Why do Advertising executives think that a blurry photo of five 30 foot horses on the side of the road is going to make me drink beer? Or why do they think that I’d even attempt to remember the phone number of a fat greasy lawyer while I’m attempting to simultaneously finish my crossword puzzle puzzle, eat a waffle, and change from 4th to 5th?
Due to the abundance of bad roadside ads, I typically admire cool, funny, or just amazingly creative billboards while driving. Below are my choices for top 10 real billboard advertisements:
10. Bic ad:
Apparently located in England. However, this is the only one of the ten that I can’t independantly confirm as being real (if you’ve seen it, let me know where). Picture via
9. Moving and storage ad:
I saw a few of these in New York last time I was there. At the time, I thought it would have been much funnier if the adjacent billboard read: “Why store your doll collection? There’s plenty of freaky people on eBay!” Picture via Billboardom
8. Max Factor mascara:
This cool billboard changes from an attractive model to a make-up nightmare when it rains. Not sure how this is supposed to help sell more mascara though. Picture via Frederik Samuel
7. Sign from God:
Funny and a clever play on words – definitely more amusing than the other dozen or so “Billboards from God” dotting our highways. Picture via
6. Ikea – The page cannot be displayed:
This electronic billboard was supposed to be showing a real advertisement, but it looks like Windows (or their network) pooped out. While almost certainly not intentional, something tells me this would make a great ad for a Microsoft competitor. Picture via
5. Gain – Irresistible Scent:
3d billboard ads are popping up everywhere, particularly in big cities. This is one of my favorites, probably because it’s the first laundry detergent ad that was both effective and made me laugh. Picture via
4. Ford Mustang Blurred Motion:
This simple Ford Mustang billboard isn’t painted – it was actually created using a special type of semi-transparent material that blurs the scene behind it to make it look like you’re moving really fast, regardless of weather. UPDATE: looks like this was just a concept by Ian Hart, would have been a great ad though.
3. Nike 10k in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Another new trend is interactive billboards. In this ground level billboard, passersby can walk or run on the enclosed treadmill. For every kilometer run, Nike will donate a certain amount to UNICEF. Picture via Briefblog
2. Massive 3d Adidas goalkeeper:
To make sure they weren’t upstaged by Nike or other rivals, Adidas constructed this massive 3d advertisement at the Munich airport for the 2006 World Cup. Defining this as a billboard may be a stretch, but it was too cool not to include. Picture via
1. Summer 2006 Cartoon Network:
These funny ads showed up in the summer of 2006 all over the country. Most people had no idea what they meant, and the uncertainty heightened the buzz. After a few weeks, The Cartoon Network revealed characters on each ad (bottom right panel). Pictures via Andy little, here, here, and here
And finally, here’s one that was just taken today … it didn’t quite make my top ten, but I thought it was pretty funny:
If you’ve seen others that you think should be included, let me know and I’ll post them here.