Big Birds and Office Supplies


As a big city dweller, it’s a rare occasion that I drive. In fact, living less than a mile from work has rendered a car unnecessary. As a result, my experiences on the busy Chicago highways are few and far between. This weekend, however, my darling and I ventured out to the suburbs…a feat requiring a car.

While driving along the interstate, this billboard caught my eye. My first thought?

“Holy crap those are big birds.”

Then I realized the birds weren’t real. They are part of a three-dimensional billboard for a new line of products at OfficeMax. The birds are categorized into three categories—crows, pigeons and seagulls—to show how OfficeMax can help you organize all facets of your life. There are currently 15 of these billboards on display in top markets including Chicago, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Denver.

I loved the concept of this billboard. When traveling on any given interstate, there are so many bad billboards that I just stop paying attention. But this one broke through the mediocrity, and I took notice.

Though I love the concept, the copy confused me:

Get organized with Peter Walsh.
Coming Spring 2009.

Before seeing this billboard, I had no idea who Peter Walsh was. The way this billboard is laid out, my first instinct was that Peter Walsh is some guy who will be hosting a new show about organization. And OfficeMax is the sponsor. But maybe I’m the only one who’s never heard of this guy.

Upon further investigation, I found out that Peter Walsh is actually an organizational guru that will lend his expertise (and name) in the development of a new line of work organization products that will be featured exclusively at OfficeMax come spring. Apparently, he’ll also share organizational tips with OfficeMax customers via catalogs, mailers, brochures and store signage. In addition to partnering with OfficeMax, Walsh has also authored four books on organization and has shared his tips on TLC’s Clean Sweep and Oprah. In the realm of home and office organization, he sounds like he’s kind of a big deal.

But I had no idea who he was. And I have a feeling I’m not the only one. With that in mind, it seems to make more sense to include the information about Peter Walsh in the subhead. Something along these lines:

Get organized with OfficeMax.
Peter Walsh coming Spring 2009.

This billboard peaked my curiosity enough to do some further investigation to see what it’s all about. So I consider it a success. Though I think the copy could have been a little clearer (for those of us who are unfamiliar with Mr. Walsh), I love the idea. Bravo, OfficeMax.


1 Comment

Filed under Advertising, Billboards, Chicago

One response to “Big Birds and Office Supplies

  1. All of my crows, pigeons, and seagulls are mixed together in one big drawer. Sometimes I’m looking for a pigeon, but keep grabbing crows. It can get frustrating. I think Peter Walsh could really help me out.

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