Yes, you read that correctly. I just used the adjective "creative" to describe billboard advertisements.
I know, it’s hard to believe that there could be anything original about such a tired form of advertising.
That said, I am willing to bet that if you passed by these billboard ads as you were moseying along in your daily travels, they wouldn’t just catch your attention, they would capture it.
But don't take my word for it. See for yourself ...
The Most Innovative Billboard Ads From Around the World
1) Nationwide Insurance - USA
Believe it or not, this billboard is NOT an advertisement for paint. This ad is actually part of the Nationwide Insurance “life comes at you fast” campaign. This billboard uses the paint to drive the slogan home. As you can see, the paint looks as if it flowed right off of the billboard, covering the side of the building, the parking lot, and even a couple of cars below.
2) Allstate Car Insurance - Marina Tower, Chicago
Source: We Love Ad
Yes, the car dangling from the side of the Marina Tower parking lot is part of the advertisement. Whoever that car belongs to is certainly not “in good hands.”
3) Formula Toothpaste - Indonesia
This billboard was created to highlight the idea that Formula Toothpaste “builds strong teeth.” As you can see, rather than using a pretty model with pearly whites, the billboard shows a man whose teeth are so strong that he is actually pulling the advertisement off of the structure, metal and all.
4) Oldtimer - Austria
How often do you notice the billboard advertisements on the side of the road when you're speeding along on the highway? Well, anyone driving through this tunnel in Austria can’t possibly miss this billboard. Drivers on this highway literally have to drive right through the ad.
5) Tylenol - Toronoto, Canada
This billboard is designed to suggest that Tylenol can help you overcome a headache and “get back to normal.” Through the creative use of a wrecking ball, this billboard definitely makes the severity of this man’s headache and the strength of Tylenol clear.
6) Panasonic - Indonesia
In order to advertise Panasonic’s nose hair trimmer, this billboard was displayed directly behind power lines. It uses the cables to show how desperately this man needs Panasonic's nose hair trimmer while also adding some comedic value to the billboard.
7) The Economist - UK
This billboard can actually sense when a person passes under the lightbulb, causing it to turn on as if to suggest that reading The Economist will expose you to great ideas.
8) Maker's Mark Whiskey - USA
Source: Business Insider
Here you can see a bottle of Maker’s Mark Whiskey pouring its contents from the bottle, off of the billboard, and into an 18-wheeler stationed below -- that's right, you need an entire 18-wheeler full to feel satisfied. Drink responsibly.
9) Nike - Toronto, Canada
The caption, “Ready for your :45?” refers to the average amount of time that a hockey player spends on the ice per shift. The billboard is obviously being pulled by the tugboat, but the image on the billboard suggests that this man is actually pulling the tugboat. In other words, he has been training with Nike gear and is ready for his :45 ... are you?
10) Adidas - Vienna
This billboard was displayed just prior to the start of the 2008 EuroCup soccer tournament in Vienna. The man is goalie Petr Cech and the billboard is stationed directly in front of the Prater ferris wheel. As a result of the positioning, it looks like Peter Cech is actually supporting the wheel.
11) UTEC - Peru
This billboard was created as a solution to a problem. In Lima, Peru, many people are suffering because of a lack of drinkable water. In response, UTEC partnered with an advertising firm to create a billboard that can actually produce drinking water from the water vapor in the air. The billboard produced 9,450 liters of drinking water in just its first three months. Talk about innovation.
12) British Airways - Piccadilly Circus, London
The little boy shown in this digital billboard knows when a British Airways plane is flying overhead. As a plane flies over the billboard, the boy stands up, points at the plane and walks across the billboard screen as it flies by. The boy is used to grab your attention and his actions are followed by a promotional message from British Airways.
13) Orphea 4D Protection - Italy
Orphea wanted to prove the power of its insect spray. In order to prove the spray's efficiency, they creatively transformed an average billboard into a giant insect trap. Kind of gross, but effective nonetheless; it definitely gets the message across.
14) Apolosphy - UK
To unveil a new line of hair products, this company created a digital billboard depicting a stationary woman that could tell when a train was arriving. As a train arrives at the platform, the girl’s hair starts to blow around wildly highlighting their slogan: “Makes your hair come alive.”
15) Audi & BMW - Los Angeles, USA
This video shows a billboard war between Audi and BMW. The companies took their competition to social media to ask for consumers’ opinions about who was winning the war. Check out the video and judge for yourself!
Do you think these billboards are effective advertisements? What are some of your favorite billboard ads?