OAB: The Outdoor Advertising Blog

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Tasteless outdoor ad campaign takes product from fiction to reality
Outhouse Springs, the “truly tasteless water” with the amusingly off-color slogans, has proved itself a paradigm for the power of billboard advertising. While the bottled water never officially existed during its eight-week promotional campaign, demand has turned the imaginary Outhouse Springs into a tangible product that will be on the shelves of Piggly Wiggly as of July 14.

A year and a half ago, Adams Outdoor Advertising struck up a trade agreement with bottled water company Appalachian Springs that left them with 400 extra cases of water. Having heard about the success of a campaign for fictitious Australian beer HAKA Bitter, Adams decided to have a little fun with a fictional campaign of their own. As it happens, they created a marketing phenomenon.

With slogans like “America’s first recycled water,” “We’re #1 not #2,” and “People love us but they won’t shake our hands,” the premise of the campaign was a play upon the duality of “taste”—or, more accurately, a lack thereof—explains Jeff Taylor, vice president of Cognetix, the advertising agency that came up with the idea of Outhouse Springs.

After Rob Jackson and Shannon Bromley of the Adams creative team had finalized the graphic execution of the campaign, 40 billboards were placed around Charleston in the last week of April. The campaign was designed to target upwards of 650,000 exposures per day and had an estimated value of $38,000 to $40,000 per month—around half the budget spent by larger advertisers in the market, says Kane.

Taylor and the Cognetix team were surprised by the public’s reaction to the campaign. After the billboards had been up for just four weeks, a survey conducted by Cognetix demonstrated 70% of people said yes when asked if they had heard of or were familiar with Outhouse Springs.

Billboard Liberation Front Alters Banana Republic Board With Lesbian Reference

Clear Channel has yet to re-snipe the board.

'Breasts billboards' pass muster
The airline itself dismissed accusations of sexism in its ad, saying that it had just been "topical, humorous and irreverent".

The ad, which appeared on both billboards and in newspapers, showed a woman's breasts in a bikini top, and also had the slogan: Lowest fares to the sun".

Hit the road, billboards
Former billboard designer bashes billboards, calls for them all to be removed.

Clear Channel 2nd-Qtr Profit Rises on Billboard Sales
Clear Channel Communications Inc., the biggest U.S. owner of radio stations, had higher second- quarter profit as revenue rose in the company's billboard unit and interest expense fell. Radio sales declined 2.1 percent.

Revenue at the outdoor business rose to $569.2 million from $474 million, boosted by last year's purchase of Ackerley Group Inc., the company said. Ebitda climbed 7.2 percent to $154.8 million.

Sunday, July 27, 2003

Opinion divided over billboard scandal's result
TRENTON - Despite eight months of controversy and debate, Trenton insiders are split sharply on whether the fallout from "Billboardgate" will be political or if the scandal will culminate in criminal indictments.

Republicans in the Legislature have called for a string of hearings into the business deals of two former top aides to Gov. James E. McGreevey. The McGreevey aides are accused of using political clout to arrange permits to build lucrative billboards, including one in Gloucester County, shortly before taking office in January 2002.

Some signs were erected in towns that have ordinances prohibiting outdoor advertising.

BuyMusic.com Bets on Nude Tommy Lee Billboard
Rocker Tommy Lee thinks his nude billboard in Times Square is going to make a bundle for BuyMusic.com.

Naughty Lee and buttoned-upScott Blum, CEO of BuyMusic.com, teamed up to launch the first legal PC music download Web site. And, in the process, trying to set themselves up as the anti-Apple.

At BuyMusic.com's kickoff, Blum played the role of the classic straight edge, clean-cut CEO - a sharp contrast to Lee's shaggy hair, piercings galore and tattoos. Blum did, however, attempt to dress down Steve Jobs-style in a T-shirt, jeans and sneakers, but he couldn't bring himself to get rid of the blazer.

-- Tommy Lee hasn't sold much of anything lately, especially in the music world. Perhaps a nude billboard featuring his ex-wife would help BuyMusic.com more -- Ed.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

PETA Billboard Turned Down in Wyoming
An anti-rodeo billboard featuring a scantily clad ex-Dallas Cowboys cheerleader has been declared too hot for general audiences here.

The advertisement shows a sultry-looking Bonnie-Jill Laflin, who also appeared on the TV series Baywatch, wearing nothing but very short shorts - partially unzipped - and cowboy boots while lying down in hay. Her right arm covers her breasts as she holds a white cowboy hat.

The billboard's caption reads ''Nobody likes an eight-second ride'' - a double entendre playing off the eight seconds rodeo competitors need to stay on their bucking animals to score points.

But Helenans won't see the billboard that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wanted to put up.

Lamar Outdoor Advertising said the ad simply shows too much skin.

Roswell Goes After Billboards Again
Roswell has been fighting the billboard industry for years, and it has lost at least as many legal battles as it has won.

Now the city is going to war again.

After a three-year lull, Roswell's latest billboard ordinance has been challenged on constitutional grounds in Fulton County Superior Court.

Friday, July 18, 2003

Teen Condom Billboards up in Bangkok

Controversial new line of condoms first mentioned in The Nation last month: Motorists on Rama IV Road are being greeted with the sight of a giant billboard featuring three giant condoms and the words: "teen confidence". For some, CP Consumer's new One Touch "Sweet Teen" line of condoms - scented lime, cola and mixed fruit - may be proof that the Kingdom's safe-sex campaigns have finally come of age, but for others it is just more evidence of the decadence Thailand has succumbed to... According to the spokesperson, Durex, the largest selling condom in Thailand, was expected to launch a similar product next month.

Nissa Tries Outdoor Street Art
From WoosterCollective.com, a street-art website:

Earlier this week in our 'hood (and we're assuming also in cities across the country) a series of posters suddenly went up that, at first glance, looks a lot like someone has painted and wheat pasted street art images over them. But upon a closer look, it becomes obvious that the paint and wheat paste is fake, and that the poster itself is an advert for a new electric car from Nissan. Immediately after the posters went up, we started to receive emails

The campaign, directed by Chiat/Day, uses traditional outdoor like walls, billboards, and 30 sheets, then adds 'street art' on top to promote ElectricMoyo.com, a site which promotes Nissan's street cred through a female 'underground' spokesperson who goes by Moyo and drives a Nissan Altima. The run apparently will include outdoor and radio spots from Moyo's 'pirate radio' housed in her Altima. The question is, will the outdoor street-art component work? Or will the target market simply yawn when they realize that ElectricMoyo is an organized campaign and not genuine street-art?

Thursday, July 17, 2003

"Billboard Liberation Front" Strikes Again
The secretive San Francisco-based group, famous for altering large outdoor advertisements by such corporate behemoths as Exxon, R.J. Reynolds, and Apple Computers, pulled its latest prank on S.F.-based Banana Republic.

The large billboard is located off of Highway 101 northbound by the Cesar Chavez Street exit. The alteration was apparently made sometime Sunday night to appear on the billboard in time for morning traffic entering San Francisco.

One discreet phrase was added: "The Sappho Collection" appeared beneath the words Banana Republic and to the left of two large photos of two women together, playfully modeling Banana Republic's summer line of clothes.

Perhaps a little too playfully, according to the BLF. The subtle addition is a reference to the ancient Greek poet Sappho, a lesbian who lived most of her life on the Isle of Lesbos and wrote impassioned poems on female love.

Something that the BLF might not have known is that the two women are actually sisters, models Karen and Kate Elson, a perhaps unintended additional subplot to the message.

Delta's Nostalgia trip board gets an AJC write-up
Commuters stuck in traffic on I-85 should have time to study Delta Air Lines' latest effort to tout its Atlanta roots: a towering billboard on the Peach Building, one of Atlanta's more coveted advertising locations.

The nostalgic billboard features three of Atlanta's icons in a 1940s-era photo: One of Delta's first flight attendants holds two Coca-Cola coolers as she smiles from the doorway of a DC-3 at Hartsfield International Airport, then called Candler Field.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Spotted on Sunset Blvd. in Silver Lake:

Custom paint on top of Disney's Pirates of the Carribean 30 sheet.
Thanks to reader A. for the photo. Send your pics to cz1679 (@) yahoo (dot) com.

Outdoor Advertising Shows Growing Strength in First Quarter
The outdoor media industry experienced modest growth in overall spending in the first quarter of 2003, netting $1.25 billion, a 2.3% increase over the first quarter of 2002. According to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA), the industry posted significant gains in the categories of Local Services & Amusements, Financial, and Automotive.

“Relative to the overall ad industry recession, outdoor media continues to show resiliency, particularly on a local level, where the medium is strongly employed,” according to Stephen Freitas, Chief Marketing Officer for the OAAA. Freitas added that reports from OAAA member companies indicate that second quarter sales have shown buoyancy and that early summer spending is brisk.

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