This Friday, April 7, which is World Health Day, GE is taking over Times Square and will simultaneously broadcast on seven digital billboards including The Reuters Sign at 3 Times Square, NASDAQ, ABC, NBC, MTV, Yahoo and the Toys"R"Us Times Square GeoffreyTron LED. GE plans to expand the digital billboard "take overs" to London and Paris in the future.
The Times Square promotion is part of GE's new Healthcare Re-Imagined campaign which highlights the company's role in healthcare. As part of the campaign, GE is running TV, print and online advertisements and the Picture a Healthy World web site () that invites visitors to contribute photos and stories describing what they do to stay healthy. GE will broadcast the submitted images onto the digital billboards in Times Square on April 7 as well as live photos taken in a special photo studio set up on Military Island in the middle of the Square.
Bucky Turco, roving recorder of all things New York, found this marvelous marketing misalignment. If you're going to co-op the New York City-ism "The City That Never Sleeps," in your advertising, you really shouldn't be a mattress company.
This one does not appear to be an April Fool's joke as was, supposedly, the giant iPod in Australia. To celebrate its 100th issue with Hot 100 winner Eva Longoria on its cover, Maxim, along with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, has constructed a 75 X 110 foot replica of the cover and placed it in the Las Vegas Desert near the Primm Valley Casino Resorts, 35 minutes south of Las Vegas near the Nevada/California state line. The stunt is tied to Maxim's 100th issue celebration at the Wyn Las Vegas Resort and Country Club April 7-9
There seems to be a trend developing with balls and billboards. First, there was the muffin that "fell" off a billboard and crushed the car beneath it. Then there were the big red Powerballs that crushed a few cars and now we have a giant tennis ball scrushing a car. A Sony Erikson billboard promoting the Nasdaq Open which has three female tennis players extending off the board having just made their shots. A car placed beneath the board has a giant tennis ball smashed down on top of it. No doubt, we'll soon see a Carl's Jr. billboard with celebs Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Ritchie and Hilary Duff, in a bid to prove they still eat, promoting the company's next mega-burger. A burger so huge it's too heavy for the girl's frail bodies to support so it's fallen on top of an 18-wheeler parked beneath the board and crushed it. See another image of the board here.
A billboard in Boston featuring an image of President Bush's eyes and the URL littlebrotheriswatching.com, which points to a site about the Bush administration's domestic wiretapping program, has come under fire from Massachusetts state Outdoor Advertising Board officials who sent the board owner, John Rosenthal, a letter stating, "You are directed to remove this billboard forthwith." Rosenthal, who also owns the 252 foot long antigun billboard along the Massachusetts Turnpike in Boston, feels he's "being scrutinized for encouraging free speech and democracy" because several state officials are now asking the OAB about the legality this waivered billboard - a board that's had grandfathered approval for the past 11 years. While all parties are denying it, Rosenthal and Boston Globe columnist Brian McGory wonder if there's political motivations behind these recent activities.
There's certainly nothing wrong with Filene's Basement and Svedka Vodka advertising beside each other on a New York City bus as caught here by Bucky Turco but it does get interesting when the visual in both ads are similar. "I'll have a shot of vodka with those panties please."
Reacting to a Cyclemedia press release which read, in part, "These billboards are impossible to miss and are fully interactive! Get ready for in your face advertising that literally screams from the streets of Toronto," Torontoist wondered, as we do, what the hell is interactive about a bike billboard. Oh, yea, as Torontoist says, it's the eggs that will be thrown at the poor billboard cyclist as he tries to weave his way in and out of pedestrian and automotive traffic on the narrow streets of Toronto.
In a direct to consumer campaign for drug treatment protocol Prometa (how whacked is that? take drugs to get off drugs) the late Chris Farley's face will be seen on billboards and online. The headline is, "It Wasn't All His Fault." Farley's brother Tom approved the former 'SNL' star's appearance in the campaign after having become familiar with Prometa last year. Print and TV will folow later this year. View the billboard here.
Snowboarding makes you hungry so why not, as a marketer, make sure snowboarders have a clear view of your restaurant while they are out getting air. That's exactly what this Quebec McDonald's did by placing a see-through "slope" over the top of its restaurant, albeit a fake restaurant as a commenter corrects. Now, every time a boarder passes over, he's greeted with the view of tables full of McDonald's food.