While today the definition of “outdoor advertising” for marketing goes far beyond the traditional highway billboard, outdoor advertising is still all about engaging the viewer. Billboards certainly have a place in marketing, and they are the most common form of out-of-home advertising that consumers see. However, marketers today can expand beyond a simple billboard sign on the side of the road, to an elaborate display on a beach of a whale sculpted with plastic trash.
Cannes Lions awards are among the most established awards for marketing, advertising, and creative professionals. The international competition includes three rounds of viewing, voting, and discussion and includes thousands of international submissions.
Among the top winners in this year’s category of outdoor ads:
- Greenpeace Philippines, “Dead Whale”
- Louvre Abu Dhabi, “Highway Gallery”
- Hbo, “HBO’s SXSWestworld”
- Burger King, “Scary Clown Night”
- National Down syndrome Society, “C21”
Many of these examples include case studies and results. While it is tempting to think that an outdoor ad only impacts those who see it, in today’s fast-moving Internet-enabled world, a single outdoor installation has the power to span the globe and encourage change. Review the “Dead Whale” example of an outdoor display from Greenpeace Philippines to see just how powerful one advertisement can be.
What did you see today outdoors?
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Poll students: How many different types of outdoor ads can they recall?
- What specific ads can they recall? Why?
- Discuss with the class the different forms out-of-home advertising.
- Show the Cannes Lions Web site: https://www.canneslions.com/our-awards
- If you do not have access to the Cannes Web site (sign-up is free), the ads can be found on Ad Week: https://www.adweek.com/creativity/the-12-best-outdoor-ad-campaigns-of-the-year/?utm_content=position_5&utm_source=sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=AW_Adfreak&utm_campaign=Adfreak_Newsletter_2018062914&s_id=516e0a4d191b2a646da5e880
- Divide students into teams. Assign each team a different campaign to review and analyze.
- Have each team debrief their analysis for the class. Have the class vote on their favorite and least favorite campaign. Why was it selected?
Source: Griner, D. (28 June 2018). The 12 best outdoor ad campaigns of the year. Ad Week.