OOH Truck-side Creativity Around the Globe

In the advertising world – creativity is king. Why? Because we’re constantly being exposed to advertisements every day, from every source imaginable – which makes it almost impossible to stand out. Fortunately for advertisers, creativity gives them the opportunity to be unique, create brand loyalty, and increase revenue. After all, if you can capture a targeted audience, you can sell them your product. 

The One Club, a non-profit organization, has even created a set of awards that celebrates creativity, because they believe that encouraging excellence should be honoured. Although around for many years, out-of-home (OOH) truck-side advertising has become quite the phenomenon recently in terms of its creative prowess. With the introduction of new technologies, OOH truck-side ads deliver targeted impressions at a more competitive rate than standard billboards – and they’re doing so in an extremely creative way. Just like The One Club, I think it’s important to recognize and praise some of the best OOH truck-side ads from around the world. Let’s take a look at three prevalent categories of truck-side ads that caused the world to stop, stare, and understand that there are limitless possibilities.

Thinking outside of the literal box

According to a recent LucidPress article, 45% of customers expect great design across marketing and sales. This comes as no surprise when considering the pace of our society today and the ability to create designs that are both technologically and creatively advanced. The following are just a few companies who have not seen the plainness of a truck as a hindrance to creativity. Instead, they’ve used the simplicity to create something entirely unique.

Flower wall truck wrap by Jet Fresh Flower Distributors in Miami
The flower company, Jet Fresh Flower, created a permanent moving flower wall wrap just in time for Mother’s Day last year. They created the wrap by using a small tile of freshly cut flowers that they then photographed, enlarged, and duplicated to create a stunning and cohesive truck design.

An image of a bed of flowers

In neon pink cursive writing, the words, “Hello, Beautiful” and, “Hola, Hermosa”, appear on both sides of the truck – taking into consideration the cultural and bilingual context of the city.

Cadbury advent calendar campaign by Golin, Elvis, PHD, Drum, and RPM, in Birmingham
Reminiscent of Coca-Cola’s Christmas fleet campaign, Cadbury counts down the days until Christmas with a life-size chocolate advent calendar. Each truck is numbered from 1 to 24 and each day, one of the trucks departs from Cadbury’s hometown of Bournville and travels to cities all over the UK and Ireland delivering chocolate to families everywhere. This cleverly integrated ad campaign definitely set Cadbury apart from its competitors and did so in a way that created tangible joy for consumers.

An image of an assortment of trucks with Cadbury chocolate advertising on them.

Truck art tradition in India drives business
In India, truck deliveries are one of the major economic resources as they provide goods and services to every part of the country – most notably to rural places that are inaccessible by railway. Truck drivers can spend up to 10 months on the road every year, which is why they decorate them with colourful slogans and delicately painted symbols.

An image of two colourful backs of trucks.

Not only are they beautiful to look at, the symbols and phrases reflect the character of the driver and stand out to new clients. According to graphic designer and filmmaker, Shantanu Suman, “the truck is like a moving billboard. A better looking truck attracts more business”. This style of truck-side advertising is a brilliant way of promoting business and is certainly unique to India.

An image of th eback of a truck that is colourfully painted with symbols.

An image of the inside of a very colourfully painted truck.

Humour takes the cake

People enjoy being humoured and entertained rather than pitched to. According to research done by Millward Brown, a market research company, ads with humour on average score in the 74th percentile for involvement, while ads without, score in the 42nd percentile. Consumers want to feel like they’re part of the inside joke, which in turn, sparks brand recognition. The following are a few truck-side ads that have been able to capture an audience with humour using OOH advertising in a fun and creative way.

Paddy Power cheeky political ad in Westminster
Paddy Power sent a truck to Parliament on the eve of an election that warned MP’s that they might be fired the following day. According to the betting company, 75% of MPs in parliament were expected to be unseated after the election. The saying, “you’re getting sacked in the morning” is a popular football chant in the UK, which adds to the cheekiness of the ad. Not only is Paddy Power making a saucy political statement, they’re also cleverly urging consumers to place their election bets with Paddy Power.

An image of a truck in front of parliament. The truck has an ad for Paddy Power that says, "You're getting sacked in the morning".

Virgin Mobile released in Bristol UK by Rapp
In response to Bristol Telecom’s sassy billboard ad that claims Bristol residents shouldn’t have to “settle for Virgin”, Virgin Media hits back with a clever and provocative truck-side ad. Virgin Media separates the B and T with asterisk’s to suggest a swear word while also hinting at the fact that BT provides slow internet – with the facts to back it up. Oftentimes, ads can go from witty to off-putting very quickly. However, with this ad, Virgin Media stays classy while getting their point across to their target audience as well as their competitors. 

An image of a truck-side ad for Virgin Mobile that says, "B******T our fastest average speed in Bristol is 516Mbps. That's loads faster than BT. Enough said.". Also has a BT ad in the background on a billboard.

Ads for change

The advertisements that we’re constantly exposed to, paint a picture of the society we live in. Now, more than ever before, consumers want to not only relate to the companies they buy into, but also want to share similar views about the world. It’s one thing to be able to market to a specific audience and a whole other thing to resonate with them and believe in the same ideals. The following are a couple brands that have been able to use OOH truck-side ads in their quest for social change and responsibility.

PETA ad released in San Diego by Nim Shapira ad company
PETA, a headstrong animal rights organization, paired with Nim Shapira ad agency to call attention to the harm that SeaWorld causes to its animals. Released in San Diego, the truck-side ad mimics a cage in which a whale appears to be trapped. Rather than urging consumers to buy into a product, PETA is advising potential customers to steer clear of SeaWorld because of the cruelty that the animals are subject to there, of which the average person might’ve not previously known about.

An image of a truck-side ad for PETA. The ad says, "Collapsed fins. Broekn teeth. Tiny cell. Prisoner of SeaWorld! Don't go!" with an image of a whale.

‘Brewing a Better Future’ campaign by Heineken in Amsterdam
As part of their sustainability campaign, Heineken released their biggest-ever electric truck in the Netherlands. The truck toured around the city of Rotterdam, distributing Heineken while promoting their efforts to reduce CO2 emissions. The truck makes roughly 22 tons of CO2 savings annually, which heavily reduces distribution emissions. This ad, along with the entire campaign, promotes Heineken as a forward-thinking and environmentally conscious company, which in turn, is appealing to both existing and potential consumers.

An image of a truck-side ad for Heineken that says, "Heerlijk, dat groene rijden!". The truck is green and has two cases of beer joining together as if to be plugged in.

Samsung’s life saving truck screens by Leo Burnett in Argentina

Truck-related accidents in Argentina are among the highest in the world, so Samsung decided to team up with the ad agency Leo Burnett to try and reduce these numbers through their creative truck design. Samsung placed huge screens on the back of their trucks that reflect a live video transmitted by wireless camera on the front of the truck, to show cars what’s happening in front of them. This innovative design shows cars that want to overtake a truck, when it is safe to do so. Through this campaign, Samsung not only uses technology in an extremely clever way, but also demonstrates their social responsibility in their desire to save lives.

An image of a one-lane highway that focuses on a truck-side ad with a camera on the back of it displaying what is being seen by the truck driver at the front.

Wrap up

Creative OOH truck-side ads are arguably the most interesting and the most expansive way to reach a targeted audience. Learning about all the possibilities that truck-side ads can produce, it comes as no surprise that companies spend 46% of their budget on content creation. Creativity sparks engagement which – in turn – generates revenue. Through imaginative, humorous, and impactful advertising, we see brands come to life around the world and – what better way to do so than with OOH truck-side ads.

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