Tiny billboards promote a tiny art show

One of the primary attractions of outdoor advertising is its size: your brand message beamed out on a massive digital board or featured on a 10 x 20 billboard alongside a busy roadway. But what if your billboard is littler than a lapdog, or even punier than a pigeon?

Halifax agency Wunder is using a series of itty-bitty billboards, as well as pint-sized posters and tiny hand-crafted sandwich boards, to promote the Pre-Shrunk Show—an annual art show staged by local art gallery Argyle Fine Art where all of the paintings are small.

The billboards are appearing in planter boxes, on ledges, etc. throughout the city. They come courtesy of out-of-home vendor Pattison Outdoor, which has traditionally given out miniature replicas to clients at awards shows, etc. The agency has also created an online video promoting the show (see it below).

“Most creative ideas typically happen in one of two ways: You’re either given a specific brief to ideate on or you’re going about your day, observing the world and something clicks,” said Wunder’s creative director, Stephen Flynn. “This campaign was the latter. For years we’ve slowly built up a collection of these miniature Pattison billboards [and] this year it clicked. We finally had a use for [them].”

Tiny billboards have become a bit of a thing in recent years. Marvel ran a tiny billboard campaign to promote its 2015 movie Ant-Man, while DTC vitamin brand Ritual ran a campaign using tiny billboards called “Start small” last year, and insurance brand Mass Mutual place 20 billboards at the 2019 Kentucky Derby as part of its “Small Acts” campaign.

“I’m sure if years ago we pushed ourselves to come up with a way to use these billboards for another client or brand we could have found a way to play on the ‘small’ aspect, but this really was just an organic fit and sometimes that’s how the best ideas happen,” said Flynn.

Chris Powell