Outdoor advertising can get pretty boring and repetitive after a while – especially if you’re like me and have a long drive to and from work every day. That is why I appreciate when advertisers choose to do something fun and unique with their ads!
Case in point – I love these bus bench advertisements from Tradesman, a local heating and cooling company. On its own, the Trademan brand lacked the recognition or stickiness that would differentiate them from their competition. To make their bus benches stand out, they included a picture of their cat in their bus bench design!
The first time I saw the bench, I had to do a double take! The cat looked so real, just sitting. It took a second glance before I realized he was a part of the bench. That week, I mentioned the ‘bus bench with the cat’ to several of my coworkers and they all knew immediately what I was talking about! The cat had left an impression.
It was a few weeks after I first saw the bus bench when, by chance, a man from Tradesman walked into my office (I recognized the logo from the bus bench). I asked him about the cat and it turns out, the cat’s name was Charlie and he was the designated Tradesman shop cat!
Why It Works
The uniqueness of Charlie on that bus bench makes it stand out against other outdoor advertising. Tradesman executed a very aggressive outdoor strategy which many bus benches all around the city. Once you notice the bus bench, each sighting reinforces the message and the logo and messaging become very familiar over time. There were also different versions of the bench to add variety and to hold your interest!
When you have limited time to catch your viewer’s attention and to stand out from the crowd – a little humour can go a long way! You can start by thinking about what makes your business unique from your competition. Do you have an interesting story to share? One that will resonate with your people? Charlie the cat got me talking to my coworkers. People were sharing on social media. Getting the conversation started is building brand awareness. The more people talking about you, the more successful your campaign! (Just make sure it’s the type of conversation you want!)