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On average, Americans spend 10 hours and 50 minutes per week in their car, the 2019 Daily Ride Index suggests. That means we've all got plenty of time on our hands to look through the window and let our eyes rest on the landscape... until they settle on a billboard.

Zoom in, zoom out, these two seconds are where brands get the opportunity to convince you that you can’t live without trying a new bacon whopper. But while most of these so-called ‘out of home’ ads are tacky, way too bright, and plain boring to get us thinking about the thing they're selling, a few of them are the exact opposite.

So, this time we are off to a walk in the smart, creative, and ‘this is just brilliant’ billboard park where ads are like artworks themselves. Mind-bending, interactive, dimensional, reactive to weather, light or darkness, they totally mess with our senses. Let’s give a big round of applause to all the creatives drained from brainstorming benders and advertising agencies who managed to pitch their ideas to the clients, thanks to whom billboard advertising has now been made great again.

Psst! After you’re done, don’t forget to check out Bored Panda's previous post with 50 excellent examples of ingenious bus advertising and some more creative billboard ads at part 1.

#1

Women's Aid - Look At Me

Women's Aid - Look At Me

In a world first for digital out of home Women’s Aid created an interactive ad which shows how we can all make tangible changes in the fight against domestic violence. The creative employs a unique use of facial recognition technology which allows the interactive screens to recognise when people actively pay attention to an image of a bruised woman. Those who look at the screen get feedback via a live video feed that runs along the bottom of the ad as a visual ticker-tape, registering an increasing number of viewers. As more people notice the image of the women her bruises slowly heal, demonstrating to passers-by that by taking notice they can help confront domestic violence by not turning a blind eye.

WCRS Report

#2

These McDonald's Billboards Double As Bee Hotels To Support Biodiversity

These McDonald's Billboards Double As Bee Hotels To Support Biodiversity

McDonald's Sverige Report

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Raine Soo
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is probably my favourite. We should help bees as much as we can.

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To find out more about the secrets of creative billboard advertising, Bored Panda reached out to Tomas Nemura, a marketing strategist and partner at Choco Agency, which specializes in social media strategy, digital design, and content production.

Tomas said that when it comes to advertising, it’s always beneficial to address people from several means of advertising simultaneously. “This is where outdoor advertising comes into play. As an advertising medium, it has been growing for the last several years.”

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However, in order to measure its efficiency, Tomas suggests looking at the overall context of a given campaign. “It’s not the billboard itself that works, it’s the ad on it. When assuming it’s done properly,” he said.

When asked what it takes to create an innovative billboard, Tomas said that “as a general rule of thumb, I would recommend not showing the product.” “We should not assume that people walking by our billboard are currently in the market to purchase our product so the billboard, like any other form of advertising, should create value to every passerby,” Tomas explained further.

#4

BBC’s Dracula Billboard Confuses People During The Daytime But Grabs Attention At Night

BBC’s Dracula Billboard Confuses People During The Daytime But Grabs Attention At Night

bbccreative Report

#5

This Tiny Ant-Man Billboard At A Bus Stop

This Tiny Ant-Man Billboard At A Bus Stop

camusfearna Report

#6

BBC World - See Both Sides O The Story

BBC World - See Both Sides O The Story

BBDO New York Report

Meanwhile, different things work in different contexts. For example, “a joke which makes your day, a question which makes you think, a relatable moment which helps to realize something. You either enjoy the ad or you ignore it. The latter is more common.” Tomas believes that if every ad was signed with the name of whoever created it, there might be more creative ads to enjoy.

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On the other hand, Tomas said that coming up with a memorable and one-of-a-kind ad is becoming very hard since “everything has been done already and people almost never pay attention to ads.”

But it turns out that the originality of an idea is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to challenges a creative faces throughout the creative process. “Where are those super creative ads (apart from this list)? In ad festivals? Isn’t it the case that people outside the advertising industry don’t even get to experience them? Creatives have to tackle a lot of issues with every project and I’d say that the originality of the idea is the least of their problems.”

Tomas explained that among the challenges are intense timing, multitasking, various limitations, the subjectivity of involved parties, etc. “You have to loosen those limitations, let everyone clear their minds, and enjoy themselves in order to get something attention-worthy,” he concluded.

#7

Corona Oceans Week Billboard With Wave Made From Plastic Gathered In UK And Chris Hemsworth On The Surfboard

Corona Oceans Week Billboard With Wave Made From Plastic Gathered In UK And Chris Hemsworth On The Surfboard

Wieden & Kennedy Report

#8

Coca-Cola Hand Knitted Billboards In Serbia Using Traditional Knitting Techniques

Coca-Cola Hand Knitted Billboards In Serbia Using Traditional Knitting Techniques

McCann Serbia Report

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#9

Sick Legend Of Zelda Street Art

Sick Legend Of Zelda Street Art

jakebrotrill Report

Previously, Bored Panda also spoke to Luke Leonard, the Senior Director of Marketing of Vector Media, who explained how creativity does wonders when it comes to advertising. When commenting on bus advertising, which is another form of OOH (out of house) ads, Luke said that the key lies in “warping people’s perspective of what they think they know they're looking at.”

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He suggested employing doors, wheels, lights, and even the passengers inside the windows in an ad that’s visible from the outside. Creative billboards work in the same way: they bend viewers’ perception in such a way that they create a whole new reality out of all the elements. It can be street lights, the placement of the billboard, or the time of day—nothing is off-limits.

Billboard ads don’t necessarily mean they engulf only the billboard as a canvas alone, quite on the contrary. A creative billboard usually surpasses its initial setting and brings out the unexpectedness. Contextual relevance is an absolute must in any memorable billboard ad.

#11

Capsico Sauce: Burning Hot. Dabur, India

Capsico Sauce: Burning Hot. Dabur, India

Inter Publicity Report

#12

Denver Water Billboard

Denver Water Billboard

Report

#13

3m – Tape Holds Billboard

3m – Tape Holds Billboard

3M Report

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kasa alex
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I use this tape (or something similar) to hold my vacume cleaner together!

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#14

Save Some Money And Save The Environment

Save Some Money And Save The Environment

atomicprops Report

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#15

Clever Weather Billboard

Clever Weather Billboard

DRTsorak Report

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Troux
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That's clever but I can't read it and it's nearly at eye level.

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#17

Hotwheels Loop

Hotwheels Loop

Daniel Andrés Mora Lugo Report

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.gas.
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

idk, I can see this being dangerous. Not trying to be "that person," but imagine someone looking at that and trying to decipher what they're seeing. Every second counts on the road.

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#18

The Billboards That Came From Nature And Went Back To Nature For Toyota Prius Ad Campaign

The Billboards That Came From Nature And Went Back To Nature For Toyota Prius Ad Campaign

adsoftheworldvideos Report

#19

Sea Shepherd Switzerland

Sea Shepherd Switzerland

serviceplan Report

#20

Haste Passes, Consequences Remain

Haste Passes, Consequences Remain

Brazil is one of the recordist countries in motorcycle accidents in the world. Therefore, the importance of producing creative, impactful and efficient advertising campaigns have the goal of raising awareness, to educate bikers about traffic growing. After all, a thousandth of a second can have consequences for the rest of your life.

Executiva Propaganda Report

#21

An Ad In Warsaw, Poland

An Ad In Warsaw, Poland

Cikago Report

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#23

Saw This Sign Advertising A Black Hole Planetarium At The Liberty Science Centre. Definitely The Best Billboard I’ve Ever Seen

Saw This Sign Advertising A Black Hole Planetarium At The Liberty Science Centre. Definitely The Best Billboard I’ve Ever Seen

clear channel creative team Report

#24

Coke Billboards That Point You To The Nearest Recycling Bin

Coke Billboards That Point You To The Nearest Recycling Bin

Publicis Italia Report

#25

The Milwaukee Brewers Have An Opening Day Billboard That Unravels A Little Each Day As The Season Approaches

The Milwaukee Brewers Have An Opening Day Billboard That Unravels A Little Each Day As The Season Approaches

PM_ME_YOUR_MOMS_NAME Report

#31

Designers Used McDonald's Arches As Direction Markers To The Restaurants

Designers Used McDonald's Arches As Direction Markers To The Restaurants

Cossette Report

#32

The Way This Billboard Uses Its Pole To Make A Really Big Straw

The Way This Billboard Uses Its Pole To Make A Really Big Straw

moonpies4everyone Report

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#36

KitKat Break Slogan

KitKat Break Slogan

Jeremy Carr Report

#37

TV Rain (Russian TV Channel) - Rain Will Wash Away The Lie

TV Rain (Russian TV Channel) - Rain Will Wash Away The Lie

Dozhd means rain in Russian. That’s why we placed this simple message on a billboard: Dozhd washes away the lie.
We just had to wait for the lie to be washed off - literally.
For one month a web camera was streaming a video of the billboard on the main page of the channel’s website. When it rained, everyone would get a 50% discount on a subscription.
Not a single national news media outlet mentioned the billboard.

Voskhod Report

#38

Naval Museum Billboard

Naval Museum Billboard

Trigger, Calgary Report

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Samantha Bing
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's very cool indeed, not be sarcastic at all - loving the detail, even the ground breaking on the bottom of the pole

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#39

Earth Day's 2019 Theme Is "Protect Our Species". Even The Ones We Are Afraid Of! How Are You Respecting The Planet Today?

Earth Day's 2019 Theme Is "Protect Our Species". Even The Ones We Are Afraid Of! How Are You Respecting The Planet Today?

atomicprops Report

#40

This Companies Campaign Utilizing Only Half A Billboard To Get Their Point Across

This Companies Campaign Utilizing Only Half A Billboard To Get Their Point Across

Nemothe1st Report

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Hermione Lovegood
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

SO ACCURATE! He only used half the billboard but we can read it just fine (Maybe with a little struggle)!

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#42

When Leaving Early For Happy Hour Doesn’t Go As Planned

When Leaving Early For Happy Hour Doesn’t Go As Planned

atomicprops Report

See Also on Bored Panda
#43

Carnival - Current Temperature - This Billboard Ran In NYC From January To March

Carnival - Current Temperature - This Billboard Ran In NYC From January To March

Arnold Worldwide, USA Report

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Dana
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Good advertising but I would probably get mad cuz I cannot afford a vacation

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#44

Pond's Facial Wash

Pond's Facial Wash

Ogilvy & Mather Report

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Koala Kitty
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I need this product. Does it come with the little cleaner person?

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#45

The New Mini Incredibly Safe Billboard

The New Mini Incredibly Safe Billboard

Times OOH Report

#46

Rust Free Knife Ad In Vienna, Austria

Rust Free Knife Ad In Vienna, Austria

Heimat Report

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And Peggy
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

After spreading the marmalade, the side the didn’t touch it is clean. That’s what I see

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#49

Bojangles' Flour

Bojangles' Flour

For a brand-building idea that would create some online buzz and engagement during last week’s NBA All-Star Weekend, LGA created an eye-catching billboard for Charlotte-based Bojangles’ Famous Chicken n’ Biscuits that simulates one of basketball’s most popular pregame rituals and the famous biscuits’ most important ingredient. The billboard celebrates the chain’s stars of breakfast – Master Biscuit Makers – by showcasing the dramatic image of a real biscuit maker tossing flour in the air like an athlete. To add to the action, the billboard periodically shoots simulated flour, using a fog machine, to signify that Bojangles’ bakes its made-from-scratch biscuits every 20 minutes.

quantzphoto Report

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Koala Kitty
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I grew up on their foods! Miss it so much... mmmm....country ham and egg biscuit with cheese...

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Note: this post originally had 88 images. It’s been shortened to the top 49 images based on user votes.