How To Create An Unforgettable Billboard Ad (Hint: Be Funny)

OOH advertising just struck comedy gold.

MANILA, Philippines – Advertising on billboards has become ubiquitous in the life of every Filipino, particularly to those who live near EDSA, C5, and other major roads in Metro Manila. With all these billboards crying for attention from every direction, it’s hard to stand out from the crowd especially if they only have a few seconds to see your billboard ad.

These days, being visually striking is not enough. So, how can you make sure that your billboard ad becomes the talk of the town? Simple: Tickle their funny bone! Because sometimes, all that you need is a good laugh to sweep away the stress of traffic of your day.

But what makes a billboard ad unforgettable? How do you make a billboard ad funny?

Slap Some Irony

(Source: Outcomm billboard site at C-5 BGC)

The irony is relatable. And that is why Alanis Morissette’s 1996 song “Ironic” became a hit; it’s because the lyrics are relatable to the listener’s everyday life. And it’s funny to see how some brands recognize the irony their customers experience daily.

A good example of a brand that is excellent at applying ironic humor to its billboard ads is Executive Optical (EO Eyewear). From a permanent tattoo mistake to Cupid missing his love arrows, EO has perfected ironic comedy in its billboard ads. The premise of EO billboard ads is simple: poor eyesight leads to poor performance. And they have successfully managed to express this message with their witty billboard ads.

The example above reads: “Walang FOREVER ‘pag malabo ang mata.” (There is no FOREVER if you have poor eyesight.) This ad both has a plain meaning and an implied meaning. Looking at it directly, your dream of living happily together “forever” can end in an instant because of an accident caused by having poor eyesight.

Implicitly, this line is poking at hopeless romantic people who could not find the “forever” love of their life because they have poor eyesight. Whichever way you look at it, this ad is ironically funny (albeit, in a tragic way).

Break the Fourth Wall

(Source: Outcomm billboard site in Novaliches, Quezon City)

Ever since the blockbuster movie The Matrix came out in 1999, people have been looking for real-life “glitches” to prove that they are not living in the real world. And that is when billboards started speaking to them.

Breaking the fourth wall has been a classic comedy trick that, when done correctly, cleverly immerses the viewer into the joke. In billboards, this could be done by manipulating the advertisement to make it appear that it breaks beyond its boundaries.

A recent example showed the missing birthday cake from Goldilocks’s 50th Anniversary campaign. The renowned cake shop released this billboard as a reminder to all the busy people in the country to never miss out on their loved one’s special occasions. After all, a celebration would not be complete without a cake – especially if it’s from you.

Go Big Mode

(Source: Bounty Fresh Facebook; Outcomm billboard site in Timog, Quezon City)

The bigger, the better. And that phrase stays true when it comes to billboard ads. But no matter how big your billboard ad is, if people see it as “boring”, your ad will not be remembered by many. That is why some brands went the extra mile by creating billboard ads that are not only big but also crazy enough to be unforgettable.

Everybody who passes by EDSA Kamuning (in front of the GMA Network building) would recognize the adorably cute big white chicken from Bounty Fresh. Reminiscent of the huge 3D advertisements seen only in the province, this billboard structure sparks nostalgia in the older audiences and excitement among the younger ones.

Who wouldn’t be excited to see an adorably cute big white chicken in the middle of a busy road? Oh, and did we already mention that it is adorably cute?

Honorable Mention: The Smoking Hot Corned Beef

(Source: YouTube)

This is not a billboard ad and it is not funny on its own. But one mechanical trouble caused this bus ad to be ridiculously funny all of a sudden.

This bus ad from CDO Karne Norte (CDO Corned Beef) became viral on social media because of how funny the incident looked to the people behind the bus. The viral video shows the can of CDO Karne Norte smoking from behind a stalled bus, making it appear to be being cooked from within the ad. The man recording the video kept on yelling “Luto na ‘yung corned beef mo! Nausok na eh!” (Your corned beef is cooked! It’s already smoking!) adding humor to the situation.

Tickle Their Funny Bone

So, how can you make your outdoor advertisements unforgettable? Be funny! As shown in the examples above, being funny attracts more attention and turns your ad into something remarkable and worth being remembered.

Being visually appealing is not enough to catch everyone’s interest in your billboard advertisement. Sometimes, being funny is enough to leave a remarkable viewing experience for your audience. If you think that being funny and witty is how your brand speaks to your audience, then do not be afraid to use humor in your next billboard advertisement. Let your audience see your brand in a way that they can easily remember you – by making them laugh.

Ready to show your brand’s unforgettable ad? Call Outcomm now at 09175375110 or at (02) 8856-2285 and start your memorable ad campaign today.



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