As we enter an era of smart OOH technology, data integration, and fancy digital solutions, it’s worth remembering that great ideas are at the heart of creativity. Here are 5 great examples of creative outdoor advertising that we loved:
1. McDonald’s sundial billboard
This billboard is from McDonald’s back in the mists of time (ok, 2006) and remains one of the most creative outdoor advertising displays we’ve seen.
The giant print billboard featured an M-shaped sundial that cast its shadow over a range of time specific McDonald’s snacks: coffee and croissant in the morning, burgers and pastries in the afternoon. It’s a classic.
2. Audi A4 Wi-Fi hack
Audi found innovative ways to present their messaging to consumers at the 2016 New York Auto Show by setting up a series of free Wi-Fi hotspots, the names of which were ads for their new A4 model, flagging up its superiority over the BMW 328i:
“328 reasons to choose A4”
“A4: more torque than 328i”
“A4 has Wi-Fi”
The combination of local targeting to car fans, providing free services (Wi-Fi is in great demand at auto shows), and smuggling sloganeering into the process makes this a fantastically creative campaign for the modern out-of-home environment.
3. Kit Kat unfinished poster
Kit Kat leveraged existing brand awareness to present a creative outdoor campaign that played on audiences familiarity with their iconic “have a break, have a Kit Kat” slogan.
The poster featured a billboard with the final strip of poster missing, cutting off the end of the slogan whilst an abandoned ladder and bucket suggested the paster had taken his cue from the slogan.
The ad was very medium specific and tapped in to our understanding of the ad installation process, using the act of billboard construction to deliver a message. It’s really quite clever when you think about it.
4. Ikea rock climbing apartment
This Ikea ad celebrated the opening of the design chain’s 30th store in France by transforming an apartment block into a 9 meter high climbing wall. In the style of the layout of a spacious apartment, the wall was kitted out with furnishings… from a certain Scandinavian outlet of course.
The colourful display had a big impact, was a very creative way of putting people in to an advertising environment as climber-models.
5. Refugee nation
There has been a surge of creative awareness campaigns of recent years. One of the most resonant has to be this Olgilvy lead campaign that saw a flag designed for the Olympics’ first refugee team.
The striking orange and black design was poignantly based on the colours of life jackets, and drew attention to the millions ricking their lives to escape the carnage of conflicts in Syria, Lybia, and elsewhere.
Olgilvy set themselves the challenge of turning “a team of ten into a team of millions” and rightly garnered a host of awards and global news coverage.
It’s not many campaigns that can claim to have created an entire symbolic country. The flag now resides as a permanent exhibit in the V&A museum.
We hope these examples of creative outdoor advertising have inspired you to create creative campaigns large and small, and are a useful reminder that human creativity is at the heart of the best outdoor campaigns.