Posts Tagged ‘differentiate’

Not Your Typical BillBored

June 8th, 2010

Despite the growth of mobile and web advertising, traditional methods such as billboards are still being used. Billboards are great because of their location and reach, but how many of them have just become the same old, boring advertisement? They have become billboreds! If companies aren’t trying to be creative or interesting in their approach to billboard advertising nowadays, their effectiveness is low.

In comes the Ford Motor Company advertising their 2010 Mustang.

Ford Mustang Burnout Billboard

Courtesy of

The text on the bottom right reads:

This billboard was showcased in Detroit, MI at the Woodward Dream Cruise, the world’s largest one-day automotive event. A smoke machine was installed behind the board, and every few minutes the rear wheel would spin, spewing smoke for the ultimate one-minute burnout.”

Not only does this billboard hit a lot of eyes, but it hits a lot of specific eyes, eyes that LOVE cars.

Additionally, the ad agency, Team Detroit, brought this traditional advertising method to a new level. Sure it’s not the first time someone got creative with a billboard, far from it, but they definitely did something interesting. Therein lies the point; interesting ads of any form have greater success in capturing attention because they are different. Differentiation leads to increased memory of the ad and increased word of mouth.

As great as this is, it could have been better. Of those who have commented on this at, a few have mentioned that the smoke is just not enough. They needed to include sound! How much better would this have been if not only did everyone see the smoke from the burnout, but got to hear the deep, powerful sound of 315 horsepower V-8 engine. It’s not a secret that one of the attractive features of a Ford Mustang is its beastly roar. I have never witnessed a sound-emitting billboard, but this would have been a good one.

Another way to grasp people’s attention and hold onto it by latching into their memory is through the sense of smell. Would it have been possible, or too much, to expel the scent of burning rubber along with the smoke?

Despite not reaching potential, this was still an exceptional billboard. What do you think?

Update on June 8th: Here is a video of the billboard in action!

Bryan Ricard Advertising , , , ,

Take Your Own Path

May 8th, 2010

It’s that time of year again, when students everywhere don their caps, gowns, and tassels at a ceremony that transitions them from college life to the real world. This past Wednesday was the cap and gown convocation at Rhode Island College and I witnessed many proud seniors walking around in delight as they were one step closer to receiving their degrees. While I congratulate everyone on their accomplishment I did feel slightly left out as I am not graduating this May with everyone else.

Note: If you want to skip the story and go straight to the point, ignore the following three paragraphs.

After graduating High School in 2005, I had every intention of continuing on to the next level of education, just not right away. Like many young adults, I had no clear idea on what I wanted to do with my life. I threw around the idea of graphic design at Gibbs College, but that was quickly dismissed. I already felt the urge to go into management, or some form of general business, but I was not ready to attend college; so I didn’t. All I knew was that I wanted my ideas to be part of something bigger than me. I took a year off from school altogether and continued to work while many people said I would lose any motivation to go to college; these folks underestimated me.

Ultimately, I applied to one college the following year, Rhode Island College, and was accepted. I decided to get a B.S. in Management (which later turned into Operations Management), and essentially, what did I accomplish by waiting? I could have attended RIC immediately after High School and at least got some of my general education classes out of the way; this is a concept I don’t think I quite understood at the time. I ended up going to the same college I more than likely would have attended had I applied a year prior, and striving for the same degree at that. Had I been on the same educational path as most of my High School peers, I would have graduated in May of 2008, so why am I bringing this up now?

It didn’t really bother me that I would be “a year behind” my high school class. However, it’s more than that. I decided to add a second major, Marketing, and this added another semester to my college career. While it’s only one extra semester, it may not have been extra had I added the Marketing major sooner and packed my earlier semesters tighter. I could go the other way with this one though, I have had multiple 5 and 6-class semesters, on top of summer classes, that have allowed me to only need one extra semester.

My point is this…it’s natural to question your decisions in life. It’s very easy for me to say “Damn, I could have been done with college a year ago!” While that may have been nice, how do I know my life would have been any better up to this point? I don’t. Thinking about the “what if’s” and “shoulda coulda woulda’s” doesn’t get you anywhere and is just a waste of time. Don’t get me wrong, thinking about the future in these terms can be fun and great for setting goals, but don’t waste your time regretting anything.

You are you, and you are where you are for a reason. Had I not taken the path I am on now, I may not have had all the opportunities and success I have seen thus far. I don’t know what I’d be doing right now had I graduated in 2008, but I also don’t care. The decisions that led me here were already made and I cannot change that, so why bother thinking about it?

Invest your time, thoughts and efforts into what you can control; and that excludes the past.

Bryan Ricard Life Lessons , , ,