The Most Iconic Billboards Of All Time

The Most Iconic Billboards Of All Time

Outdoor advertising is everywhere, but in its largest form, the ‘Billboard’ is the most eye-catching. It’s a science and an art, but whilst advertising campaigns come and go – some have an impact that stays long after the posters come down. What is it that makes them stand out?

The most iconic of them all – ‘Hello Boys!’ (1994)

When Eva Herzigova greeted male drivers with the iconic ‘Hello Boys’ in her billboard ads back in 1994, it not only propelled her to stardom but thousands of motorists into a frenzy.

Blamed for causing both high temperatures and countless accidents, the ad was voted the most ‘iconic’ of the past few decades, in a poll by the outdoor advertising trade body, the Outdoor Media Centre.

Whilst feminists were up in arms, calling the advert ‘degrading’, other women were rushing to the stores in their millions, revitalising their love lives and Wonderbra’s profits, whilst the campaign remains one of the most influential in the history of advertising.

Political Comment – ‘Labour Isn’t Working’ (1979)

The second-place vote went to the ‘Labour Isn’t Working’ campaign, which was credited as a major factor in Margaret Thatcher’s rise to power in the 1979 General Election. Saatchi and Saatchi were the agency behind the campaign, focusing on unemployment and depicting a dole queue.

1914 War Recruitment Poster – Lord Kitchener Wants You

The sign of a great piece of work is when it’s not only remembered but emulated. There may not be many people alive today who remember the original, but we’re all familiar with the iconic image – now adorning everything from posters through to China and tea towels.

His Master’s Voice (The Gramophone Company, 1901)

The trademark image comes from a painting by English artist Francis Barraud. Acquired from the artist in 1899 by the newly formed Gramophone Company, the image showed the dog ‘Nipper’ depicted as he listened to recordings of his deceased owner’s voice. The company became known as HMV (his master’s voice) – and the logo and the motto were used and translated worldwide.

Management trainee aged 42 (The Economist, 1991)

More of a subtle approach, but when you get it – it hits home. He’s a management trainee. He’s 42. And he doesn’t read ‘The Economist’. And that’s why he’s where he is…. It’s succinct and brilliant!

Others in the top 10:

Pregnant Man (The Health Education Council, 1969)
Araldite (Ciba Geigy, 1983)
Think Different (Apple, 2003)
Beanz Meanz Heinz (Heinz, 1966)
Dumb Animals (Greenpeace, 1984)

The above examples show that a great campaign requires creativity, planning and excellent siting. We’d be happy to help you discuss your next one.

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