Smokin’ Billboards Get Attention

Billboards are probably one of the more overlooked advertising tactics by students, who often view the media as being boring and static. But, they can be extremely effective – especially when the fog machine gets rolling!

This fall, billboards designed for Associated Bank’s Green Bay Packers checking program showed photos of popular players Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. However, the billboards also were outfitted with an additional eye-catching special effect – fog machines. The design is similar to the look of the Green Bay players when they exit the tunnel onto their home turf, Lambeau Field. Definitely eye-catching!

The problem was that the billboards were a little bit too eye-catching at first. Dozens of local motorists called 9-1-1 and local police to erroneously report what they thought were burning billboards! (The billboards did comply with local ordinances and laws.)

Here are a few guidelines for a good billboard campaign:

  1. Use six words or less.
  2. Get noticed.
  3. Be smart.
  4. Don’t just say it – show it.
  5. Keep it simple.
  6. Have a story.
  7. Be bold and colorful.

These billboards scored extra points for creativity.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss out-of-home advertising and the various forms it can take.
  2. Also discuss key elements to designing billboards in order to capture the drivers’ attention.
  3. Poll students: What billboards can they recall seeing in the past few days?
  4. Show the video of the Green Bay Packers billboard results: http://fox11online.com/news/local/fog-mistaken-for-smoke-on-billboards-leads-to-911-calls
  5. Divide students into teams. Have each team design a billboard for a local company or service.

Source:  Nudd, T. (2017, Oct. 31). These Wisconsin billboards are so hot, drivers think they’re on fire. Ad Week.   

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