Billboards

McDonalds Reflective Billboard’s.

Simplicity in advertising is something that works well, but isn’t always easily achievable. There are so many factors that play into making messaging overly complex, or watered down to the point that they lose their effective edge. Occasionally you see an example of an ad that hits that sweet spot of simplicity, with clever effect. The reflective billboard created for McDonald’s in the video below is a great example of this. By day, a blank image, by night a message only visible to to a motorist as they pass.

Agency: Cossette Vancouver
Creative Director: Rob Sweetman, Bryan Collins
Art Director: Addie Gillespie, Mia Thomsett
Copywriter: Addie Gillespie, Mia Thomsett
Producer: April Haffenden

This Space Available

Back in the late 70’s Missouri held a vote to regulate billboard advertising on I-70 in the state which failed to pass. If you ever drive between Kansas City and Saint Louis you are probably aware of the visual pollution that covers every inch of the interstate sidelines.

Around the same time as the state wide vote, Kansas City Missouri also had a referendum to regulate billboard advertising within the city. That law did pass, but wouldn’t go into effect for months, so billboard sign companies scrambled to erect hundreds of additional billboards. If they got them up before the law went into effect, they got to stay. Consequently the Kansas City skyline is blighted with an overwhelming  amount of billboards.

Billboards and commercial messages dominate the public space like never before, and they are no longer static images. We are now bombarded with moving pictures, sound and interactive components as well. It has become an even more serious form of visual pollution that continues to grow.

“This Space Available” looks at diverse activists from the worlds of advertising, street art, and politics. Influenced by Marc Gobé’s writing “Emotional Branding”, Gobé’s daughter Gwenaëlle directs this documentary about how New Yorkers and others around the world want to reclaim the integrity of their cities against an onslaught of visual pollution.

Nice Outdoor Advertising from MacLaren McCann for Alan Wake.

I’m not a huge gamer. I play light games on my iPhone and in the day I have been known to play some first person shooter stuff on my computer. I have no idea what the theme behind “Alan Wake” is for XBox 360, and that’s OK. These ads made me look, and that is what they are supposed to do right? Look, take notice, and retain information with an intent to recall and act on it later.

Toronto based McClaren McCann has created a really nice campaign here for Microsoft promoting the game through unique outdoor solutions as well as matching point of purchase posters. The imagery sells the point of the game without me knowing much about it. One quick look tells me that it’s gonna get intense and scary when the lights go out. My only complaint about the ads is a lack of call to action. There is no web URL on these. I know most gamers are smart enough to Google “Alan Wake”, but you would think McClaren McCann would have put a link to a micro site on these. I’m also curious if there is any hook to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter? It would have been a nice tie in to the rest of the stuff shown here.

Advertising Agency: MacLaren McCann, Toronto, Canada
Creative Directors: Sean Davison, Scott Couture, Gary Lennox
Art Director: Arron Isaac
Copywriter: Natalie Greenspan
Photographers: LSD Photographers
Illustrator: LSD/ JP Goulet Group