Another countdown to 2010, in the past ten years the internet (and this website) has matured its way up to "2.0", everyone on earth learned to play along in the security theatre at airports and advertising has broken new grounds offline, these days its not so much ad creep as a great wave of advertising molasses seeking to cover every inch of the earth. Lets see the top ten oddest and most innovative new ad media ideas in the past ten years, shall we?
Eggvertising. You can have your egg and brand it too.
Egg ads media in Canada sold this space alone, meanwhile some folks in London decided that the sandwich wrapper made a great unused ad space, and now no food was safe - we had Printed pringles with logos straight on them, Nanner ads on Bananas, Gourmet impressions - selling ad space on pizza and even ads inside your Tokitos.
It was enough to make us loose our appetite.
Acclaim Entertainment hoaxed when they claimed to use Homing pigeons to promote a computer tennis game during Wimbledon.
The idea of ads on animals wasn't so far fetched, as we'll later see, but this never actually happened.
Acclaim also called dibs on "Deadvertising", stating that they put ads on tombstones for the game Second Coming. They never did, but people were far too busy being outraged about the idea to notice, and we think that the media on tombstones might soon be sold by an agency near you. Lets call this tactic "hoaxvertising", as in "if you press release enough people about it, it becomes true".
#3 Advertising on rooftops, with the birth of Google Earth came a new ad space, rooftops and the new media agency RoofShout was only so happy to sell this new space, though one wonders if he ever did.
Not the first ads created only to be seen from the air, mind you, circlemakers and other agencies have helped out in creating ads on hills and fields, usually placed near airports. In the naughts, huge brands like Axe, Nike and Douwe Egberts had ads grown, painted and pressed into the landscape, to be seen only by airline passengers flying overhead.
#4 One Second ads - 'Subliminal advertising' came of age, by not being the least bit subliminal. The One Second breath freshener ad which AdAge incorrectly reported was "the first one second ad ever", wasn't, of course - Guniess book of records ran this one second ad already back in 1993. Then Miller High Life joined in on the blipverts, by airing this one second ad during the super bowl, our Oscars night of advertising, making one-second blipvertising mainstream once and for all.
Ads on Cash, what was once reserved for cheap car washes and underground ideas such as Washington stating "I Grew Hemp", advanced with GoGorilla claiming that they invented the media as they advertised the TV show traffic on bills, and MoneyMarketing media agency selling coin-ad space specifically. I don't know what happened to them after they discovered that defacing money is illegal though. The money-ad idea didn't want to die quite yet though and the Gothenburg post broke the law while pointing out that a subscription was only 2 SEK a day.
Bovine ads. moo-ving billboards, Banksy street art idea morphed into real ad space.
Our oldest noted record of bovine billboards was way back in '96, but it was the mid-naughts where animals became billboards best friend. Or went to the dogs, depending on who you ask. In '02 it was called "Dogvertising" when strawberry Frog used it. In '01 it was called "barking billboards", and in '06 when Willy's sent out big and small dogs all over town they just called it funny. Not to be confused with the billboards meant for dogs, Bark of you love Bonzo with an actual dog whistle sound in it in '01.
Advertising on body parts was the trend that never ended. There was sponsor my melon, later dubbed headvertising with a media agency set on selling vacant adspace on students foreheads. There was pregvertising, an idea later used by a Jennifer Gordon to score tickets to the superbowl... and then there was the Dutch design student who came up with the clever idea of selling ad space on prostitutes.
Ever popular assvertising appeared everywhere, which even Gene Simmons used (not on his own ass, mind you). Assvertisnig should not be confused with bumvertising, the idea of using homeless people to promote Pizza Schmizza, for the price of a slice. The Sisterhood Augustinessen nuns even created special warm coats for the homeless where there was an ad space on the back, Ben and Jerry's used it to promote ice-cream in the middle of the winter. And you think us ad folk are cold. Tssk!
And to end this humans as ad space trend on a high note, a mother claimed to have tattoed her forehead with Goldenpalace.com so that she could use the "$10,000 to send her son Brady, left, to a private school." (clearly, not the brightest bulb in the box if she thinks that will cover tuition). I could not believe it and paged Snopes, even when the journalist himself told me that he witnessed the event, as Goldenpalace had a long string of temporary tattoo-sporting folks streaking in their name before. Goldenpalace also claims to have tattoed a few women's cleavages back then, but there is no mention of this on their web pages today. We blame ourselves for mocking the tattoo-idea in pigeon holed rant way-back when.
#8 Street art & Stencils - Not everyones cup of tea, and the backlash was pretty strong as advertising vs street art battle rages in New York and the real street artists get pissed. Still, stencil ads, and other uses of street art ideas reached new heights, with everyone from Vespa to Verizon joining in.
The most topical of these ads was the Visine Dry Eye Relief that 'cleaned' away dirt to reveal the message that visine could help those itchy eyes after the dust storm in Oz. Street art style, graffiti and ads-seen-from air was becoming mainstream already by '05, and new variations such as mud stencils and amazing 3D chalk drawings were used for ads. While the early adopters like IBM & their Linux chalk, were fined for their littering nobody learned as Verizon was fined for their orange chalk five years later. I'd teach you how to make that chalk actually go away, since I myself did a similar campaign back in '98 but you'll have to pay me for that how-to. (It's so much easier than you think too, which amuses me to no end)
#9 Beamvertising grew up. burning Pandas ran across building for the WWF, PUMA hijacked Stockholm library as adspace (and forgot to ask permission), a Lexus and a cheetah raced in Russia, Pepsi branded the most visible building in Stockholm... and then HBO Voyeur came and kicked everyone in the pants by showing us how it really should be done. They raked home the awards for this, including a Cannes Grand Prix.
HBO - Voyeur - (2008) 3:07 (USA)
#10 Caff seems to have accidentally predicted the future with her old post "butterfly wings? Lets hope not - as this year Eichborn sent out real live flies carrying banners as advertising at a book fair, and with that the trend of actually advertising on insects has begun.
After all that, I'm not sure what to expect from the next ten years. Advertising is officially omnipresent.