Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Rapala Cats Billboard

As part of my job, I'm responsible for all of our marketing touch points - TV, radio, digital, newspapers - you name it.  One component, albeit a small one for us, is billboard advertising (or, as we say in the industry, out-of-home advertising).

We had an agency visiting us last week and were doing some brainstorming around leveraging billboards as a hedge from getting our mass media messages bumped during the election cycle (by law, political ads can "bump" previously purchased, traditional ads.  Big surprise there, right?).

During our conversations, I sung the praises of Rapala's billboard advertising.  Rapala is a hard bait for fishing, and a damned fine one at that.  As such, one wouldn't think that billboard would be the best vehicle for them, but they use it almost exclusively.  

But more than that, they're usually hilarious.  

Usually they just show their product, a huge Rapala logo, and some creative tag line.  Among those I've seen are:

More hits than Google
Take a fish boating
Go catching
Bass lip piercing kit
Hits Happen
Captain Phillip DeFishcooler
Bass Friends Forever

However, my favorite all-time billboard was one from 2006.  The board was on I-394 out of Minneapolis, and just featured their product and a logo.  No catchy tagline was included.  I was really curious and a little put off, because their billboards are usually so clever.

A couple of days later, a cat appeared sitting atop their billboard.  A few days later, another cat joined in.  Here's how it progressed:

This campaign is 10 years old, and still sticks with me.  It helps that I'm a huge Rapala fanboy (I'll be doing my share of trolling with them here in a couple of weeks), but still, one has to admit that this is one clever campaign.


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Please feel free to include any thoughts you may have. Know, however, that kiddos might be reading this, so please keep the adult language to yourself. I know, for me to ask that language is clean is a stretch...