The Most Creative Billboards from Around the World

As human beings, we have natural instincts to seek enlightenment across diverse planes. We yearn for a higher form of spiritual stimulation that can only be fulfilled by subjective dimensions: such as the richness of art, the purity of religion and the complexity of war.

Our brains have been designed by a divine hand that instilled a constant need for learning and growth. Mankind has been experimenting with art since the time he inhabited caves. If only those cavern walls could talk, think of the stories they would tell!

Were those paintings used for artistic purposes only? Was it to communicate rules and regulations of the time? We will never know. What we do know is that the ancient Egyptian civilization was an advanced society and its central government carved visuals into stones to share regional laws. In a way, it is the oldest known form of billboard advertising.

Contemporary billboard marketing, as known today, can be attributed to an invention known as lithography. Invented in the late 1790s, mass production of business announcements and posters became feasible.

However, the quality of the paper back did not withstand the force of natural elements when left out too long. Commercial ventures such as circuits (used in 1835) pioneered in employing outdoor advertising as a marketing tactic and benefited tremendously. Of course, there were severe restrictions given that only small copy could be created and printed.

An industry began to form and litigation was introduced to limit the number of billboards on the roads to not spoil the pristine beauty of the countryside. Innovations began to occur in terms of the size of the billboards, quality of material used, and general enhancements driven by technological improvements.

The growth of the lighting sector contributed to the visibility of billboard-particularly at night. Despite the arrival of other marketing communication channels, the outdoor billboard industry has thrived and adapted to modern times with companies such as leading the way. Creativity and imagination have driven marketers to achieve new heights of success in this field. This article will explore some of the most creative billboards that have been put up around the globe.

  1. Tylenol- Toronto, Canada

The message behind this campaign was to clearly convey that Tylenol can alleviate your headache pain and let you “get back to normal”. The clever utilization of the wrecking ball highlights the magnitude of the actor’s pain and identifies Tylenol as a clear cut solution.

1 - The Most Creative Billboards from Around the World

  1. BMW & Audi – Los Angeles, USA

These two vehicle giants indulged in an outdoor advertising war. To deduce the winner, the car companies took their rivalry to the realm of social media to discover their consumers’ viewpoints and opinion. It was a bold yet effective marketing tool that went viral and got the respective target markets talking about the brand.

  1. Nationwide Insurance – USA

Did you think this is a campaign for a brand of paint? That’s right, it is not! Don’t worry, we thought the same as you! This billboard was put up as part of Nationwide Insurance’s “Life comes at you fast” marketing drive and is an incredibly effective communicative visual. An illusion is created that the paint has flowed off the billboard and spilt over the parking lot, the side of the building as well as a couple of cars. Awesome, isn’t it?

2 - The Most Creative Billboards from Around the World

  1. The Economist – United Kingdom

As the image may have helped you guess, this billboard was designed with sensors. This outdoor advertising wonder showcased a lit up bulb as an individual would walk underneath it. The implication is that if you read the Economist, you will generate effectual concepts and ideas.

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  1. British Airways – Piccadilly Circus, London

This digital advertisement demonstrates a young boy’s excitement as a British Airways plane flies over the billboard. He stands up, points towards the plane and walks across the screen as the plane crosses the skies. The flight details are provided along with a promotional slogan from British Airways.

  1. Oldtimer- Austria

Whilst brand managers strive to maintain a level of safety when creating billboards, especially at high peak traffic sites, some vehicles do tend to still miss their messages. Oldtimer found a solution to this problem by ensuring that its billboard was noticeable whilst remaining driver-friendly. Placed above a tunnel, cars literally have to drive right through this passageway along the route. We are pretty sure not many missed it!

5 - The Most Creative Billboards from Around the World

  1. Panasonic – Indone

Humor is always a successful element to feature in marketing campaigns. Panasonic employed it beautifully with the above billboard showcasing its nose hair trimmer. The cables are used to show why the man in the ad urgently requires a nose hair trimmer. It simultaneously injects a comical value in the advertisement and will definitely catch pedestrians’ and drivers’ attention. After all, as humans we crave laughter.

6 - The Most Creative Billboards from Around the World

  1. Apolsophy – United Kingdom

The use of technology has taken human creativity to a whole new level. Apolsophy invented a digital billboard to promote the launch of its new line of hair products and placed it at a subway. It illustrated a stationary female that could track whenever a train was coming in. Once the train reaches the station, the girl’s hair begins to blow wildly to reinforce the tagline: “Make your hair come alive”.

  1. UTEC – Peru

Lima is the second largest city in the world that is part of a desert. There is a serious dearth of drinkable water here and families suffer a lot. This billboard was part of an engineering feat from UTEC that stayed true to its promise “to continue changing the world through engineering”. It collaborated with an advertising agency to place this billboard that produced drinkable water from the water vapor present in the atmosphere in Lima. Hundreds of families gained direct access to clean, pure water via these billboards over the next three months. A total of nine thousand, four hundred and fifty litres of drinking water was created in this time period. It is truly mind-blowing what technology can accomplish when in the right hands.

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