If you are involved in advertising, more than ever, there are two mediums that you shouldn’t ignore- the web and outdoor.

We’re here trying to educate clients (and other ad agencies) about not making “brochure-ware” websites and “Chest-beater” sites.

Definition of a chest-beater website:

a ego-centric site all about the site owner, and how great they are, without any real, useful information, typically built in Flash, so it’s guaranteed not to index or be W3C compliant (accessible to blind people).

Example copy: We’re the best advertising agency in the world- and that’s why you should hire us. We’ve won every major ad award, and throw amazing parties at Cannes. We work with all “A” level directors, and allow our creative departments to spend all your budget on very expensive TV spots, while ignoring your website, operational opportunities for marketing and anything we can’t win an award for.

Outdoor advertising on the other hand, is often the budgetary afterthought. After all, agencies don’t make as much money on cost effective media- due to the stupid idea of paying agencies with a discount on media billings.

With the multi-channel universe, radio format choices galore (but only 3 radio networks) and no-one without bifocals reading a newspaper anymore- outdoor advertising is one of the best opportunities to engage an audience.

However- don’t make the mistake of doing a “chest-beating” billboard, bus side or spectacular- make it interesting, make it fun, make it as slick and sexy as an ad you would run in a national magazine.

Pepsi truck trailer with upside down stacks of PepsiThere is a viral e-mail going around with vehicle graphics that look too cool to be true- an example of one is this Pepsi truck with the cases stacked in a gravity defying pose from the ceiling of the truck.

Pepsi truck trailer at night- not a photoshop job.While this is a photoshop job for a German vehicle advertising competition- the truck was produced- and driven.

You can see all the entries from 2005 here: Rhino-Award

And if you are wondering what happens when you send out a viral e-mail with pictures- and no link back to where they come from- you can check out the Urban legends page on this competiton.

While the cost of producing the vinyl for vehicle wraps has dropped considerably, (we, at The Next Wave, can wrap a transit bus for approximately $5,500) the cost to produce the art work can be considerable for a wrap, especially if you are looking for images as slick as the award winners.

Our most common resitance to outdoor from advertisers that we hear- is that they don’t want to buy transit exteriors because “buses are for poor people.” Of course, while they sit in their gas guzelling Land Rover, Mercedes or Lexus SUV right next to the bus, they are looking at our ads (in Dayton OH we can place a bus side for under $120 a month and a complete wrap for under $25,000 a year- excluding printing costs).

Many companies have fleets- and are reluctant to do more than a logo, phone number and web address, we suggest they go back and look at the competition entries- and think again about a great missed opportunity.