10 June, 2009

Intern Sweatshop: Use Only What You Need

Brandon Musso, Creative Department Intern

David Ogilvy once wrote: “I have a passion for landscape, and I have never seen one improved by a billboard.” Seeing as there is enough advertising clutter out there anyway, I completely agree that billboards popping up all over the countryside are unsightly and monotonous. Once in a while, however, a billboard will stand out for breaking barriers and sending a positive message. Though you may hate the medium, there are billboards that are so creative you almost forget you’re looking at a thirty-foot metal obstruction. Plus, if the message is promoting being eco-friendly, it’s almost balanced out, right? Take a look at this clever billboard from Eskom, a South African electric company.

Though it could be argued that the billboard is only effective 50% of the time, the message is still effective during the day. The spot works visually by only using the space that’s needed. Apparently, this billboard won a Grand Prix at the Loeries, which is surprising seeing as the company is basically telling consumers not to use its product. It also seems Eskom is not well liked by locals in South Africa, so this was a smart move that will hopefully cast the company in a better public light (pun intended).
It immediately reminded me of a campaign I saw for the Denver Water company from the Colorado based Sukle Advertising & Design. The company wanted to break through the clutter and tell its customers to “use only what you need.” I daresay it was effective:

Pretty literal and definitely outstanding. I applaud the campaign for turning your typical loud, colorful, obnoxious billboard into art with a message. To find out more about the Denver Water campaign, check out www.useonlywhatyouneed.org

Brandon Musso, Creative Department Intern

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