As opposed to the ads we’re fed with on TV or other traditional venues, ambient ads (see here and here) jump into our lives in way more unexpected places, and it’s usually this element of surprise that makes us stop and look again. Usually well thought-through and witty, ambient ads incorporate the product into our every-day places and ordinary objects, making it feel a lot closer to us than traditional ads.

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It all began when the power of traditional media started declining, giving the way for the innovative off-the-shelf advertising ideas. Ambient ads started appearing in the British media jargon around 1999 and have been actively evolving ever since.

Some of the ambient ads out there may shock you, entertain you or even make you laugh – so what would be your reaction to these? Air Pollution

“Air pollution kills 60,000 people a year” (Advertising Agency: unknown)

Carnival Cruiselines: Waterslide Escape

“Our water park goes to the Bahamas.” (Advertising Agency: Arnold Worldwide, USA)

Prestige Omega Cookware: Strong Handles

Advertising Agency: Mudra, India

Hopping Pátio Dom Luís: Breast Cancer Bra

“Prevent breast cancer. Do the self-examination.” (Advertising Agency: Bolero, Fortaleza, Brazil)

Motor City Nightmares: Horror Buckets

Horror festivals and premieres are all about the films. Popcorn can look like someone’s brains. And films are best enjoyed with a bucket of popcorn. Once we realized this, we were pretty quick to arrive at the concept of the horror bucket. Then it was a simple matter of creating the website where promoters could view the buckets, personalize them, and order them. (Advertising Agency: Y&R, New York, USA)

TEMA: Homeless Birds

“Since our trees are cut, we have no place to stay. I’m leaving my children to you. Take care of them.” (Advertising Agency: Markom Leo Burnett Istanbul, Turkey)

Juice Salon: Escalator

Advertising Agency: Rediffusion DY&R, India

The Redbirds Are In Town

To promote a home stand for the Memphis Redbirds, a minor league baseball affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, we covered a car in fake bird droppings and parked it near a busy intersection with a sign that read, “The Redbirds are in town.” (Advertising Agency: Archer Malmo, Memphis, USA)

Practice Road Safety: People are Fragile

Advertising Agency: Hot Tomali, Vancouver, Canada

Korean Subway Ad

Photo by: Stephen Nessen

Quebec Automobile Insurance Society : Seatbelts

Advertising Agency: Lg2, Canada

Doom Fogger: Roachville

TBWA Hunt Lascaris Johannesburg’s brief was to conceptualise an outdoor campaign that illustrates that Doom Fogger gets into every nook and cranny, killing insects before they get too comfortable. Using cracks on outdoor walls, they created a make-believe world, showing cockroaches in different environments. This was achieved by creating miniature furniture and using actual cockroaches to depict real life scenarios inside the cracks. (Advertising Agency: TBWAHuntLascaris Johannesburg, South Africa)

Dressing for Pleasure: Ketchup bottle

There are two worlds of bottom snacking, the world of BDSM and thw world of ketchup bottles. The company, Dressing for Pleasure, a specialist in fetishwear and all things S&M releated, married these two worlds by putting stickers of enticing rear ends on the bottoms of ketchup bottles. Thus inviting bar patrons to explore a completely different appetite while addressing their hunger.  (Advertising Agency: JWT, New York, USA)

Visa: Go Back to Pompeii

To raise awareness of Visa’s sponsorship of the Pompeii exhibit at our National Museum, we greeted all visitors to Wellington Airport with a lava flow that ran around the baggage carousel.

Mercedes-Benz 2012 C-350 Coupe

“Looks fast even in a park. Mercedes-Benz” (Advertising agency: BBDO Toronto)

Frontline: Mall

“Get them off your dog.”  (Advertising Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi Jakarta, Indonesia)