In late April, folks making the morning commute to Montreal, Canada via the Jacques Cartier Bridge probably did double-takes as they passed by a familiar iPod Nano Chrome billboard. That’s because on this particular morning commute, a billboard for Canadian home improvement store Rona was suspended directly under the iPod board by wire and two cranes. The ad, promoting the home improvement retailer’s paint recycling program, was strategically placed under the iPod board so it appeared as though the Rona paint cans were collecting the bright drips of paint falling from the colorful iPods. The advertisement remained in place for the duration of the day’s morning commute, from 6-11:30 AM.
The copy on the billboard reads: “Nous recuperons les restes de peinture.” To us English-speakers: “We collect leftover paint.”
Even though these two brands aren’t relevant to each other, Rona’s creative department saw an opportunity to use a strong brand to its advantage and jumped at it. Apparently, the art director working on the Rona account just came up with this fun idea one day while walking to work. So I guess what they say about constantly looking for inspiration everywhere holds true.
Rona’s advertisement for their paint recycling program is a creative way to piggyback off a well known brand with a reputation for being cool and trendsetting. Since Apple is such a big name, there’s a good chance that any addition to one of their billboards will attract attention. Perhaps commuters first thought that the addition to the billboard had something to do with yet another innovation brought to us by Apple. Their guess ended up being wrong, but consumers definitely took notice. As a result, Rona wins and ends up getting the word out to the morning commuters about their paint recycling program.
I think this is a really fun, creative way to “mooch” off of a strong brand to get a company’s message out to its target audience. And I know the advertisement was considered legal since the billboards existed as two separate ads. But I can’t help but wonder what Apple thought of the whole thing.