No one can be sure about how many advertisements we see each day, but some research have shown that an average American encounters more than 5,000 ads per day! In fact, our daily life is so surrounded by ads that we tend to automatically ignore or filter them out when we see them: changing TV channels when the ads are on, deleting any email spam, or even ignoring the coupons on newspaper, because we are tired of seeing messages that try to convince us to spend extra cash on unnecessary expense. But just when we think we can finally relax and have a good meal—there is another ad trying to get our attention.
Because of media clutters and proliferation, advertisers have gone all out to advertise everywhere—including places where people usually take for granted and never take one more second to look at. But because the public is so used to these places being ad-free, they would definitely pay attention to them when there’s something different. In my opinion, the cleverest ideas to advertise in unusual places are relevant, innovative, and relatively cheap. But the best and memorable ones are the ones that can add entertainment and bring a smile on our face.
For example, straws, something that we take without taking another second to look at. But what is a better way to show flexibility through a bendable straw? This was an ad by Leo Burnett Shanghai for a yoga center, distributed in a nearby juice bar (also health-related: very clever targeting). It’s a win-win situation for juice bars to receive these straws for free too, and the best part is it is fun and interactive: I mean, when else do you get to bend someone easily and successfully with one hand?
Another example is toilet paper: We are all used to seeing blank, white toilet paper. But the Silverman brothers were smart enough to realize that, being in toilet is one of the only times when people aren’t doing much multi-tasking—so why not give them something to pay attention to on the much needed toilet paper? These toilet paper rolls were delivered for free to a number of restaurants—and again, it is a win-win situation for both parties.
How about crosswalk? What if you see something like this when you’re crossing the road to go to work? It is much more fun than the old plain black and white, and it is totally relevant to Mr. Clean’s product. Perhaps, the next time when you see a stain in your sink, you will think of Mr. Clean. And at the very least, this ad probably already made your morning a little brighter.
So what’s your opinion on ads in unusual places? While we may be annoyed by all the ads that try to get at us, some of these ingenious ads are so clever that we forget they are advertisements (and thus willing to fall in the trap of purchasing…).