Most iconic outdoor banners in the world

Whether you’re launching a new company or heading up a marketing team in an established business, coming up with a successful promotional campaign is tough. If you want something fresh and attention-grabbing but don’t know where to start, check out the successful strategies below for inspiration and find out how you can replicate their phenomenal success.

Brand: Nike

During the late 1980s, Nike wasn’t the lucrative brand it is today. With shoe sales struggling behind Reebok’s, Nike had to come up with something extraordinary to boost profits.Nike’s Just Do It strategy started in 1988 and soon, the famous slogan was seen on banners and billboards everywhere.

So, how did this simple tagline attract such incredible success? The clarity of the phrase and emotion it evoked played big parts in how well it engaged with the Nike audience. Can’t be bothered to run? Just do it. Don’t think you can handle an hour at the gym? Just do it. Within ten years of its launch, the campaign had boosted Nike sales from $800 million to $9.2 billion — all due to a tagline thought up in around 20 minutes.

Replicating the Just Do It campaign

Clearly, all you need is a catchy slogan to boost brand awareness. ‘Just Do It’ was seen on multiple banners and depicted a range of sports people performing various exercises. The tagline, not the video or image, was the crux of the campaign.

What you need to do to get your campaign out there is utilise print. While online banners and emails are ignored and lost, a poster and billboards keeps your slogan on show until it’s taken down. If you want this type of success, perhaps adopt this strategy by concentrating on a solid slogan — one that encapsulates your brand and speaks directly to your core audience — and building out from there.

Brand: Dove

In 2004, personal care brand, Dove, launched a memorable campaign that whipped up debates in societies across the world. Essentially, this campaign included a series of outdoor banners and ads designed by an FBI-trained sketch artist, who was asked to draw two images of a woman: the first as she described herself and the second as a stranger described her. The outcome was that these images looked completely different, and Dove combined this result with thestatistic that a mere 4% of women find themselves attractive to create a hugely successful marketing campaign that truly resonated with its audience.

Dove’s strategy got everyone talking about how women’s beauty is perceived and the engagement level was astronomical. Releasing a series of banners and billboards portraying regular women next to contradictory checkboxes for the viewer to choose between (e.g. ‘wrinkled or wonderful’ and ‘fat or fit’), Dove’s advertising strategy was insightful, inspiring and sensitive. To date, Dove’s Real Beauty campaign has been seen in around 110 countries.

Replicating the Real Beautycampaign

Think about your target audience: what concerns, worries or matters to them? Dove focused on a real problem concerning its key demographic and turned it into something positive, which not only helped women feel better about themselves, but also reflected positively on the brand.

Brand: California Milk Processor Board

Although this is an all-American campaign, Got Milk? reached millions of people across the world due to its humour, ingenuity and success. Essentially consisting of images depicting celebrities with milk moustaches next to the tagline ‘Got Milk?’, the campaign boosted milk sales in California by 7% within its first year. The success of the campaign in the Golden State meant that the strategy started breaking borders, and soon Got Milk? posters and banners were spotted in stores and on highways across the country before moving to television and the internet.

Replicating the Got Milk? campaign

It’s worth noting that the milk board wasn’t trying to attract more milk consumers — it was encouraging those that already drank milk, to drink more. If one of your products is dropping in sales, or a service you offer isn’t performing as well as before, your marketing strategy could be aimed at reconnecting with customers. The Got Milk? strategy is just one example of how even everyday items can be injected with humour (i.e. the milk moustache) and glamour (i.e. use of celebrities).

Brand: Absolut

Clever and resourceful, Abolut did an excellent job at taking the ordinary and making it unforgettable. Fundamentally, this strategy consisted of banners, billboards and ads portraying an Absolut bottle outline in various real images. This included a Christmas advert depicting a woman carrying stacks of gifts in a bottle formation (tagline: ‘Absolut 24th’) and an aerial shot of NYC’s Central Park shown with an added section at the top to create a bottle neck and cap shape (tagline: ‘Absolut Manhattan’).

Absolut utilised this idea for more than 25 years — a long life for an ad campaign. Before it, the brand had less than 3% of the vodka market in the US and by the end, its name was on the label of half of all the country’s imported vodka.

Replicating the Absolut Bottle campaign

Absolut’s bottle shape idea shows you how the simplest ideas are often the best. How can you incorporate the feel, look and shape of your products into your campaign? Large outdoor banners and billboards offer the opportunity to capitalise on colours, textures and silhouettes to turn something simple into something intriguing. So, pick your brand apart and diversify what you have.

Brand: Volkswagen

One of our older iconic marketing campaigns, Volkswagen’s ‘Think Small’ strategy is an excellent example of how you can turn a perceived negative into an undeniable positive. During the 1960s, when this campaign launched,US citizens only wanted big cars, and sales of small motors from German manufacturers were low.

So, how did Volkswagen skirt around this issue? By playing into the audience’s hands. Volkswagen created banners and newspaper ads with lots of white space to highlight the compact feature of its vehicles. So, when other car brands were packing their ads from border to border with copy, colour and imagery; Volkswagen stood apart from the crowd and was noticed for its ingenuity and honesty — its cars were small, and that’s what it told you.

Replicating the Think Small campaign

Honesty goes a long way in advertising, partly because the public expect to see products and services through rose-tinted glasses and appreciate when they don’t. Advertising is believed by many to put an unrealistic spin on reality to sell its customer a dream, so any brand that focuses on the true features is sure to achieve credibility.

This article was created and researched by leading UK provider of outdoor banners and printing services, Where the Trade Buys.