Amazing billboards from around the world

Samsung Galaxy S4…bad reception.

Samsung Galaxy S4 billboardBrowser banner adverting does not cut it in the real world

One of Samsung’s recent billboards for the Galaxy S4 mobile phone has almost made it to the completely useless billboards category and shows how website banner advertising techniques can fail when used as outdoor advertising.

Design faults in this billboard I find are:

  1. All typeface’s are way too small. The words “Live in a world of infinite possibilities.” and “Galaxy S4 | Life companion” are barely visible to pedestrians let alone to passing motorists.
  2. Samsung logo in lower right corner is too small
  3. The phone graphic is obscure and is barely recognisable as a Samsung Galaxy phone
  4. Fails the 3 second test miserably

This same advert is currently being used as banner advertising on selected webpages. Whilst, it looks good on a webpage, unfortunately this internet banner advert  translates poorly into the outdoor advertising medium as a billboard. The field of view and perceptive focus on a computer screen is vastly different to that of a pair of real eyes in an outdoor location setting.

Every dollar in advertising counts, this is opportunity wasted.

1 out 10 Stars.

Kit Kat Caramel Duo. Sweet billboard simplicity.

Kit Kat Caramel Duo billboardSweet and simple does it every time.

New! Just released is the Kit Kat Caramel Duo billboard. Looks good and uses the typical chocolate bar advertising technique (New! Name, Picture of bar)…which works every time.

It’s visually appealing to the eye and best of all,  it’s cerebrally unchallenging. It goes to show simplicity works every time and billboard advertising is about the cha-ching of making sales, anything else and it’s wasting space and money.

So it’s simple, but why is the Kit Kat Caramel Duo billboard a good one?

  1. The bright red background is natural eye candy to both motorist and pedestrians. This, along with the large Kit Kat chocolate bar graphic can be seen at distance for at least 50 metres.
  2. The words ‘Caramel Duo’ are large and written in an easy to read type face.
  3. The word ‘New‘ is highlighted with a blue background and is also written in a large typeface.
  4. The Kit Kat catch phrase,  ‘Have a break, have a Kit Kat’ is prominent, and easily seen by pedestrians, though only up close by motorists, it’s still quite good.
  5. It passes billboardspotters, 3 second test.

Net result is a visually pleasing billboard that will sell Kit Kat Caramel Duo’s to the max!

Kit Kat is made by Nestle’

9 out of 10 Stars

Bulmers Original Cider Pretty Vacant

bulmers-ciderThe marketing lads need to try a little harder than this.

A new billboard featuring Bulmers Original Cider.

The Bulmers billboard is ok but not great… The product itself can be seen and the words ‘Born British’ are legible albeit a little small. 75% of the board is an atmospheric black & white photo of  three English lads in a underpass. (What is this all about anyway? Are Aussies in love with all things British? I guess the advertising treads a fine line of not alienating either Aussies or the English).

The main problem with this billboard is visibility of the product name, that is, ‘BULMERS ORIGINAL CIDER’ cannot be readily seen… it’s too small and I suggest this billboard graphic should have been executed in a different manner so that brand name can be clearly seen.

Bulmer’s Original is an English apple cider made famous in the UK by H.P. Bulmer, which itself is owned by Heineken. It is distributed / bottled in Australia by Fosters.

6.5 out of 10 stars

Pain Persists with Panadol Rapid billboard

panadol-rapidPanadol Rapid billboard fails on 5 key points

This is a recent billboard for Panadol Rapid… and it has some massive problems.

This advert may work well as a banner ad on the Internet,  or as a advert in a magazine, but it fails badly as outdoor advertising.

Problem 1:

From a distance, I see only three things:

  1. Green.
  2. Men wrestling (75% of  entire billboard is this).
  3. Yes and No check boxes.

Is this a Foxtel sport advert, political message or an advert for turf? It’s not clear this billboard has anything to with pain relief, let alone the Panadol brand.

Problem 2:

  • The Panadol box image is small and positioned too low down. In addition the Panadol box is placed at an angle, making it even harder to distinguish.
  • Poor contrasting colours: The background is green and the Panadol box is predominately green, making it extremely difficult to see.

Problem 3:

  • Little regard for the main feature….which is Panadol Rapid works twice as fast. Yes / NO check boxes?  diving young men?, the message is obscured… which leads to the next the point.

Problem 4:

  • Text is way too small for outdoor advertising. Yes / No check box does nothing. Even the main feature “Rapid pain relief so I can dive into the day, not under the doona” is difficult to read even up close and uses a terrible script typeface. Even smaller is “Panadol Rapid helps you choose YES fast

Problem 5:

  • Fails the 3 second test. This billboard cannot be seen properly by passing motorists. Remember, if you can ‘get’ the message in 3 seconds the billboard is not working.

Panadol is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline

4 out of 10 Stars.

V Not Orange billboard full of advertising energy

V-energy-drinkDid the graphic designer stay up all night thinking of this? No!

Energy Drink ‘V‘ has released the new Not Orange flavour to complement its range of other ‘V” flavours.

The billboard for this product is brilliant. Yet, what seems to be quite a simple concept for a billboard, I think will be highly effective advertising… something writers of billboards should take note of.

Simplicity, here’s why:

  • Five words: “Get it While it’s Not“. Just the right amount and is easily read by passing motorists and pedestrians.
  • Ice theme type face and blue ice background which contrasts well with orange can.
  • Orange can with hand… the product itself, an orange can, which is something new.

Effective, because:

  • It can be easily seen and understood by both pedestrians and motorist. It’s HUGE!. Simple and effective.
  • Get it While it’s Not:  Play on words or clever psychological marketing? Whilst it could have said Get It While it’s HOT… it says Get It While Its NOT. The principle behind this is to introduce an interrupter into the brains’ thought process thereby creating an alternate thought pattern. The net effect will be that people may think a little more about the product and that extra thinking will hopefully lead to a sale. Though the effect may be small, it might be enough to get an edge on sales.
  • It’s new and being advertised….and for a well established product like V, there will be a Honey Moon period esp. for regular drinkers of ‘V”. New products need to be promoted you know.

V Energy Drinks are made by Frucor, a New Zealand based company.

9 out of 10 stars.

McDonald’s USA Waffle Cone Hits the Sweet Spot

McDonalds USA Waffle Cone billboardMcDonald’s billboard. I’m Lovin’ it. But potential USA backlash?

More sweet billboards from McDonald’s. The latest is the USA Waffle Cone and has very similar styling to the recent “Sneaky Pash – Passion Fruit McFloat” billboard.

The USA Cone billboard passes all criteria of being an example of excellent outdoor advertising…because:

  • The close up of the ice cream cone, along with McDonald’s red background is highly visible by passing traffic, bus passengers and pedestrians. Perfect.
  • Large clear text, the with three keywords and the price…. USA Waffle Cone $1.95. You see it, you want it, the price is right…go buy it!
  • McDonald’s Logo in lower right corner to associate the product, it’s McDonald’s of course.
  • All these element will pass the three second rule. The billboard can beam the message into the minds of customers in 3 seconds. Now they’re lovin’ it!

The only down side I can see is the patriotic USA overtones may go down like a post GFC lead balloon for some people. The American flag and hints of the Statue of Liberty do little to stir patriotic emotions in Australia. I would have named this the ‘Liberty Cone’ and donated part proceeds to world peace, or some other topical worthwhile concern…Is this a better angle? But then again perhaps McDonald’s doesn’t get involved in politics as a general policy, I’m not sure.

9 of 10 Stars.

iPad billboard extinguishes the mind fire

Apple iPad billboard...Not mind blowing stuff.iPad billboard Graphic Designer’s mind is drowning?

Have you seen Apple’s recent iPad billboard “Mind watering“? Well it’s OK for a concept but the art director looks like s/he may have been high on MacOS 7.5 at the time and needs a crash course in outdoor advertising theory.

The few issues I have with the iPad billboard are:

  1. Too much white space. Up close this advert works OK, but from a distance of 20 metres or more, this billboard is useless. This is outdoor advertising and not a screen in front of your face.
  2. Typeface is too small. Can’t see the words iPad or the Apple logo from a distance. ‘300,000 apps for everything you love’ is microscopic and could be missed even at close range from a passing pedestrian.
  3. The images of the iPad itself and hand convey very little to get excited about. In fact, what message does it convey? Is it a play on words, like mind watering from mouth watering? Or is like, watering the garden of brain and watch it grow? I’m trying to ‘Think Different‘ but come to no conclusion. Brand awareness perhaps… Apple makes iPads..yes OK then. Remember the three second rule…a billboard has three seconds to convey its message. If the message cannot be conveyed in three seconds, then it is useless. Too much ‘thinking‘ went into this design I suggest.

The billboard is OK given that it will be used in many close up style locations, but a billboard to blow your mind, not water it, is what is required.

So stick that in your brief and water it.

6 out of 10 stars

Hahn SuperDry: Cold Beer, Hot Marketing

Hahn SuperDry Beer Temperature BillboardOngoing research at the Hahn Beer Labs

Hahn is reinventing beer, which is quite a challenge in itself. And at the forefront of these bold reinventions is the Hahn SuperDry Beer laboratories, which is doing stuff to beer, which have never been done before and will surely change the face of beer as we know it.

Clever marketing hype or real? Well, I’m not sure… but one thing is for certain, Hahn’s marketing people produce excellent billboards.

I like this billboard, I tell you why:

  1. There’s a giant beer with a Hahn SuperDry logo. This can be seen easily by passing motorist, pedestrians and bus passengers. Can’t go wrong with that.
  2. Large clear legible print in easy to read font. Again visible from the road and passing pedestrians. People can read and understand the message.
  3. Good graphic design. Great colour (Hahn blue) and with a sunvector background.
  4. The statement ‘We’re pioneering for perfect beer temperature‘ is interesting, it has credibility that appeals to serious beer drinkers, but in a quirky sort of way.
  5. Call to action with Facebook link at the bottom.

End result, the billboard promotes the product by itself, but also compliments the wider campaign such as the Facebook page, YouTube videos and TV commercials.

8 out of 10 stars.


Gotta Work it Hard to Be a Solo Billboard

Solo ManSolo: Light on the fizz so you can shower in it!

Solo soft drink made and marketed by Schweppes Australia is celebrating 40 years of thirst crushing sales. Older readers may remember the ‘Solo Man‘ adverts from the 1970’s and 80’s who insisted on pouring most of the drink over his face rather than actually drinking it after a tough workout.  Well, looks like the modern Solo Man is back and has captured the Solo Man spirit perfectly as seen above in the latest Solo billboard.

More Solo Men adverts please…. they are classics!

5 Seeds Apple Cider. Beards are back.

5 Seeds Apple Cider billboardBeware of unwanted side effects from the 5 Seeds Apple Cider

Promoters of 5 Seeds Apple Cider certainly have used some imagination with their latest advert. ‘Not as sweet as you think’ .

There is an associated TV commercial which is equally amusing, albeit bordering on weird. I almost think they’ve gone too far, people will get the wrong impression about 5 Seeds Cider.

Otherwise, billboard is great.