Tag Archives: billboards

South Dakota’s Unusual Anti-drug Campaign

Provocative marketing campaigns can be risky and backfire on the sender. And then other times, the campaign can hit a chord and start a broader conversation about the topic. Which of these are the case for the new South Dakota campaign against methamphetamine?

The ‘Meth. I’m on it.’ campaign was designed to focus attention on combatting the prevalence of meth in South Dakota. According to reports, meth abuse accounted for roughly 83% of court admissions for controlled substance cases in 2019 in South Dakota. The state saw a 200% increase in people seeking treatment for meth addition from 2014 to 2018. The campaign’s main call to action is to encourage everyone in the state to work together on combatting meth and its effect on the population.

But of course, the campaign generated conversation and controversy on social media outlets as viewers weighed in on the message. Many people were concerned, confused, and outright dismissive of the campaign. But the South Dakota governor replied that the “whole point of this ad campaign is to raise awareness.” They wanted to set a tone that would make people stop and pay attention. The campaign is also part of a broader effort to rethink offenses and increase treatments. The key point from the campaign that is that everyone is affected by meth.

What’s your opinion?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the importance of developing a clear, concise message for marketing programs.
  2. Use a pyramid model to build the key messages: Top of pyramid – most important message that the customer wants to hear. Middle of pyramid – how the product achieves its value for the customer. Bottom of pyramid – proof points used to validate claims.
  3. Show a video of the ‘Meth. We’re on it.’ Campaign: https://youtu.be/7LVcI-DQdYA
  4. There are also plenty of news commentary videos available to discuss the campaign from a search on YouTube: https://youtu.be/0blILDdvHSw
  5. What are the students’ opinions? Have the students use their phones and devices to search for commentary about the campaign online.
  6. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a key message pyramid around a social or health topic. Can they take a risk but make their point?
  7. Have each team present their topic and message. What’s the opinion of the class about these?

Source:  Advertising Week; Bloomberg News; New York Times; Wall Street Journal; other news sources

 

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Cannes Lion Awards: Best Outdoor Ad Campaigns

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:

  1. Poll students: How many different types of outdoor ads can they recall?
  2. What specific ads can they recall? Why?
  3. Discuss with the class the different forms out-of-home advertising.
  4. Show the Cannes Lions Web site: https://www.canneslions.com/our-awards
  5. 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
  6. Divide students into teams. Assign each team a different campaign to review and analyze.
  7. 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.

 

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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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