Let’s face it, most out-of-home advertising is pretty ordinary. Too many times we see marketers treating the medium in the same way they would print. This often results in poor execution through too many words, unclear and small fonts, inappropriate call to actions and poorly contrasting colours.
Meet the Kansas City Royals, World Series Champs and now Outdoor Advertising Champs. Over the last four years the Kansas City Royals billboards have maximised the potential of the outdoor medium.
Let’s have a look!
In 2013, Walz Tetrick Advertising developed two Kansas City Royals billboards through featuring James Shields, on one side of the expressway, pitching to Salvador Perez on the other; the speed of the pitch ripping through the billboard as Perez prepares to catch.
The sharp interplay between the billboards generated an enormous amount of earned and social media (not to mention the eyeballs of over 100,000 vehicles a day).
AdWeek proclaimed it one of the 10 best billboards in the previous two years.
Speed was also the theme in 2014 as Alex Gordon slides for an extra base taking the vinyl with him in the process! The ad was Clio gold winner in the Out of Home category.
Deciding to go to a game is an emotional decision, said Jeff Chase, creative director for Walz Tetrick Advertising. “We really want to capture the emotion of what it feels like to be a fan.”
In the wake of the Royals’ first American League pennant in 29 years, the Royals launched their Forever Royal campaign.
The billboard shows Jarrod Dyson’s feet “as he burns the base path — and the billboard itself — on his way to second base” and features “charred plywood and glowing embers,”
The treatment was so realistic that people phoned the Kansas City Fire Department to report an actual fire!
But in 2016, they have lifted it to another level altogether with their most immersive creative yet. The Royals of course took the next step in 2015taking out the World Series. The 2016 billboard shows catcher Salvador Perez dumping a three-dimensional Gatorade bucket.
In just 24 hours this billboard has appeared all over the media and on social media platforms. Using Perez himself to launch it, the Royals than encouraged fans to take selfies using the #SalvySpash hashtag to go in the draw to win a World Series prize pack.
1. Less is more. Keep it simple
For great billboards, six words or preferred. Marketers tend to cram in too many words. Billboards are mainly aimed at passing traffic. They won’t get read! Bored drivers need to be entertained quickly.
2. Outstanding photography and high contrasting colors
Out of home advertising is a visual medium that competes with a lot of clutter. Make it visually impactful and interesting.
3. Have an objective
It is unclear what many billboards are trying to achieve. The Kansas City Royals Billboards are very simple. The season is coming, get excited! And whatever you don’t, avoid direct response!
4. Be bold and creative
Billboards are blank canvases that aren’t confined to the two dimensional media opportunity presented! The Royals and bring these to life Walz Tetrick Advertising through making them three-dimensional and giving the impression of movement.
5. Kansas City Royals Billboards tell a story
The phrase “That’s what speed do” is well known to Royals fans. It was made famous in an interview of Jarrod Dyson in 2013, the same Jarrod Dyson who is burning the billboard in 2015! The #SalvySplash billboard plays on Royals’ catcher Salvador Perez’s regular post-game celebrations.
6. Drag the viewer in
If the graphics and message are thought provoking and create a vivid mental picture that tells a story-line, creates drama and excitement, they will draw the viewer into the story. The Kansas City Royals billboards are marvellous examples of interactive design. The ripped vinyl or 3D bucket make the billboard look all the more realistic and eye-catching.
7. Spread the word
By virtue of their brilliant creative and excellent execution, the Royals are able to attain a reach far beyond the 100,000 vehicles passing each day. They have garnered significant earned media coverage. In addition they have made the billboards social by asking fans to take selfies and use the #SalvySpalsh hashtag.