OOH ads can go far beyond simple billboards. Ads like Chick-fil-A’s Cow campaign, which incorporates three-dimensional objects, activate consumers in the highly competitive fast food industry.
3-D billboards may seem costly, but Chick-fil-A adapted them as a unique cost-saving alternative to TV commercials, the favored tactic of their competitors.
The Richards Group, an ad agency headquartered in Dallas, TX, designed the billboards to stand out through larger than life creative. The tactic helped build the brand to become the “No. 1 fast-food chain in terms of sales per store.”
Chick-fil-A’s first 3-D cow campaign in 1995 featured two cows painting a billboard pleading for burger connoisseurs to “Eat Mor Chicken.”
The good ideas didn’t stop there. After the original billboard debuted, the agency continued to grow their fan base with new ideas. Themes stretched from political cows to cows talking to Santa for the holidays.
Chick-fil-A’s cow campaign is so successful because the 3-D objects are humanized when they ask the world to give up beef.
“With the cows, the conflict is never resolved. People root for the low-status character, and the cows are low status. They’re the underdog,” says The Richard Group’s Rob VanGorden, a principal on the Chick-fil-A account.
Many people have grown to love the cows over the years. The 3-D ads have received award after award, including admittance into the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame in 2007.
The cows’ have herd enough but cannot hide from the ongoing fight that will never be resolved—keeping the audience interested for years (and campaigns) to come.
DOmedia loves to see how far Chick-fil-A has grown throughout the years with the help of OOH advertising and their innovative 3-D billboards.