Outdoor Ads and Serena Williams

Serena Williams is one of the world’s greatest tennis players of all time. And, as a new mother, her husband and baby girl have proclaimed that she is also the “greatest momma of all time!” (G.M.O.A.T) They made the announcement in a very public way, too – giant billboards!

Using a series of four billboards outside Palm Springs, Calif., the billboards coincided with William’s return to competitive tennis as she competes in her first professional match since giving birth. While the billboards were charming and included photos of baby Olympia, the billboards also lend weight to one of Alexis Ohanian’s (William’s husband) business holdings. Ohanian used an outdoor advertising company named AdQuick to design and place the ads; he has a financial stake in the company.

It’s a lovely, and clever, play as AdQuick brings online tools to outdoor advertising to make the process of buying and measuring easier and more transparent. The company aims to solve two problems with outdoor advertising – getting billboards designed is usually a slow, low-tech process and it can be difficult to measure the impact of billboard campaigns.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the various promotional tactics that can be used for launching a product.
  2. Have students come up with tactics and list all the tactics on the white board (ex: billboards, print, direct mail, etc.).
  3. Discuss the use of billboards and other outdoor advertising.
  4. Divide students into groups to work on this exercise.
  5. For a product of their choosing, have each team develop a creative billboard. Make sure they define the target market, key message, and billboard location.
  6. Note: Look up creative billboards online and show several in class to spark ideas. Many ideas can be found by doing a Google image search for “creative billboards.”

Source:  Nudd, T. (27 February, 2018). Those cute ads with Serena Williams and her baby are also ads for the billboard company. Ad Week.

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