Is the season for talking about trends yet again. And if you’ve just rolled your eyes, trust us, we feel you. Making predictions in a sea of uncertainty—much less when a good chunk of the world is going under various stages of lockdown once again—seems like a fruitless effort.

We saw billboard and OOH ads that moved us, that made us laugh, and that reminded us that we were all in this crazy time together, and would make it through together.

Here’s a special edition of our year-end roundup, presented in no particular order, of campaigns that made us take notice for one reason or another.

Total Recovered

The Total Recovered campaign shows a running tally of people known to have recovered from COVID-19 worldwide. It uses real-time data from great sources, along with clever creative drawing power from some of the scariest words associated with COVID, to deliver a message of hope.

Emily Crisps

In December 2019, Emily Crisps decided it was finally going to do it. It was going to run its first ever out-of-home ad campaign – in April.

Needless to say, the brand realized in the spring that the campaign they’d hoped to run wasn’t exactly going to work out as they’d planned. And so it took a different approach, with tongue-in-cheek copy that made fun of a situation in which its ads were being delivered for nobody to see. The brand then snapped pics of its lonely outdoor ads and shared them on social media, where they proved to be pretty popular.

In a year that was all about making lemonade out of endless lemons, we have to applaud this campaign. Sure, OOH’s reach was down, but that didn’t mean you couldn’t find value in the medium anyway.

Netflix Spoilers

Just to be clear, we know this wasn’t a real ad campaign. But we love that somebody came up with this concept, and we think spoiling cherished shows is a perfect, deliciously petty way to get back at people who break quarantine.

That’s the thing about OOH ads: You don’t get to control what goes up there and you don’t get to click out of them. If somebody happened to be out where they shouldn’t have been and this had been a real campaign, justice would have been almost unavoidable (with apologies to innocent essential workers, of course).

VW Beetle Last Mile

In a tragic moment for kids who like punching other kids, the Volkswagen Beetle was discontinued at the end of last year, to be replaced by production for a crossover vehicle.

There were little farewell videos put together, and a big sendoff campaign that involved a bunch of social media activity and some big billboard ads placed in Times Square.

This makes the list because it’s a big moment involving an iconic product that has been a fixture on our roadways for decades. Plus the campaign is just really cute. And to make this kind of message big and loud, what better medium than OOH to include in the celebration?

Happy Birthday, Dood!

Fact: Dogs are better than us. And given that, if we’re willing to devote whole billboards to people, should we not also make billboards for dogs?

YouTuber Max Chewning did just that at the beginning of the year, treating his precious pup, Dood, to a fun first birthday with a big walk, tasty treats, and a big ol’ billboard wishing Dood a happy birthday.

Max realizes dogs can’t read, but we sure can, and we love the idea of using billboards for unconventional proclamations of love. And if anyone deserves it, it’s Dood. Just look at that face.

Nature’s Essential Workers

The Earth Day campaigns from EarthDay.org and the OAAA are quickly becoming annual favourites of ours. This year, the campaign highlighted some of the creatures upon which humanity relies, presenting them as workers no less essential than those human workers celebrated by other campaigns this year.

The creative and the message are both great, but it’s especially nice that the ad space for this campaign was donated by members of the OAAA. Thank you for celebrating them the way they deserve to be.

The Steve-O Gnarly Billboard

Once in a while, a member of the Jackass gang will do something silly or dangerous or just plain outrageous and land back in the headlines. We appreciate them for that.

This year, Steve-O decided to make himself into a marketing piece for his new comedy special. The stunt: Taping himself to a big ol’ billboard and kinda just hanging out.

Is this something we think other people should repeat? No. But it’s a testament to the versatility of the OOH space that it’s a thing that can be done. Try taping yourself to a phone and see whether that gets much press.

One of the big differences between OOH and online advertising is that OOH is a one-to-many medium, meaning it’s used to reach audiences, and not specific members of those audiences. Well, typically, that is. For more information on OOH and DOOH advertising, and how we can help with your next campaign, contact us today at 210-610-5012 or email service@bmoutdoor.com

Source: Broadsign

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