35 Brilliant Billboards, Signs, and Outdoor Ads

It’s hard to drive a mile without seeing a billboard or outdoor ad. Most have a repetitive message, familiar color scheme, or seen-it-before motif. They’re easy to tune out.

Sometimes, however, companies design truly creative outdoor ads. They’re original enough to penetrate consumer ad fatigue, and innovative enough to convince you their product might actually be worth checking out. We’ve compiled 35 brilliant ads that make you do a double-take:

1. Bite: Ogilvy & Mather

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Image: Comunicamos

This Indonesian billboard makes it clear that Formula Toothcare gives you really strong teeth.

2. Engagement Ring: Robbins Diamonds

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Robbins Diamonds reminds drivers that no engagement ring means angry girlfriend. The sign is on the way to the Philadelphia airport.

3. Barbell: Fitness Company

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This German metro advertisement adds levity to weight-lifting.

4. Nail Biter Bag: Jung von Matt Berlin

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Image: How Advertising Spoiled Me

The woman on this bag is supposed to be biting nails, not eating a hand. Either way, she catches attention for the nail-biting balm Stop n’ Grow.

5. Beau Rivage Resort & Casino

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Source: Frederik Samuel

A Mississippi resort and casino brings much-needed tranquility to the baggage claim.

6. Smoking Bus: Nicotinell

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Image: Billboardom

As long as this bus is moving, this man is smoking. And suffering. The solution? Nicotinell gum.

7. Cracking the Sidewalk

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Image: Highly Optical Illusions

Placed around Singapore, these martial arts school ads make good use of sidewalk cracks.

8. Lettuce Billboard: McDonald’s

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Image: GroovyGreen

Yep, that’s really lettuce growing on a McDonald’s billboard. Fresh.

9. Mini With Boobs: FHM

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Image: AdFreak

British men’s rag FHM Magazine painted boobs on this Mini. Eye-catching and genre-appropriate.

10. Shaving the Lawn: BIC

soccer (2)
Image: Brian Sibley

A giant BIC razor shaves grass in England. The razor mows well, but unfortunately, the brand name is hard to see.

11. Clean Sidewalk Stripe: Mr. Clean

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Image: Branding & Marketing

Mr. Clean keeps one stripe on this Italian crosswalk clean. And he’s proud of it.

12. Miele Vacuum Cleaner: Miami Ad School

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Image: AdArena

Two art students from the Miami Ad School created this vac-tastic Miele billboard.

13. Lego Crane: IDB-FCB

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In Chile, building companies don’t work on weekends. So one ad agency hung a giant Lego from a crane in a visible Santiago location. The result: A sweet ad. (Source)

14. Weighed Down: Silberman’s Fitness Center

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Obviously overweight? Silberman’s offers a solution.

15. Goalkeeper: Adidas

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Image: Say No to Crack

Drivers literally can’t miss this massive Adidas ad, which the company posted at the Munich airport during the 2006 World Cup.

16. Big Idea: The Economist

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Image: Funny Billboards

The Economist posted an award-winning London ad whose motion sensor light illuminates when someone passes by.

17. Dropped Call: Cingular

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Image: AdFreak

Located outside the Marriott Marquis in Times Square, this Cingular ad makes the dropped call issue very visible. (Source)

18. Popped Gum

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Image: Billboardom

This kid in Mumbai had a nasty pop.

19. Strong Tape

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The tape “holding up” this billboard is really strong. Simple, yet effective.

20. Kill Bill

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Image: Toxel

Ad designers did a bloody good job with this Kill Bill-board.

21. We’ll Match It: Benjamin Moore Paints

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Image: Billboardom

Benjamin Moore paints gets the hue right.

22. Leaky Mascara: Max Factor

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Image: Say No to Crack

The eyes in this Max Factor ad cry mascara when it rains. Catchy–and, to women, scary.

23. Checkmate: Santa Monica BMW

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The real message here: Do not mess with Santa Monica BMW.

24. McDonald’s Time

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Source: Chicago Business

It’s always McDonald’s time, according to this sundial-like billboard in Chicago.

25. Paint Spill: Coop Paint

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Image: Hojimoto/Flickr

Columbus, Ohio’s Atlas Building just didn’t look the same after a Coop’s Paint spill.

26. Not American: Smart Car

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This Smart Car ad pokes fun at American auto engineering.

27. Hidden Danger: Mexico Unido

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Image: Coloribus

Mexico Unido reminds innocent passerby that danger lurks around every corner.

28. Coca Cola Ladder

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This Coca Cola ad embodies desperate thirst using only a bottle, a ladder, and a giant straw. Kind of makes you want one, doesn’t it?

29. Run: Nike

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Image: Billboardom

For a transparent billboard, this Nike ad is mighty eye-catching.

30. Mars Chilled

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Image source

Mars Chilled will transform your tongue into a frog-like appendage. Or it will capture and freeze your tongue. It’s that good.

31. Giant Cork: Heye & Partner

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Image: Bored.com

This advertising pillar turned into a giant cork for a German wine trade fair. It works–as long as nobody pins flyers on it.

32. Accessories: Saatchi & Saatchi

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Image: Bored.com

This guerilla marketing campaign took place in Geneva, for an accessory store. Saatchi & Saatchi replaced chains with giant jewelry in several locations. (Source: Adverbox)

33. Irresistible Scent: Gain

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Image: Say No to Crack

You can just see the fresh smell on this 3-D billboard.

34. Rubber Duckies: Adidas

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Image: Thomas Rockstar

Adidas filled a Copenhagen fountain with blue rubber duckies for Copenhagen Fashion Week. The bottoms of the ducks said “Reward for my return at Adidas original store.” People would keep the cute ducks…and wander into the local Adidas store. (Source: Thomas Rockstar)

35. Butt Billboard

buttcrack
Image: Creative Juice

This billboard is eye-catching…in a bad way.

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Comments

  1. honour chick's Gravatar Comment by honour chick on November 18th, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    very creative ads… thanks for compiling these ;)

  2. Danusia's Gravatar Comment by Danusia on November 19th, 2009 at 2:33 am

    How about this innovative Rentokil ad. Just one cockraoch seen during the day – and when the car headlamps hit it at night you see more!

    http://bit.ly/HwpvQ

  3. great ads's Gravatar Comment by great ads on November 20th, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Thanks for posting these exceptional ads! Looks like some billboard companies and ad agencies have been working overtime putting them together.

  4. illingMag's Gravatar Comment by illingMag on February 9th, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    Look… I am swayed to the monetary tin-foil-hat-wearers concerning the economic climate. Has someone observed any ray of belief throughout this “recession”?

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