Best of 2009 – 26 Outdoor campaigns of note

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It’s already that time of the year – everyone will pull out their lists and countdowns. So why not revisit some of the better work coming out of advertising agencies, in 2009? Let’s start with a quick dekko of the Outdoor work that caught my fancy:

1. Aircel: this wasn’t an outdoor campaign but just a single hoarding created in Mumbai. But the buzz it created was equal to a multimillion dollar campaign. Thanks to the utilitarian, timely, thoughtful idea.


2. Axe – Call Me: this may have been an international campaign, but the idea wasn’t alien to Indians. The line ‘Call me and I will call you back’ was written in the local language (not translated) and it sure created an impact in the local market.

Axe-call me.jpg

3. Axe – Schedule: an audacious expression of the Axe brand promise. This wraparound was put up in the female students’ dormitory throughout a month.


Agency: When Gee, Seoul, South Korea

4. BMW-Audi: a billboard from Audi prompted BMW to respond – dueling brands, dueling billboards.


5. Copenhagen Zoo: as one Twitter user put it in his tweet, this is how some countries felt at the Copenhagen Climate Change conference.


6. Denver Water: this is one of the classic, old-style billboards with just an arresting line – nothing fancy. But I found the whole concept of urging people to conserve water by watering grass for a lesser time, amusing.

Denver Water-GrassISDumb-IQ.jpg

7. First Bank: instead of merely claiming that they ‘care for small business’, Firstbank created billboards promoting real small business enterprises.

First Bank.jpg

8. Fisch Frank: ambient media or outdoor? Whatever. Imaging converting the plain kiosk into a fish tank to promote ‘fresh fish’ concept for Fisch Frank, a sea food restaurant.


9. Financial Times: I think this is a 2008 campaign and not one of this year. Still good. The campaign involved billboard sites being ’stripped back’ to their boards, with the question: “Global downturn. What’s the first mistake businesses make?”.


10. Fygbussarna coach: To highlight the fact that it’s much more environmentally friendly to travel by bus than in a car, this 300-tonne ad was created.

Fygbussarna coach.jpg

11. James Ready – share our billboard: I think was implemented in 2008, but was a regular in award shows. Read more about it here.

James Ready.jpg

12. Law & Order TV Show: great use of space in this billboard from New Zealand to promote the Law & Order TV show.


13. McDonalds – shutter: super hijacking of ambient media by TBWA for McDonalds. To communicate the 24-hour service they simply pasted a visual of an open McDonalds restaurant on shop shutters.

McDonalds - shutter.jpg

14. McDonalds – 200m: I didn’t ‘get’ it the first time I saw it, but it;s an amusing take on the craving for a McDonalds.


Advertising Agency: DDB Denmark

15. Nikon: imagine walking down an airport and running into this signage.


16. Office Max: nice twist to the traditional billboard format.

Officemax organized.jpg

Advertising Agency: OfficeMax Branding Team, Naperville, USA

17. Panasonic Lumix: almost a desi idea to communicate the shake-proof benefit of the camera.

Panasonic Lumix Shaken-Stirred2.jpg

18. Panasonic – nose trimmer: a traffic stopper of a hoarding. But makes you wonder if the creative idea drove the need for a campaign or the other way around?

Panasonic trimmer.jpg

Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Indonesia

19. Rentokil: clever use of technology to communicate ‘hidden insects’.


Agency: Republik, Auckland, New Zealand

20. Royal Canin: one of the best uses of media space of late. A visual of a salivating dog bang opposite a pack shot of Royal Canin dog food. Thinking out of the box, literally. This got a Silver at the Epica Awards, 2009.

Royal Canin.jpg

Agency: Heye & Partner GmbH, Hamburg

21. Snickers: a much talked about campaign that to me conveyed the big brand status of Snickers, more than anything else. I mean, who else could get away with not putting the brand name?


22. Supermax: a simple idea to convey the sharpness of Supermax blades.


23. Tctcktck: a great welcome sign if you are passing through Copenhagen airport recently.


24. The Economist: I loved the interactive nature of this campaign, which was handled superbly beyond the billboards.

The Economist_suitcase.jpg

25.  Yellow Pages: 1000 customized hoardings? Read more here.

Yellow Pages.jpeg

26. Zimbabwe: one of the most ballsiest ideas of 2009 – imagine using currency as raddi?! Priceless stuff.


Hope you liked the collection here. Did I miss out any obvious big ideas of 2009? Do comment in.

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