WWTT? BBC Stakes a Billboard to Promote ‘Dracula’

In an out-of-home (OOH) advertising effort to promote the new series Dracula, BBC showcased a billboard covered in wooden stakes — the iconic weapon used against vampires. While the imagery was eye-catching during the day, the billboard had a surprise to share at night.

All right, so a bunch of bloody stakes in a billboard promoting BBC’s new series Dracula makes sense. Dracula is a vampire. Vampires hate wooden stakes through the chest. There’s nothing else to cover, right?

WRONG.

BBC's billboard for Dracula
Credit: BBC Creative

BBC Creative, the in-house agency for the BBC, decided that because the series is aiming to be a fresh and unusual take on Bram Stoker’s classic vampire tale, the marketing campaign should follow suit. The agency opted for an out-of-home (OOH) advertising effort, putting up two billboards: one in London and one in Birmingham. In daylight, each billboard displays the quintessential tools to use against the undead monster, along with a a glass case below containing another sharpened stake and the phrase “In case of vampires break glass.”

The billboard isn’t particularly spooky, despite the bloody stakes, though the imagery is spot on. But when the billboard truly shines is at night … literally and figuratively.

BBC's billboard for Dracula
Credit: BBC Creative

Once the sun goes down, a light attached to the side of the billboard gradually turns on, revealing that the stakes have been placed in such a way that Dracula appears in the shadow.

Olly Harnett, creative head at BBC Creative remarked upon the billboards: “Our campaign for Dracula leaves the audience in no doubt they can expect something fresh and unexpected from this extraordinary adaptation of the vampire classic. Our unique campaign is one of the most ambitious special builds we’ve ever undertaken — by day, a random assortment of stakes hammered into a billboard but by night, transformed, as the Count springs to life in the form of a looming shadow.”

Regarding the full campaign, BBC One’s Head of Marketing, Chris Hooper, said, “Coming from the makers of Sherlock, this version of Dracula is laced with dark humor and rock star swagger. We wanted our campaign to reflect Steven [Moffat] and Mark [Gatiss]’s fresh take on a classic character, so each element has been designed to surprise …”

Marketers what do you think of these billboards? Do you think they will entice BBC’s current audience to watch, as well as attract new viewers? Leave a comment below!

 

3 Examples of Social Media-Worthy Outdoor Advertisements

It’s important to see how social media enhances outdoor advertising and vice versa. Many companies are making their ads more “shareable” and social-media friendly. Here are three examples of social media-worthy outdoor advertisements.

Many look at the relationship between outdoor advertising and digital advertising as combative. We already know that out-of-home advertising works (here’s why). However, it is important to see the ways that the digital world enhances traditional ads and vice versa.

Think about it. New York City is the most photographed city in the world. Times Square explodes with colorful billboards and signage, both day and night. People flock to the displays, while taking pictures with their phones and sharing them on the web for the world to see. When advertisements are usually clever or visually appealing, viewers want to take pictures to share with their friends and followers.

Because of this, many companies are actually making their outdoor ads more social media-friendly and “share-worthy.” By being eye-catching, artistic or allowing for viewer participation, many advertisers are connecting traditional advertising with social media.

Here are three examples of advertisements that use social media “share-ability” to be more appealing or broaden their reach:

1. Delta Airlines x Tinder = The ‘Dating Wall’

Tinder and Delta Airlines teamed up to create the ultimate outdoor advertisement for social media use. The “Dating Wall,” located in Brooklyn, was comprised of images of popular travel destinations. The point? Audience members were meant to take selfies with one of the destinations as the backdrop and upload it to Tinder, creating a much more eye-catching “Tinder pic.” This campaign promoted both brands in a fun way that allowed viewer participation via social media.

2. Spotify’s ‘2018 Goals’

For its “2018 Goals” campaign that took place in 2017, Spotify used humor to appeal to its audience. The streaming company was able to use users’ listening habits to create a memorable series of hilarious and relatable outdoor ads. The campaign attracted both real-life and Internet attention, because they’re the perfect ad to share with a friend for a good laugh.

3. ‘David Bowie Subway Takeover’

social media-worthy outdoor advertisements

social media-worthy outdoor advertisements Bowie pic

Spotify is a champion of memorable ads. In 2018, the company set up a month-long art installation in an NYC subway station to celebrate the late David Bowie. The campaign featured both a photo-worthy portrait of the star and information about what he loved to do in NYC. Soon, photos of the art quickly popped up all over social media. This ad was especially appealing, because it made a normally mundane spot much more interesting.

9 Secrets to Award-Winning Billboard Advertisements

In this age of the Internet, there are still many old-fashioned ways to advertise outside of a computer screen. A billboard is a great way to market effectively, providing high visibility for your company. However, to guarantee your billboard is doing all it can to attract customers, here are nine things you should keep in mind.

In this age of the Internet, there are still many old-fashioned ways to advertise outside of a computer screen. A billboard is a great way to market effectively, providing high visibility for your company. However, to guarantee your billboard is doing all it can to attract customers, here are nine things you should keep in mind.

The 6-Word Rule in Out-of-Home Advertising:

When people pass a billboard, it is likely they are not going to take time to stop and read it … especially if they are driving. A billboard must rely on delivering a message using images and a minimal amount of text. As a rule, it is best to keep text to six words. Although you can go over this recommendation by a bit, if you need a lot more words to advertise your product, billboard advertising may not be for you.

Noticeable Billboards that  Don’t Cause a Huge Distraction:

Most people look at billboards while they are driving. An image that is too distracting could cause accidents, resulting in a negative perception of your brand. Avoid overly sexual or controversial images.

Know What a Billboard is For:

Billboards are a great way to promote consumer awareness. However, they will rarely lead to a direct response from customers. This is due to the fact that consumers are not likely to take the time to read the ad for a website or phone number and, if they are, they are not likely to take the time to write it down. An exception to this may be if the phone number is highly memorable or if the website or phone number is the billboard headline. Otherwise, if you are looking for direct action, you are better off relying on print advertising, television, radio, flyers, websites, and mail for promotion.

Send a Simple Message:

When advertising your company on a billboard, it’s a good idea to be creative in sending a message to customers that will really stand out. However, remember that billboards are usually sending a message to passerby’s that they need to absorb quickly. Creating a message that is overly complicated might confuse them, so it is best to stick to something that is smart, but simple.

The Billboards More the Merrier:

Every billboard has a Gross Point Rating (GRP) which is based on traffic, visibility, location, size and more. If a billboard has a GRP of 50, that means that at least 50% of the population in the area will see your billboard at least once a day. To increase exposure, its best to have several billboards. Of course, this can be expensive, but it is also effective.

Consider Using Digital Advertising

A flat billboard can be effective in promoting your business, but being creative can be a great way to make your sign really stand out. Adding moving parts and 3D elements and using a means for people to interact with your sign are all excellent ways to grab people’s attention. Signs such as these can even attract press so that the billboard can generate its own publicity … totally free!

Be Concise

Use your space wisely. Avoid repeating any sort of information, even if you are using text to explain your visual. Also, make sure your imagery pops so that you are using your advertising opportunity wisely.

Think About Your Logo Size

When creating a billboard, often companies want their logos to be as big as possible. Although we can all probably see the logic in this, it is also important to make sure the logo is in proportion to the other images that will appear on the ad. Some companies market effectively with billboards without even incorporating a logo.

Do the Arm’s Length Test:

Billboard advertising is not cheap and, if you’re going to invest, you need to make sure it’s going to be a worthwhile investment. One good way to do this is to take the ad and print it on a business card, then look at it at arm’s length. This will provide the same effect as someone passing by your billboard quickly. If the image still pops, and you feel the message it is sending is clear, then you are good to go. If not, consider tweaking some elements. Billboard advertising can be an effective way to market your company. However, it’s important to make sure your billboard gets a message out to consumers in a concise and effective way.