There are many benefits to hiring out a billboard in Chicago.
While many people are convinced that going all digital for marketing campaigns is now the way to go, running a campaign on Chicago billboards is more powerful than ever.
This is mainly because of the clutter that is now online and the aggressive campaigns so many brands are doing to capture the attention of their audiences. Going back to the basics of getting a designated space solely for your brand to tell its story has never been as powerful as right now.
People still go outside, they still sit in traffic and, yes, they do take breaks from looking at their devices.
For years the best brands have been nailing the creative marketing approach with genius billboard concepts that are proudly showcased in Chicago. To help you get inspired to join them n the ranks, we have rounded up the most iconic Chicago billboards and what made them so great.
1. Apple’s Shot on an Iphone Billboard
Apple brilliantly showcased the amazing quality of their iPhone cameras by literally proving that the images captured from a phone would be high enough quality to be shown on a billboard. So they took literal images that were captured on an iPhone that looked as if they were done on a professional camera and simply said: “shot on an iPhone 6”. This soon made the people of Chicago truly believe that they could capture similarly stunning photos on their own iPhone—which they can—and the sales of the iPhones went like wildfire. Plus, having such an aesthetically pleasing image to look at while stuck in traffic made for a memorable campaign.
2. McDonald’s Sundial Menu
Wanting to show that McDonald’s serves up food items for every hour of the day, they showed their menu visually through a McDonald’s themed sundial. Each of their food items looks delicious and would send anyone into an instant food craving, while the brilliance of the food items lined up with a mock-sundial meant that no words were required at all. Instead, the message of the billboard was instantly understood just by looking at the image and knowing what they could purchase from the fast-food franchise every hour of the day.
3. The Art Institute’s Anti-Billboard Billboard
Providing both laughs and a whole other message in itself, the Art Institute took an iconic painting that was printed out onto a billboard with the phrase “this is not a billboard” right next to it. Instantly sparking the debate of what constitutes art and provoking a bit of controversy, this is a billboard that people will continue to talk about even after it goes out of sight. And, in the most non-aggressive way possible, inspire people to visit the Art Institute to see the real painting.
4. Shaw’s Crab House’s Practical Billboard
Wanting their message to be seen by as many people as possible, this billboard stayed simple with their messaging of “Chicago’s Freshest Seafood” while also providing practical information to those passing by, with both a clock and temperature underneath. The strategy behind this is that the useful information would increase the number of eyeballs that saw the advertisement as well. Sometimes it really is the little details that make all the difference with a billboard.
5. Lyft’s Bad Sign from a Sign
Lyft really nailed it with speaking to their target audience—those who are frustrated they are stuck in traffic and wasting valuable time in the day. With a lengthy message that actually doesn’t say a whole lot, Lyft is able to raise its brand awareness in the most personable of ways—speaking directly to the person reading the sign. Plus, the pun of a “bad sign” being both literally about not a good billboard and the realization that traffic is bad takes this billboard campaign to a whole new level of brilliance.
6. The Plea to Get Lebron Back
Billboards aren’t just to sell something or raise brand awareness. Sometimes it is also a call to action to get others involved with a particular movement. The billboard that pleaded “Chicago Wants Lebron” was more of a message to his agents and the NBA of the city’s collective support of the NBA player. While it didn’t actually spark any change, it did unite the city in their passion for the sport and the player.
With so many great billboards to take inspiration from, there is no real reason to utilize one of the many billboards in Chicago for your brand as well.