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I’ve spotted a few outdoor ads / campaigns recently that I think are worth sharing. They blend innovation, creativity, technology and interactivity in a number of different ways.

You may think that offline ads aren’t especially relevant to internet marketers, but some of the more successful viral ads have been based around offline events (the Carlsberg biker video, for starters), and often involve real people and real reactions. If I was in charge of brand marketing for a large company then I’d be ploughing this particular furrow with vigour.

These ads can generate an incredible amount of noise and love (as highlighted in the TNT example below). It’s telling that a big budget TV ad such as Volkswagen’s ‘The Force’ is seeded online first these days. In terms of a feedback loop, there is none better than the internet.

Anyhow, some of these ads contain sound, so you might need some headphones. Enjoy!

Domino’s does branded sound

As far as I’m aware, this is a first. The pizza delivery behemoth is equipping its electric scooters in The Netherlands with sounds it specifically created to a) make these silent scooters safer, and b) to have a brand impact. 

Domino’s says: “When the delivery person honks it sound like ‘lekker lekker’, meaning 'tasty tasty'. A stationary engine sound like ‘Domino’s, domino’s, dododomino’s, domino’s’ and accelerating sound like ‘mmmmmmmmmmm lekker’ (tasty).”

This is certainly innovative. Just don’t mention Crazy Frog...

TNT’s ‘Don’t press that button!’

This made-for-viral campaign was created to introduce the TNT TV channel in Belgium. A large red button was placed in the middle of a quiet Flemish town, along with a ‘Push to add drama’ sign. Cue the action. Watch the video below to see a great example of multichannel marketing and creative thinking. More than 24m views and 225,000+ likes on YouTube in the space of a week is some going.

McCain’s aromatic bus stop ads

The frozen food brand recently embraced scent marketing, by combining billboards placed in bus stops with the aroma of a freshly baked potato. I know shops have been pumping out the smell of fresh bread for years, but is this the first time that scent marketing has been applied to an outdoor ad? 

Forever21’s interactive billboard in Times Square

If you’re going to buy ad space in one of the world’s prime locations for advertising then it’s worth going the extra mile. This fashion brand hit the ball out of the park with a massive interactive ad. Pedestrians were photographed in real time and then pulled into the ad. Cue lots of dropped jaws. 

Audi vs BMW outdoor battle royale

What started out as an amusing battle between two billboards has turned into an epic conflict between creatives. At the time of writing BMW appears to have executed a world-class finishing move, but let’s see how Audi responds. Hopefully it won’t try to recreate The Hindenburg, though that would be a guaranteed viral hit.

Here's where things started...

The conflict has escalated somewhat! 

I love that campaign more than I'd care to admit. What outdoor campaigns have impressed you lately? Do leave a comment below to let me know what I’ve missed!

Chris Lake

Published 19 April, 2012 by Chris Lake

Chris Lake is CEO at EmpiricalProof, and former Director of Content at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter, Google+ or connect via Linkedin.

582 more posts from this author

Comments (2)

Eoin Kenneally

Eoin Kenneally, Ecommerce Consultant at Consultant

The SMART outdoor interactive pong campaign advert was excellent http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDusidt8u60&feature=player_embedded

over 4 years ago


Katie Guest, Marketing & Sales Manager at bodykind

Loved the TNT one - brilliant

over 4 years ago

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