Billboards & Brands


I know I said I’d do the next post on image manipulation, but it’s 4am and what an ungodly hour to be climbing out of bed to catch a flight, anyone that knows the London airports routes knows well to leave themselves plenty of time to get there… Today the signs were saying M4 J1-3 Closed…. thank god they actually weren’t.

But on the drive to the airport it got me thinking again about branding and all the different way brands advertise their static adverts, as I cross the Hammersmith flyover you can see some fine examples of these ads… and now they are going digital, but what is the viewers perception of these billboards when they have been badly hung, defaced, torn down, smothered with glue or the print of the different sheets are different colours.

Does it give the viewer a sense of quality in your brand?

Image from

Ok so looking around central London you will find most of the billboards in pretty good nick and they are updated on a regular basis to keep them that way, you only need to come a few miles out where the quality drops to include some of the misfortunes described above.

Now you may argue that some brands (say Coca Cola) are too big for any damage to be done, and you know your probably right, then you also have to ask why they need to advertise at such a grand scale anyway…. So what about small brands that are trying to break into your mind and fix their product on your shopping list?

Lets look at another megabrand, say Vodafone my mobile network, what does their brand message communicate and how is it affected by the locations the billboards are placed? When I’m driving through Brixton do I want to know that they are offering a tariff far better than the one I’m stuck on or do I want to know how they are improving their network…. Maybe the public is telling them what they think with the graffiti they spray all over it, or the rewording of the text content?


I know, your thinking where the hell is the link to premedia here, and yes I haven’t made one yet, so here goes, what if during the creation stage of the advertising your premedia portal provided the means to view the billboard in location and book space on them in the process, and extend that further, what if your system could monitor or store images of the space used for wrong public doing, or poor workmanship since this is your brand you are advertising.

Good Example

As the web becomes more and more integrated into our daily lives and Google offers applications that we can program on top them integrating a system that pin-pointed all the billboards (for instance) should be easy, in fact I have seen it done by a software solution provider in Germany for a German hardware chain, I was impressed and wondered why no-one was using this same type of system for all sorts of purposes in the UK. This is not the only example I’ve seen, there are many companies using both Google Earth and Microsoft Virtual Earth to sell virtual billboard space, now that is smart….. And what with the amount of mash-ups and the ability to create your own mash-up you can integrate what ever you like!

Map Mashups

So let me leave you with this thought or sorry visual of a person defacing the Sloggi brand…..

Blog Update: I shot this from my Blackberry on the way into London…. Is this really what you pay for to advertise your Brand!

Is this your Brand Advert?

Is this your Brand Advert?

Author: Gary George

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

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