Tecate Light billboard on Bayshore Avenue, San Francisco.
Really?! Driving home in San Francisco in the year 2012 and I’m looking at a billboard that’s suggesting certain light-beer drinkers and guys that drink drinks served in martini glasses aren’t, um, real men? Oh my.
This, apparently, is the latest outdoor installment of the Tecate Light campaign built around the tagline “Con Caracter.” Earlier this year the beer brand issued an apology and pulled other San Francisco billboards that claimed “it’s easy to be a man with character” — by peeing outdoors on a tree, the ad suggested, instead of using a toilet. From the company’s public statement:
“We have an internal process whereby every ad is reviewed for compliance with our local code for responsible commercial communication. As a part of that process, this ad concept was rejected by our US team but unfortunately, an error was made and the ad was mistakenly released and posted. We sincerely thank consumers for bringing this to our attention and have immediately removed the ad. We regret the error and are taking a look at our internal controls to ensure this does not happen again.”
In cooperation with Polish State Railways, McDonalds launched the Hamburger Timetable, a system of food icons presented on the automated schedule board to indicate wait time in units of Big Macs, fries and coffees you have time to consume before your train arrives. The Warsaw station McDonalds saw an increase of 4500 customers in the first month of the campaign. Full story at PSFK.
The above McDonalds-logo-in-flowers is just an idea, PhotoShopped together by Sean Click, but it’s a brilliant one — unless, of course, you’re one of those people who wouldn’t want a permanent Golden Arches-shaped flower display alongside a highway near you. California law says you can’t pick or destroy California Poppies, so it would be a floral ad unit that would bloom indefinitely.
The folks at Toyota should have used California Poppies in their living billboard alongside LA’s I-10 back in 2009!
According to The Independent, another ad campaign featuring facial-recognition technology launches this week, this time in the UK for Plan UK, a children’s charity.
A 40-second interactive advert is about to be launched that uses facial-recognition technology to decide the gender of the person looking at it and then vary its content. It will be unveiled on a bus stop on Oxford Street in London’s West End on Wednesday.
Only women will be able to view the full £30,000 advert commissioned by the children’s charity Plan UK as part of its “Because I Am a Girl” campaign, which aims to ensure girls in the world’s poorest countries are able to receive a good education.
The technology measures the distance between people’s eyes, the width of their noses, and the length of their jawlines to determine gender. Its creators estimate the billboard will guess correctly about 90% of the time.
Until now, I’d say my least favorite kind of ad is the kind in magazines that smells like a combination of very strong perfume mixed with paper and ink. We may have new winner. Outdoor advertising technology will now squirt food smells into bus shelters, starting with McCain Foods in ads for its 5-minute baked potato product, Ready Baked Jackets. From Jezebel:
To advertise this revolution in potato-making, they’ve outfitted several bus shelters in U.K. cities with posters and a 3D fiberglass model of a Ready Baked Jacket potato. There’s a button you can press that turns on a heating element which then releases the scent and fills the whole area with warmth and the delicious smell of baked potato.
It’s clever, in theory. But, as a person who has waited in plenty of bus stops in my life, in practice, it seems more like what you’ll end up smelling is a baked potato smothered with tasty toppings like dog urine, cigarette ash, and — if it’s a really special commute — human feces.
It’s been a San Francisco icon for more than a decade. It’s graced our skyline through the dot.com boom and bust. And it’s one of the most recognizable pieces of advertising the city has seen in a long time. But the San Francisco Egotist has learned that in two weeks, the Yahoo! billboard will be no longer. Jon Charles, Vice President and General Sales Manager for Clear Channel Outdoor in San Francisco confirmed, “Yes, the Yahoo! board will be available starting in December 2011.”
The promoters in charge of the Canadian release of Contagion (the movie) designed billboards that reveal the movie’s title over time — as fungus and bacteria grow in various moldy colors. Awesome. From Adverblog.
At the US-Canada border near Vancouver, BC, art and architecture firm Lead Pencil Studio has created Non-Sign II, a “permanently open aperture between nations works to frame nothing more than a clear view of the changing atmospheric conditions beyond.” In other words, a giant steel-rod construction that frames a billboard-shaped view of the clear sky on the other side of the sculpture.
This McDonalds billboard in Sweden invites passers-by to play pong on the big screen. Players who keep the pong “ball” in motion for 30 seconds win coupons for free food, redeemable at nearby McDonalds restaurants. A nice touch — players don’t need to download a separate app to play. It works with any geo-location-enabled mobile browser.
If I’m going to razz the contextual ad networks every time they put life-insurance ads next to killed terrorists or job-board ads next to news about Steve Jobs, I better do the same when I spot a poorly-placed billboard like this one. I love the new 76 campaign, We’re on the Driver’s Side. Unfortunately this billboard — “Maybe there’s a cop behind this billboard, maybe there’s not” — isn’t a stand-alone advertisement along a freeway behind which a cop might hide. It’s attached to a yoga studio in Bernal Heights in San Francisco. If that cop is in savasana, I’m not too worried he’s going to pull me over.