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Billboarding
August 25, 2009 10:15 AM   Subscribe

Striking Billboard Ads.

Note that while one is horribly sexist (can you guess?) the others are pretty cool
posted by mippy (72 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
[Link changed. Please do not use urlshortners and reframers for metafilter links. They add nothing and suck in a variety of ways.]
posted by cortex at 10:19 AM on August 25, 2009


That Texas one can't be real.
posted by DU at 10:21 AM on August 25, 2009


Damnation, I could have done without this one. (a little disturbing).
posted by jquinby at 10:22 AM on August 25, 2009


Thank you for the butt-free link - I'd copied and pasted it to post here later, and forgot it was a url shortener and needed to be longamefied.
posted by mippy at 10:26 AM on August 25, 2009


That didn't really say "enjoy it's wide open spaces", did it?
posted by jessamyn at 10:27 AM on August 25, 2009 [6 favorites]


There's a trailing "l" in the primary link that's causing a redirect to an unrelated story.

Can a mod please fix? Thx!
posted by bpm140 at 10:27 AM on August 25, 2009


Huh. Weird with the trailing link, fixed that too.
posted by cortex at 10:28 AM on August 25, 2009


Agreed jquinby, too disturbing; also the guy with the gun hiding behind the column and the woman at the bottom of the steps. Inappropriate. I am guessing that these may just be concepts rather than actual ad campaigns?
posted by bitslayer at 10:28 AM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I really appreciate how billboard people are changing something that's been static for a century. I think the McD's billboard is especially arresting and clever.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:28 AM on August 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


Can anyone explain the French shaving ad to me? I'm pretty sure the text translates as "why pay more?" but I still don't get it.
posted by hifiparasol at 10:30 AM on August 25, 2009


Oui, moi non plus!
posted by Flashman at 10:36 AM on August 25, 2009


You have to admit that the fact that the Texas billboard that couldn't understand the difference between "it's" and "its" was pretty offensive.
posted by deanc at 10:40 AM on August 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


I know, I mean you don't put the apostrophe in the possessive "its."

Also, was the butt supposed to be wide or spacious? I'm lost.
posted by Mister_A at 10:41 AM on August 25, 2009


I did dig the PSP TIE fighter billboard, though. This is because I'm a nerd of a certain age.
posted by Mister_A at 10:42 AM on August 25, 2009


Explaining the joke for the French razor one:

I think it's just that one of the worst rips in the paper is right at the blade: "why pay more?" I rather doubt that it was intentional, rather a happy accident, like the picture of the boot on the roof of the green car.
posted by bonehead at 10:44 AM on August 25, 2009


As I was walking down the street one dark and dismal day
I came across a billboard, and much to my dismay
The sign was torn and tattered from the storm the night before
The wind and rain had done its job, for this is what I saw:

Smoke Coca-Cola Cigarettes
Chew Wrigley's Spearmint Beer
Ken-L-Ration Dog Food makes your wife's complection clear
Simonize your baby with a Hershey's Chocolate Bar
And Texaco's the beauty cream that's used by all the stars

So take your next vacation in a brand-new Frigidaire
Learn to play piano in your grandma's underwear
Doctors say that babies should smoke 'til they are three
And people over sixty-five should bathe in Lipton Tea

(Lukewarm!)
(In Flo-Thru Teabaaaaaaaaags...)

posted by Spatch at 10:46 AM on August 25, 2009 [6 favorites]


The fine print on the Texas poster says it's "Paid for by the Texas Tourist Dept." Which, given the other proofreading fails present, tells me it's a fake.
posted by hifiparasol at 10:47 AM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Maybe this has been linked here before - Sao Paolo banning billboards - my boss just referred it to me the other day and I found it very interesting.
(I was actually going to make an FPP out of it until I saw the article was from ought-seven)
posted by Flashman at 10:49 AM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Even fake things are real fakes, hifiparasol.
posted by Mister_A at 10:49 AM on August 25, 2009


That sound? That was the sound of your mind... BLOWING!
posted by Mister_A at 10:50 AM on August 25, 2009


tells me it's a fake.

The "(c) 2006 photoshoppix.com" in the bottom right also kind of gives it away.
posted by naju at 10:51 AM on August 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


"in the bottom" was unintentional.
posted by naju at 10:53 AM on August 25, 2009 [3 favorites]


hifiparasol: "The fine print on the Texas poster says it's "Paid for by the Texas Tourist Dept." Which, given the other proofreading fails present, tells me it's a fake."

Especially considering that in Texas, it isn't a "department", but rather The Economic Development and Tourism division of the Governor’s Office, one focus of which is simply Texas Tourism.
posted by Plutor at 10:53 AM on August 25, 2009


Oh, thanks a lot, Mister_A.
posted by hifiparasol at 10:53 AM on August 25, 2009


Whoops! It'll grow back.
posted by Mister_A at 10:55 AM on August 25, 2009


Like drivers aren't distracted enough...get killed in a car accident in the name of Madison Avenue...
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 10:57 AM on August 25, 2009


"in the bottom" was unintentional.

Try telling that to a jury.
posted by saladin at 11:01 AM on August 25, 2009


Die in a fire, marketing fucks.
posted by odinsdream at 11:02 AM on August 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


Die in a fire, marketing fucks.

Classy!
posted by Mister_A at 11:05 AM on August 25, 2009


"in the bottom" was unintentional.

...said the bishop to the actress.
posted by bonehead at 11:06 AM on August 25, 2009


Soooo... the trick to getting ads posted to metafilter without anyone hollering "Pepsi Blue" is to randomly collect a whoe bunch of good/fake/happy accident shots, post 'em in one long post without any identifying information whatsoever, add some Adsense, tweetlinks and pretty buttons and there ya go?

Don't mind me, I'm just teasing and every one of those ads that are not faked is posted on my website, which archives ads.
posted by dabitch at 11:06 AM on August 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


As someone who has worked in advertising, I have a huge appreciation for these concepts, and a strange fascination with outdoor advertising in general.

As a Vermonter, I'm glad that my state has banned billboards/outdoor advertising.

I'm a walking contradiction.
posted by brand-gnu at 11:06 AM on August 25, 2009


Die in a fire, marketing fucks.

You forgot to link to the ubiquitous Bill Hicks rant. Maybe a mod can fix that for you.
posted by rocket88 at 11:10 AM on August 25, 2009 [5 favorites]


So not only are they uncredited images, but they are pretty unfunny for the amount of photoshopping involved?

Why is this still here?
posted by DU at 11:12 AM on August 25, 2009


As a Vermonter, I'm glad that my state has banned billboards/outdoor advertising.

Yeah me too, I'm okay taking the capitalism hit in exchange for seeing more trees.
posted by jessamyn at 11:12 AM on August 25, 2009


CONFUSING ADS

IN FRENCH


MAKE ME LONG

FOR A SIMPLER TIME

BURMA SHAVE
posted by blue_beetle at 11:21 AM on August 25, 2009 [10 favorites]


Vermont ... bans ... billboards? What ... what's that like? How do you manage to find out about PRODUCTS without ubiquitous outdoor branding? Hot damn did Vermont just climb several notches on my list of potential post-college homes!

(that said, most of the billboards in this FPP are pretty clever. This is just how I like my billboards - clever and contained in jpegs on a website)
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:28 AM on August 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


You forgot to link to the ubiquitous Bill Hicks rant. Maybe a mod can fix that for you.

I agree with you that referencing Hicks is overdone, much like posting this crap is overdone.
posted by odinsdream at 11:29 AM on August 25, 2009


Dugg for the nostalgia. Oh wait, shit, where am I?
posted by Elmore at 11:44 AM on August 25, 2009


Anyway, mippy, when are these ads going on strike?




Click.
posted by Mister_A at 11:46 AM on August 25, 2009


Maine banned them too. The Way Life Should Be.
posted by rusty at 11:49 AM on August 25, 2009


Striking back at billboards.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:50 AM on August 25, 2009


(Which is to say: poor, with lobster, with funny accents, without billboards, and with crystal meth and Allen's Coffee Brandy)
posted by rusty at 11:50 AM on August 25, 2009


Would have been nicer if the title has been more true to the contents: Striking Billboard *Concepts*.
posted by dearsina at 11:51 AM on August 25, 2009


No man is so poor as him without lobster, meth, and brandy.
posted by Mister_A at 11:52 AM on August 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Okay but we can all agree that the PSP billboards that would only work from a particular angle and with particular weather conditions and cloud formations in precisely the right place are 100% real, right?
posted by shakespeherian at 11:52 AM on August 25, 2009


This one isn't a particularly good ad - the thing that makes it is that some dude wanted a picture of himself appearing to rest his head between the model's boobs. It's not like there's a bench there so it happens all the time.
posted by djgh at 11:53 AM on August 25, 2009


Note that while one is horribly sexist

Just one?
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:04 PM on August 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


I live spitting distance from the Nationwide ad with the huge spillage of lime green paint, in Columbus. Our downtown is plagued with these huge, often three dimensional ads called wallscapes. They're mostly due to marketing company Orange Barrel Media (also known as scum of the earth).

The zoning/adverting board of Columbus actually had to start a separate board to approve ads just for downtown. They're kind of interesting the first time you see them. The next four thousand times, not so much.
posted by Juliet Banana at 12:05 PM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have to say, I really want more content here. Yes, it's very "ooh, neat" (although I've seen all of these before, in an equally content-free setting), but what about the logistics of these complicated billboards? What about the ones that require a set perspective or the ones that appear to have big three-dimensional objects on them? How are they made? How much do they cost? What's it like being a person who puts these up for a living? What's billboard maintenance like?

(And yeah, I see some people are saying that most of these are fake fake fake - that makes me sad, but also interested - what's the market for creating fake billboard photos? Are these done by people with photoshop and lots of time on their hands, or are some of them ad agency mockups, or...?)
posted by marginaliana at 12:07 PM on August 25, 2009


I figured the PSP billboards were mostly empty frames with the logo and TIE fighter or whatever held in place by near invisible wire.
posted by fings at 12:08 PM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Say, you could do it that way, fings.
posted by Mister_A at 12:09 PM on August 25, 2009


I refuse to click on the link. I'm afraid I'll just be disappointed to find no pics or movies of people punching, kickings, or otherwise hitting billboards.

Striking billboard ads, my ass.
posted by owtytrof at 12:11 PM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


fings: I figured the PSP billboards were mostly empty frames with the logo and TIE fighter or whatever held in place by near invisible wire.

I'm not sure how you would get Spider-Man hiding behind the cement column that way.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:12 PM on August 25, 2009


Also, the one with the TIE fighter doesn't really have a shadow so much, and the third one appears to be attached to someone's roof with no shadow whatsoever.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:14 PM on August 25, 2009


Boring.
posted by delmoi at 12:18 PM on August 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Accuracy is no obstacle to trashing Texas on MeFi. Also: "Boring".
posted by space2k at 12:23 PM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]




As a Vermonter, I'm glad that my state has banned billboards/outdoor advertising.

Yeah me too, I'm okay taking the capitalism hit in exchange for seeing more trees.


This makes sense to me in a place with trees. Covering up nature with billboards is iffy. However, when I drive down the 101 in Silicon Valley, the billboards are arguably better than the ugly buildings right behind them (in most places). There's no "nature" to see, and it's not some scenic downtown, it's just office buildings, warehouses, and strip malls. Rather have some good billboards (except most of them are ugly and boring too).
posted by wildcrdj at 12:55 PM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


posted by wildcrdj when I drive down the 101 in Silicon Valley, the billboards are arguably better than the ugly buildings right behind them (in most places). There's no "nature" to see, and it's not some scenic downtown, it's just office buildings, warehouses, and strip malls. Rather have some good billboards (except most of them are ugly and boring too).

I'm hoping someone brings back the orchards.

posted by odinsdream Die in a fire, marketing fucks.

Nah, I'll stay right here. Thanks, though!
posted by mattdidthat at 1:01 PM on August 25, 2009


Vermont ... bans ... billboards? What ... what's that like?

It's funny, I really only notice it when I leave the state and I see billboards pretty much just over the borders to NH, NY, MA and Canada. I really don't notice it otherwise. There are also rules, I think, about how big/tall signs can be at exit gas stations and the like. Vermont has banned new billboards since 1968 and been billboard free since 1974. You can read more about it here.
posted by jessamyn at 1:06 PM on August 25, 2009


The city where I live hasn't banned billboards, and has recently allowed the electronic ones. (The humanoid is on a digital unit; I just took a photograph of the creature a few weeks ago. The one I caught is a little different; there's a blue-ish background, and the figure has only one hand raised.) OK. But I think permission for the city buses to have audio ads which play as the vehicles near transmitters of some sort along the routes should be revoked.
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 1:17 PM on August 25, 2009


when I drive down the 101 in Silicon Valley...

Well if you're going to do that, I don't see how anyone can help you.
posted by rusty at 1:19 PM on August 25, 2009


(full disclosure, lots of links to my site)
> what's the market for creating fake billboard photos?
Fakes usually come from worth1000 and similar photoshoppy fun games, but can also be from young guns portfolios as they try to show of their concept skills. They're photoshopping for their portfolio anyway, and putting it on the web - sooner or later the creative/interesting ones end up on uninformed listings like this one.
And, as for the fake see-through/transparent posters aren't unheard of I had these for Sonox specially built and getting them up requires all sorts of permits. There were similar Amnesty ads where the image in the poster incorporated the background at that very poster site, so to make it look see-through - and here's a cool google billboard video that is actually see-through. But then a huge billboard is different, this Ford mustang one is concept only and from some kids portfolio, I'm not sure how that Nike billboard worked (some suggest it's a frame you can run through, but the logo throws me off) - and while we're on the topic of that Mustang one, the blured billboard thing has pretty much been done to death by now. Oh and the "fake" PSP billboards are just photoshopped concept work from Skizo's portfolio. In reality it's much more common to use the real physical lights inside the billboard in some creative way, like these guys all did for star wars. When I post spec work on adland, I mark it such, but then I still have people asking me if for example Clown killer is a real ad. Ok, I'll shut up now.
posted by dabitch at 1:28 PM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


I live in Las Vegas. All we have are billboards. Everywhere. Video billboards, optical illusion billboards (the ones that have one ad when you are looking at it from one direction, and another ad when you are looking from a different angle), billboards on top of all the cabs.

What's really funny is when that impression artist died a few months ago, his ads were all over the town, on every other cab, on every bus. It took about a week for them to disappear. Strangely, now you see a lot of empty billboards and empty signs on the top and backs of cabs. I guess no one had the cash to pay for ads to go in place of it.
posted by daq at 1:40 PM on August 25, 2009


These may be striking, but Lady Bird still hates them.

Maybe some are Wile E. Coyote paintings.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:09 PM on August 25, 2009


I agree with bitslayer with regard to the woman at the bottom of the stairs (others may rush down the stairs to aid her and trip themselves) and the man behind the column, which would cause major alarm, I'm sure even in places like Texas where such behaviour is probably commonplace. ;) At some point Trompe-l'œil turns into a public safety issue.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 3:13 PM on August 25, 2009


jessamyn: Vermont has banned new billboards since 1968 and been billboard free since 1974.

Was Ogden Nash their poet laureate?
posted by hangashore at 4:24 PM on August 25, 2009


That's amazing, jessamyn. As a Washingtoner, I don't often feel or admit to state-envy, but forty-plus years without that particular visual pollution is quite an accomplishment! I'm just back from a run to town and I could even begin to count up all the BRAND MESSAGES I was exposed to in so doing.

My favorite incident of billboard shock came during a cross-country drive wherein we hit both Utah and Nevada in the same day - all the way through Provo, every billboard was, in one way or another, about A) getting married B) going on your mission C) going to temple or D) getting married in a temple when you got back from your mission. In the late afternoon, we crossed into Nevada and the billboards switched to A) strippers B) gambling C) all-you-can eat buffets with prime rib and D) strip clubs with all-you-can eat buffets.

To this day, I'm not sure which round of advertising assault squicked me out more.
posted by EatTheWeak at 4:31 PM on August 25, 2009


>>when I drive down the 101 in Silicon Valley, the billboards are arguably better than the ugly buildings right behind them (in most places). There's no "nature" to see, and it's not some scenic downtown, it's just office buildings, warehouses, and strip malls. Rather have some good billboards (except most of them are ugly and boring too).

> I'm hoping someone brings back the orchards.


There also used to be marshes that were filled to "create" land to build those stupid office buildings on. And birds living in the marshes.

Nature isn't always a picture postcard, but that doesn't make it OK to pave it.
posted by morganw at 7:42 PM on August 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Die in a fire, marketing fucks.

I could ask you whether what you do for a living is morally and artistically pure - and I'm one of the good guys where marketing is concerned - or point out that advertising is helping to keep struggling companies keep their employees employed...but instead, realise that especially in the city, advertising and billboards have become part of the urban landscape. Sometimes I do wish I could wander round without companies talking to me, but if I have to see advertising, I prefer it to be interesting, funny, doing something different with the medium.

That didn't really say "enjoy it's wide open spaces", did it?

That wasn't the first thing that sprung to mind when I saw that slogan next to a woman's, shall we say, lower half. I guess it's offensive grammatically too.
posted by mippy at 4:22 AM on August 26, 2009


Maine banned them too. The Way Life Should Be.

This seems like the right place to point out that "The Way Life Should Be" is no longer the official slogan of Maine. Maine sold the trademark on that phrase to LL Bean.

Maine also refused to allow Cracker Barrel to build one of those signs tall enough that it makes people in airplanes crave cheesy homefries.
posted by mikepop at 7:19 AM on August 26, 2009


Damn those Cracker Barrel signs. I drove cross country once and discovered that Cracker Barrel has a particular genius for locating stores such that, while the store itself is easily visible from the highway (and of course the sign is visible from space), actually reaching the store involves at least four miles of driving once you're off the highway. It's like an experiment in non-euclidean geometry applied to driveway building. You always have to go left, then right, then two more rights, then around behind the hotel there, then up the hill (and at this point you somehow can no longer see the sign) then two more rights (and now you should be right back on the highway, by all logic, but you're not) and then a left, and then it heaves up in front of you, and once again you can see the highway plainly just in front of the parking lot, and your traveling companion has grown a long white beard and is hugging his knees and cackling wildly as he croaks "Long jaunt Dad! Longer than you know! Ha ha ha ha ha! Loooong jaunt!"
posted by rusty at 7:54 AM on August 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


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