These New York Billboards Got Tons of Attention

These New York Billboards Got Tons of Attention

If you’ve been to New York City, or you live there, you know how many billboards are plastered around town. There are static billboards, digital billboards, signs, and more. No matter where you look, you’ll see an advertisement for something. For that reason, new york billboards need to stand out even more than billboards in other cities. If you’re looking at a sea of billboards, you want yours to stand out more than the rest, right? Here are some of the best billboards that New York has seen in the past few decades. 

John Lennon and Yoko Ono 

In 1969, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, spreading information about the war and peace, took to billboards to further spread their message. A black and white billboard in Times Square read, “War is Over! If You WAnt it. Happy Christmas from John; Yoko.”

This billboard wasn’t just famous at the time, but it grew in fame for years and years after it was put up. For the time, it was a bold statement, and it didn’t go unnoticed. 

Calvin Klein 

In the early 1980s, most billboards featured fully-clothed men and women, so when Calvin Klein unveiled their first billboard featuring Tom Hintnaus in only briefs, the ad literally caused traffic to come to a halt. This was so new and unheard of that people talked about the ad for months. However, after the publication of the Calvin Klein advertisement, billboards of a similar vein began popping up everywhere. 

These days, it’s pretty common to see a model wearing a pair of briefs or a bra and underwear when walking or driving through New York City. 


Ray-Bans sunglasses are known for being high-quality and sometimes overpriced, but their marketing department definitely knows what they’re doing. They do a great job at using the area around them to their advantage. In one ad campaign, they advertised on the glass awnings at bus stops, making it so the outline of a pair of sunglasses would show up on the ground like a shadow. 

This was a great use of the space and a very creative advertising method. Whoever went to these bus stops and saw these creative ads were left speechless. It’s simple, yet effective. 

BBC World 

One BBC World advertisement took perspective to another level, using a corner billboard to share a message with passersby. Using perspective is a great way to trick the eye and also captivate people. BBC World did this by showing an advertisement with two different sides, one that read “See both sides” and the other that said, “of the story.” 

This billboard did a great job conveying the message and the theme of the network at the same time. If your billboard can tell a story, you’ve done a great job. 


Netflix has a lot of fun with their ads every year, but one billboard series stood out more than the rest. For their festival “Netflix is a Joke Fest” they posted billboards, but instead of having their regular message, they instead said “Netflix is a Joke” over them in big letters. This is a great tactic as it reaches the right audience with its self-deprecating humor. 

Not only that, but it’s also something that sticks in your head long after you see it. After driving by the billboard, it sticks around in your brain. Why is Netflix a joke? Netflix isn’t a joke, that doesn’t make any sense. It’s reverse psychology that’s incredibly well-implemented. 

The Grinch

When the new Grinch movie came out a few years ago, they put up billboards across the United States, with quotes from the grinch himself. These weren’t actual quotes from the movie, but instead things the grinch might have said about the specific cities that the billboards were located in. For example, New York City’s billboard read, “Rude. Loud. Angry. New Yorkers are my kinda people.” Another in NYC read, “Good luck getting those Hamilton tickets.” Another billboard in Chicago said, “I’ve seen windier cities.” 

These billboards were so great because they connected with the people who saw them. They were personal, on a surface level. People in different cities got to see ads that made sense to them because of where they lived, which made the campaign more effective. 

Going Beyond the Billboard

The most important thing when creating your own billboard concepts is to forget about the restraints a billboard has. Thinking outside of the box (or outside of the billboard, if you will) is what made so many of these advertising campaigns so successful. So, get creative with it, and you may find yourself with an attention-grabbing advertisement on your hands.


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