Less billbored, more brillboard

February 11th, 2015 / Sophie Allen

The great outdoors. That’s just for posters, billboards and, well, trees and stuff – right?

A-ho no. Wrong. Well, sort of. Clear Channel UK – one of the biggest of cheeses in the outdoor advertising department – recently announced that its increasingly using tech to make its outdoor advertising spaces more interactive. This comes after more and more brands have turned to innovative digital billboards to create active and engaging content.

Yep, turns out that flipping a traditional medium on its head and totally superseding the expectations of passers-by is a pretty great way of grabbing attention.

So, forget those static, peeling billboards of the past and take a look at a few of our favourite tech/outdoor mashups.

 

Virgin Trains’ chatty billboard

In 2009 this genius idea by Elvis took over the screen outside Liverpool Station – the largest digital screen in Europe – to promote Virgin’s new, super-quick service to London.

To update the screen Elvis popped a copywriter in a cafe opposite, who used a custom web application to write live comments addressing the public and point at them with a giant cursor. Clever and hilarious.

 

Apotek’s/Garbergs’ motion sensor

Last year the Swedish advertising agency Garbergs used an existing idea by Apotek to convey a devastating message.

Garbergs’ ad, on behalf of The Swedish Childhood Cancer Foundation, was much the same as Apotek’s in look, colour and tech – but with a shocking twist and a huge impact. We won’t spoil it for you; give the video a watch and see what happens.

 

British Airways’ ‘Magic of Flying’ campaign

Using a very complicated, ingenious and, ultimately, award-winning process, in 2013 British Airways launched a series of pretty magical billboards that, with the help of some adorable children, pointed out planes (as well as accurate flight information) as they flew past.

The effect was really impressive. The campaign encouraged passers-by to look up, reminded them of the ‘magic of flying’ and engaged with our natural tendency to wonder about what’s flying past.

 

These ads really give us a taste for trying new things and innovating with our work. Even if a digital billboard isn’t something we would necessarily do, the concept itself pushes agencies to go against the grain and invent new ideas.

We’re hoping to see more and more cool stuff like this as brands continue to jump on the digital billboard bandwagon. Seen something even better? Let us know in the comments below!

 

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