Coca-Cola: Straw billboards

Coca-Cola’s latest billboard ad campaign sucks. Literally.

The new outdoor print campaign positions carefully placed straws reaching out to windows surrounding the billboard, next to other strategically placed fake ads and even reaching out to bill poster ladders, in order to highlight how irresistible a cold Coke is.

The simple eye catching promotion forms part of the brand’s ‘Refresh on the Coca-Cola side of life’ campaign and is yet another example of how billboard advertising is increasingly turning to more innovative approaches beyond the hard sell static message.

We’ve covered a number of other larger than life campaigns recently; including McDonalds’ fries as pedestrian crossings and McDonalds cup lids as beach parasols. What’s interesting here is how there is still room for a simple idea when it comes to outdoor marketing executions, despite a massive surge in more innovative applications.

The outdoor industry is rapidly becoming an interactive business, with everything from HD video screens, augmented reality, 3D posters, live billboards and response based  ads that can recognise and interact with the viewer.

This technology is all well and good, however it can have a high barrier to engagement, not to mention the issues surrounding privacy when it comes to ads being able to monitor and build data on those who pass by.

Billboards, despite their size, are all about making a passerby turn their head and pay attention for the briefest of moments. With the rise in technology being utilised there is a considerable risk that the outdoor medium may become as cluttered and confusing as the digital realm currently is, with too many voices attempting to deliver clever concepts over clever messages.

As with any campaign technology is a tool, rather than a means to an end, and as ever it’s often the simplest ideas that win out.

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