an Ad a Day

A look at the marketing that surrounds us.

Posts Tagged ‘billboard’

Wisconsin Homes: Local Humor

Posted by Rosepixie on May 20, 2010

This is another ad where location matters.  I can’t actually tell you where this billboard was, but I could make a good guess.  The website on the billboard is no longer active (or wasn’t when I checked anyway) and I know this billboard dates back to at least 2006, so it’s highly unlikely that it’s still there.  Still, it’s worth pointing out as a great example of a local ad.

The text reads:

Another way to enjoy Minnesota is to move to Wisconsin.

This is one of those ads that I’m guessing isn’t funny, and might not even make that much sense, if you haven’t lived in Wisconsin (or possibly Minnesota).  But as someone who has lived there, I promise, it’s funny.  It’s the kind of funny that doesn’t work when you try to explain it, though.

I’m not sure that this ad would really work to get a lot of people to move *to* Wisconsin, but it almost certainly worked as far as being memorable to people from Wisconsin and Minnesota and the website is pretty easy to remember.  Since the company was likely as happy to sell homes to people moving from one place in Wisconsin to another, that probably was all they needed it to do.

Still, local humor like this has it’s limitations.  Clearly it’s got a very limited audience (depending on where this billboard stood, that may have been less of an issue for them).  It can also run the risk of alienating potential customers.  If people don’t understand your ads, they are more likely to think your company isn’t for them.  But it has enormous potential to show locals that you’re local too and that they should trust and support you.


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Comcast: Location, Location, Location

Posted by Rosepixie on May 18, 2010

This is a billboard for Comcast that is located in San Francisco and a friend of mine was nice enough to get a picture of it for me.

The text reads:

Internet that hits 50 megs.

Game over, AT&T.


By itself, this is a pretty boring billboard.  So why am I pointing it out?  Because of it’s location.  Directly across the street from the building where this billboard is located is AT&T Park, the baseball stadium where the San Fransisco Giants play.  It’s literally right across the street from Willie Mays Plaza, where the front gates of the stadium are.  So fans see it as they walk out of the gates and pass it as they walk in and probably see it as they stand around outside before the game waiting to get inside.

Where an ad is placed can be as important as what it says or looks like, and Comcast clearly understands this because they choose a great location for their billboard and then targeted it’s message specifically to that location.

Does it work?  Well, I have no idea how effective this billboard has been for Comcast.  But I do know I would notice it more standing there because it’s specifically in dialog with the location I came to visit.  And I’d remember it more.  And I’m guessing I’m not unique in that respect.  And, as I’ve said before, sometimes just getting your name into people’s heads is the point.

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H1N1 Vaccines: TXT 4 Info

Posted by Rosepixie on March 23, 2010

This is a billboard for H1N1 Vaccines that a friend of mine saw and snapped a picture of for me.

This is one of the few ads that I’ve ever seen that is written almost entirely in text-speak.  It is asking people to send a text message for information, but it’s still not necessary for the request to have been written in text-speak.  The problem with text-speak is that it is a short-hand which isn’t used by or understood by everyone.  Granted, it’s becoming more and more prevalent every day, but it’s far from universal.

I think that I would find text-speak less objectionable if this wasn’t a public service announcement kind of ad.  In an ad that’s actually selling a product, I expect a certain level of gimmicky attempts to be “hip”.  The problem with putting it in a PSA is that it limits who you reach and with PSAs you want to reach as many people as possible.  It might be a small thing, but it can be more important than people realize.  My grandmother has a serious problem understanding text-speak, yet she both drives and uses a cell phone.  This ad could totally reach her, but I have a feeling that if she saw it she would either be confused or annoyed, which is not the goal.  The details are important, especially when they can so affect the accessibility of your ad!

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Target: With Muppets!

Posted by Rosepixie on March 7, 2010

This is part of a multi-billboard display featured on Times Square in New York for Target.  I haven’t been able to find the other parts of the display, but I do know that they did not feature muppets.

I’m not sure what exactly you were supposed to do (perhaps the instructions were on another panel?).  My first thought was that you were supposed to text the ten names to Target, but on closer look, I think you’re just supposed to text “Street” to them and I have no idea why.

Still, it’s fun to see the Honkers on a billboard!  How often do Sesame Street characters make major ad campaigns that aren’t specifically aimed at kids?  Not very often (with the exception of Kermit, who is a cross-over muppet and gets to be in everything and appeal to everybody).

I really don’t have anything else to add to this one.  It’s just a billboard that made me smile, so I decided it was worth highlighting.  Sometimes that’s all you need from an ad – to have it make you smile!  So did this one make you smile, too?

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