon closer inspection, you begin to realize that it's all an elaborate set up for Nationwide. Between the "accidental" splatters on Nationwide's real ad to the relevant placement of the company's slogan, we can't help but be impressed.
8. Silberman's Fitness Center
No fancy cut-outs, bright colors, or other bells-and-whistles here. Just a simple, straightforward ad telling you maybe it's time to put down that cheeseburger and TV remote, and hit the gym using clever placement and construction. Either that, or the workers putting together the billboard got lazy and just left us with a half-assed, tilted sign.
9. Eskom Energy
A nice billboard created for Eskom, a South African electric company, asking consumers and businesses to conserve energy and stop unnecessary power usage. Just a really clever and smart way of utilizing an ad's medium. It makes you think about why all the lights are not turned on until you read the caption. Looks great at night, but we assume it would be kind of confusing during the day.
Here's another billboard that creatively uses its occupied space. This Heineken ad resembles a traditional, 2D billboard until you realize a GIANT HAND OF GOD IS REACHING OUT TO STEAL YOUR SOUL!. Well... maybe just the Heineken. Either way, it's pretty cool.
11. Kill Bill 2
After the launch of the original Kill Bill, fans were already foaming at the mouth in anticipation for the release of Kill Bill 2. We see no better way to get viewers even more hyped up over the violent film then by placing gory, blood-splattered ads all around town. That is, unless someone wants to teach us the five point palm exploding heart technique...
12. Maker's Mark Whiskey
We've said it all before. "Creative, unique, innovative." But when it comes down to it, what you have here is a fuel truck filled with a giant bottle of whiskey. What's not to love?
There are many subtle ways to represent the pain of a headache in a billboard. However, "subtle" never got anyone anywhere. For this Tylenol ad, some creative advertisers thought it would be best to take a 2400 lb wrecking ball and slam it straight through the forehead of one unlucky headache sufferer. I think we get the message now.
Love the creativity...