The following is a review of five selected billboard advertisements. Some of the advertisements have been chosen from award-winning ads located in the archives of adsoftheworld.com; others were from adform.com. Click on each ad link below or scroll down to review the analysis of each ad. If you desire to review the advertisement more closely, click on the ad image itself to see a larger version.
Advertisement 1: ClearWay – Minnesota, We All Pay the Price
Advertisement 2: BevMo!, Buy Responsibly
Advertisement 3: Gold Toe, Invisible People: See the World
Advertisement 4: Chick-Fil-A, Beef Puts U 2 Sleep
Advertisement 5: Robbins Diamonds, She’s Tired of Waiting
“We All Pay The Price”
The billboard for ClearWay – Minnesota carries an anti-smoking message.It shows a background photo of a young adult female smoking a cigarette behind eight 3-dimensional vertical cigarettes that resemble bars of a jail cell. An URL for ClearWay’s promotional website shown between the “bars” on the far right of the billboard. It was part of a multi-media campaign which included billboards and video advertisements.
The billboard stimulates curiosity with the use of its imagery. The message is not immediately clear, and the viewer would have to be interested enough to visit the website to learn more.
The purpose of the billboard is to capture the audience’s attention quickly and suggest that smoking confines and harms everyone, not just the smoker’s themselves. The message is that everyone pays the price of smoking–smokers and non-smokers–in the state of Minnesota through the increased costs of healthcare. And those higher costs divert money from other services that might benefit a larger population.
It is unclear from research into Minnesota’s whether this billboard was active in contributing to the reduction in tobacco use within the state.
The target market appears to be teens, and young adults consider the photo of a young woman used in the billboard’s background. A secondary market might be parents of teens, and a tertiary marketed might anyone who is curious about the meaning behind the billboard’s visual imagery.
Call to Action:
The presence of an URL suggests the call to action is “visit the website” to learn more. The site is no longer active; however, the organization’s website (http://clearwaymn.org/tobaccos-harm/cost-of-smoking-in-minnesota/) carries information about the cost of smoking in Minnesota that might have been similar to what was used.
Cigarettes take away your freedom. Smoking creates barriers for all of us.
“Buy Responsibly” is part of a multi-board campaign for discount beverage retailer, BeMo! The billboard carries the headline “Buy Responsibly” along with a photo a stemless glass of red wine and draws a connection to the “Drink Responsibly” advertisements or messages seen on alcohol. The second line and message on the billboard are “Don’t pay too much for wine.” A BevMo! logo sits below the wine glass.
The advertisement may trigger wonder as it relates to the “Drink Responsibly” message often associated with alcohol. A simultaneous or subsequent emotion may be humor as the message settles in with the viewer.
The billboard goal is to increase sales of products by carrying the message that BevMo provides the best prices for wine. Given that BevMo is a private company, it is unknown as to whether the billboard generated increased sales for the company. It is likely to have made a solid connection with its target market
Given the wine glass and the copy on the board, the target market for the billboard is likely wine drinkers, age 21+.
Call to Action:
The call to action is to buy wine from BevMo!
If you’re not buying wine from BevMo!, you’re paying too much.
“Invisible People: See the World”
The billboard for Gold Toe showcases a pair of socks resting on a car dashboard as the car is driving through snow-covered mountains. There are no legs associated with the socks. The headline is, “Set your socks on seeing the world” and features the Gold Toe Socks logo. The billboard is one in a campaign series for GoldToe.
The advertisement evokes surprise and humor. Nearly everyone has witnessed someone or been guilty themselves of propping feet on the car dashboard on a long trip.
The billboard’s goal is to increase sales and by suggesting that GoldToe has the most comfortable socks for traveling. Moreover, Gold Toe has been in business since 1934 and has a history of making a quality work sock as is suggested by their website. More adventuresome imagery and sock patterns might also suggest that Gold Toe desires to capture a new market for its product.
Also, using an everyday situation of car travel, Gold Toe also suggests that it’s socks are not limited to travel or adventure, but also can be worn whenever one desires comfort. The invisible person in the billboard allows the viewer easily imagine themselves wearing the socks.
The target market appears to be anyone who wears socks. Considering that “feet on the dashboard” tends to be something younger people do, one might argue that the billboard further targets the Millenial Generation. The headline, “Set your socks on seeing the world” encourages and relates to those who seek adventure and might support the new market argument made above.
Call to Action:
The billboard’s call to action is subtle. It suggests the viewer get Gold Toe socks for the next trip.
There’s no better sock for traveling than Gold Toe. Let your socks take an adventure, and make sure you’re feet (legs, and body) go with them.
“Beef Puts U 2 Sleep”
The billboard is one in an ongoing series of advertisements from Chick-Fil-A featuring self-preserving cows encouraging the viewer to eat chicken and not beef. This billboard, Beef Puts U 2 Sleep, features the “cow-lettered” phrase “Beef Puts U 2 Sleep” on the billboard background, along with three, life-like, sleeping Holstein Cows sleeping on the billboard deck–one is even on top of the billboard. The advertisement suggests the cows were painting the billboard and fell asleep. The Chick-Fil-A logo is prominent on the board.
The billboard uses humor to connect with the viewer.
The billboard’s goal is to sell more chicken for Chick-Fil-A by suggesting that eating beef makes one sluggish and tired, while presumably eating chicken does not. The billboard’s objective is also to reinforce the brand message and sustain top-of-mind awareness for Chick-Fil-A through humor even when the viewer is not in need of food.
Given Chick-Fil-A’s apparent popularity, it would appear the billboards achieve this goal.
The primary target market for this billboard is presumably travelers who are in need of food. A secondary market is anyone who eats chicken, or at least not beef.
Call to Action:
The call to action is to eat more chicken. Specifically, chicken from Chick-Fil-A.
Chicken’s better for you than beef. Or so say the cows.
“She’s Tired of Waiting”
She’s Tired of Waiting is a billboard for Robbins Diamonds, a Newark Delaware jewelry store. It features a slightly out-of-focus photograph of a woman holding up her ring finger with the headline, “She’s tired of waiting.” Robbins Diamonds logo and the company website is also on the board.
This advertisement evokes surprise as at first glance it looks like the woman in the ad is holding up her middle finger. The surprise transitions into humor as the viewer realizes it is the ring finger that is being prominently displayed.
The aim of advertisement is to sell more products, particularly engagement rings.
The target market appears to be men of marrying age who are dragging their feet in proposing to their girlfriends.
Call to Action:
The call to action is to visit Robbins Diamonds to purchase an engagement ring.
Stop wasting time. Robbins Diamonds can keep her from dumping you.
Featured Image Source: Getty Images, H. Armstrong Roberts/Classic Stock
The following is an audio interview with Ahna Hendrix, CEO of Arch Digital Agency for my Entrepreneurial Creation graduate course. Ahna and I discuss what it's like to grow up as a child of entrepreneurs, how challenging it is to build a business, and how small businesses should engage an agency. Ahna and I have worked together on a number of projects and I value her experience and knowledge of social media.
The following is a review of five selected magazine advertisements. Some of the advertisements have been chosen from award-winning ads located in the archives of adsoftheworld.com. Click on each ad link below or scroll down to review the analysis of each ad. If you desire to review the advertisement more closely, click on the ad image itself to see a larger version.
Advertisement 1: Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar, It Sells Itself
Advertisement 2: Goodwill, Belt
Advertisement 3: Mercedes, Good night, Boss
Advertisement 4: On the Job, Concrete
Advertisement 5: Vanish-Ink, Mr. Roarke
The magazine ad for Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar is copy-heavy with a few illustrations. It might be considered a throw-back advertisement to another time when printing pictures or color advertisements were quite costly. The ad copy humorously explores why Bragg would need to advertise its best-selling product and in doing so explores the virtues of that product. This ad is one in a campaign.
The advertisement engages the curiosity of reader with the headline to capture attention, and then uses humor to deliver the message the quality of its product.
The purpose of the ad appears to be to educate consumers about the quality of the product, making sure to highlight its “organic” feature, and has an end goal of increasing sales and gaining market share. Since Bragg is a private company, it is unknown as to whether these advertisements are effective.
The target market is unclear, but it appears to be those consumers who already buy apple cider considering how it calls itself out as making “way better apple cider than the other guys….We can’t really think of an other guy.”
Call to Action:
The call to action is subtle, but it is to buy Bragg.
We’ve been organic and healthy for over 100 years. We withstood the test of time, and you will find no better apple cider on the market.
About the Advertisement:
Belt is part of a multi-media campaign from Goodwill and the Ad Council. The ad shows tiny construction workers “working” on a pants belt as if it were a road. A pair of blue jeans and the belt buckle are showing in the background to help the reader establish the scale of the construction workers. It carries the logo for Goodwill and the Ad Council, along with the tagline “Donate Stuff. Create Jobs along with the URL goodwill.org.
The advertisement triggers the curiosity of the reader and then engages emotion and an altruism motivation.
The ad and campaign’s goal is to encourage readers to donate items. On an emotional level, the ad helps the reader connect with the idea that it’s not only corporations that create jobs and that the reader through the simple act of donating an unwanted, everyday item, can contribute to creating jobs for others. This is a powerful and motivating message because most everyone has something that could be donated to Goodwill.
The ad and campaign were launched in December 2016 and Goodwill have not yet publicly reported any statistics of donations for comparison to prior years. However, in 2015 the organization stated that it employed and provided community services for more than 89 million people and placed more than 318,000 individuals in employment (Goodwill Staff, 2015).
The target market for the ad is broad, as virtually anyone with an unused piece of clothing, household appliance, tool or other items can donate it to Goodwill. The target of the ad may be better defined by the publication in which it appears, but it is likely that the ad focus on those who have higher levels of disposable income.
Call to Action:
The call to action is to donate unused items to Goodwill.
You, too, can create jobs. Goodwill turns your donations into jobs and helps put people to work, which not only helps those less fortunate, but it also helps the economy.
About the Advertisement:
This ad for Mercedes-Benz is a tribute ad to George Steinbrenner, the principal owner of the New York Yankees. Mr. Steinbrenner, whose hands-on management style earned him the nickname “The Boss,” often wore the aviator-style sunglasses shown in the advertisement. Presumably, he was a fan of Mercedes-Benz automobiles. The ad shows those trademark sunglasses and carries the headline, “Good night, Boss,” along with Mr. Steinbrenner’s birth and death dates, and the Mercedes-Benz logo.
The advertisement evokes emotion for Steinbrenner’s life and legacy with the New York Yankees.
That ad’s key objective is to pay homage to Steinbrenner in his passing. Although, it is also an identity association and brand-building ad for the Mercedes. Whether Steinbrenner was the owner of a Mercedes or not, by his ownership of the New York Yankees it is assumed he was wealthy. Mercedes creates an association between its brand and Steinbrenner through that wealth.
Tribute ads like this one are risky for a brand, and the effectiveness is difficult to measure. Steinbrenner might have had a strong association with Mercedes making the advertisement fitting with his passing, yet some may see the ad as exploitive.
The ad’s target market is primarily upper-middle class and upper-class fans of the New York Yankees and George Steinbrenner. Its secondary market is likely to be upper-middle class and upper-class baseball fans.
Call to Action:
This ad does not have a call to action. It is purely brand building.
Here’s to George Steinbrenner. He was in a class all of his own. And so is Mercedes-Benz.
Concrete is an ad for On The Job hand lotion is one of three in a campaign showing the hands of tradesmen at work. The black and white ad features a pair of hands laying what appears to be a cinderblock foundation. The texture of the skin on the hands is rough and in many places cracked and broken.
The only color showing in the ad is a depiction of the On the Job hand lotion in the lower right corner, accompanying the tagline: “Repairs hands that work for a living.”
The ad’s goal it to increase sales of its product. The ads effectiveness is unknown. Additional information is not determinable as there is little information available about its manufacturer, Wharton Innovative Products, in online searches.
Because of its imagery, the primary target market for this ad appears to be male masons or similar tradesmen whose hands take a beating while working with rough materials such as concrete, brick, or stone. A secondary market would be all male tradesman or home handymen who have rough hands. A tertiary market could be the spouse or significant other of a tradesman.
Call to Action:
The call to action is suggestive rather than direct. It suggests purchasing the hand lotion.
Those men who work for a living deserve softer hands, too. And so do their wives, partners, significant others, children, and grandchildren.
Mr. Roarke is an ad for Vanish-Ink, a Charlotte, NC Tattoo removal company. It features a photography of Ricardo Montalban in character as Mr. Roarke from the 1970’s television show, Fantasy Island. In the show, Mr. Roarke and his sidekick, Tattoo, great arriving guests at the beginning of the show and see them off at the end of the show. The photograph used in the ad depicts one of those moments, showing only Mr. Roark and not his sidekick. In place of his sidekick, Tattoo is the logo for Vanish-Ink.
This advertisement evokes humor from the reader.
The aim of this ad shows readers how easy it is to make a tattoo disappear. The goal is to increase sales.
The target market is tattooed children and young adults of the 1970’s who were fans of the television show, Fantasy Island, or those from the same era who have sufficient knowledge of pop culture to identify with the advertisement.
Call to Action:
The call to action is for the reader is to contact Vanish-Ink, presuming the reader has a tattoo that he or she wants to eliminate. Like the newsprint advertisement reviewed last week, the company virtually hides it website URL and does not provide a telephone number.
It’s not fantasy. We can make tattoos vanish.
Featured Image Source: Getty Images, Thurston Hopkins