A billboard in Pearl, Miss., featuring an iconic image taken during the 1965 civil rights march in Selma, Ala., with the phrase "Make America Great Again" plastered across it caused some stir this week.
In addition to being famous for its per capita concentration of movie stars, Los Angeles has a distinction that it's far less eager to boast about. It's among the most dangerous cities in America if you happen to be a pedestrian crossing the street. A 2012 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ranked L.A. as the No.
If you like good tennis and cool murals, then the U.S. Open has an advertising campaign for you. The tournament's organizers are paying an artist to climb up to a billboard each day of the competition and piece together a painting based on the event's notable moments and online chatter. The first eight installments have included, for example, interpretations of Gaël Monfis's crushing 110 miles-per-hour match winner, 15-year-old Catherine "CiCi" Bellis's on-court antics and Roger Federer's selfie with Michael Jordan. Each day's addition is livestreamed on Facebook and later recapped in a YouTube clip. The painter, Josh Cochran, whose previous credentials include spectacular Grammy-nominated album art for Ben Kweller, features heavily in the videos. DDB New York created the campaign, titled "Story of the Open," and tied it into social media with the hashtag "#StoryoftheOPEN." While viewers of the billboard over New York's Midtown Tunnel might not get the full effect without watching the videos for context, Cochran's illustrations are superb, and it's fun to see the mural take shape.
Advertisers may dominate the lion's share of America's billboards, but roadside signs seem to be an increasingly popular medium for artists as well.
Here's an idea that could make outdoor advertising not only more attention-grabbing but also more shareable.
The worm has been turned away. Billboards for FX's The Strain, with creepy critters crawling out of (or perhaps boring into?) human eyeballs, are apparently too much for some folks to bear, and the cable network says it is replacing the ads in several locations—the signs have run in Los Angeles and New York—with less-upsetting imagery. The series was hatched by director Guillermo del Toro and writer Chuck Hogan and slithers onto TV screens July 13. It's a medical thriller about parasites that turn New Yorkers into monsters. So far, the eyeball campaign had generated its share of angry parents and motorists but hasn't precipitated any lawsuits. The same can't be said for last year's eerie "Dexter" takeover in Grand Central Terminal, which generated a complaint from a Bronx woman who claims that the "shocking and menacing" promo caused her to slip on a stairway and sustain an injury. The Strain's ad controversy is generating plenty of buzz for the show. So if you subscribe to the theory that there's no such thing as bad publicity, these wormy posters have hit pay dirt.
We've been had. It turns out that one man's heroic billboard crusade to prevent celebrity divorce was actually a hoax by WEtv to advertise its new show Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars. We caught up with WEtv President Marc Juris (pictured below) to find out how he hit the zeitgeist and tricked media outlets across the nation: AdFreak: Is there a real J. Robert Butler? Mark Juris: You're speaking to him. No, he's a fictional character we invented, played by a real actor. Whom you made up a whole backstory for about his daughter's divorce … Because the most important thing you have to remember is that the audience is incredibly smart. We created a whole character, a persona and a motivation. Thought about why he would do this, what he expected would be the response. I think the inclination is to have him say some outrageous stuff, and we pulled all that back and had him be more realistic. How did you hatch the hoax? We went through a couple of ideas. We thought, "Could we make these billboards poking fun at celebrity couples who had divorced?" But it just felt too much like an overt ad campaign. And that’s the problem with overt campaigns; people just drive by them and just keep going. So we thought, "How can we really do this?" What if we made an organization that seemed ridiculous but could be real and serious?
New York-based Clear Channel Outdoor is bringing its global interactive mobile advertising platform Connect, which uses NFC tags or QR codes on advertising panels at pedestrian-accessible sites, to U.S. markets this June. The platform, called Connect, has already rolled out in several countries and will launch in the U.S. in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., in June.
If you are coming to New York for the Super Bowl, get ready to see some elaborate branding as you walk the city's streets. Adweek photographers shot the scene for […]
Political statement? Plea for tolerance? Maybe in part, but this recently posted Los Angeles billboard featuring a U.S. soldier and a Muslim woman embracing is mostly just an ad for a sleep aid.