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Flying Hippo’s Favorite Five: Environmental Ads

Eric Groves

By Eric Groves

You’re exposed to hundreds of advertisements every day. A lot of them are easily forgettable and blend into the advertising clutter. Among all of the bland advertising, you have probably seen a couple that at least brought out a small chuckle, or made you think “alright, that was clever.” Environmental ads have a real opportunity to stand out- quite literally. Here are our favorite five that think far outside of the typical billboard:


To promote IBM’s “People for smarter cities” campaign, they wanted to create advertising that was useful and functional…or smart. These environmental ads are not your average billboards. By adding a simple curve or extension, a plain billboard becomes an umbrella, bench, or ramp up a set of stairs. This campaign effectively grabbed attention, and got people thinking about smart solutions for cities, which was their goal!


These benches give a whole new meaning to the tagline “give me a break.” They look so much like real Kit Kat bars, that you might want to take a bite. Nestle has even built a whole website around the “take a break” benches where you can locate them, personalize your break and activities you can do while you’re on your break. But, if you’re looking for a chocolatey bench to sit upon, you’ll have to book your ticket to the Philippines where this campaign is active in parks.


British Airways choose to point out the obvious with a smart, interactive billboard. Everyone notices when an airplane flies overhead. It’s loud and very visible. They used this to their advantage to create a smart billboard that comes to life when an airplane flies overhead, pointing out which flight number is above, and its destination.


A campaign created by Australia’s Cancer Institute, “Pretty Shady” aims to eliminate skin cancer one summer at a time. And to raise awareness, they have created environmental advertising that grabs your attention with a claw. Literally. They gave away free sunscreen at a bus stop using a claw machine game. Check out the campaign’s website here.


IWC rolled out this clever bus strap advertisement for their Big Pilot Chrono watch. While riding a bus or train, the handles to hold for stability had the image and shape of their watch, and by putting your wrist through it, you got an idea of what it would look like on your wrist. Now that’s a pretty clever way to have someone try on your product!



Don’t worry. We won’t pollute your inbox. We’re *environmentally* friendly.

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