A bench is a bench â€“ except when itâ€™s also a platform for a surprising, thought-provoking, memorable advertisement that sometimes even functions as urban art. The best bench ads turn ubiquitous public furniture into interactive displays that entreat the public to get fit, go on vacation, try a new product and even conserve.
District 9 Bench: For Humans Only
(image via:Â aharvey2k)
Before anyone heard of a little film called District 9, signs barring non-humans from using benches and restrooms could be seen in major cities such as Los Angeles. With a phone number and a warning that â€œnon-human secretions may corrode metalâ€, these advertisements blurred the line between reality and the fictional world created by the filmmakers in typical guerilla fashion.
Fed-Ex Bubble Wrap Bench
(image via:Â advertolog)
Fed-Ex can ship practically anything â€“ including benches, as â€˜demonstratedâ€™ by this bubble-wrapped bench. The ad series, conceived by BBDO New York, was created to announce the opening of FedEx Kinkoâ€™s locations in fairly remote locations.
Instant Ski Vacation
(image via: adsneeze)
Can you picture yourself on an adventurous ski trip, heading up the slope on a lift that provides stunning views of the surrounding landscape? If not, AlbertaÂ Travel is happy to help with this creative bench ad that even emulates skisÂ on your feetÂ and snow down below.
Use Only What You Need
(image via:Â advertolog)
Ads promoting water conservation might be easily overlooked by a public that has begun to tune out conventional modes of promotion. But, itâ€™s hard to pass by this bench, created by Sukle Advertising & DesignÂ advertising agencyÂ for Denver Water, without taking a second look and absorbing the message: use only what you need.
Skinny Bench for Skinny People
(image via:Â scaryideas)
A similarly skinny bench communicates something different altogether: if you canâ€™t sit here, perhaps you need to lose some weight. Slim Fast helpfully points people in the right direction with a plaque that reads â€œDonated by Slim Fastâ€.
Collapsing Bench for Special K
(image via:Â coloribus)
Similarly, one cereal brand hopes that consumers will be enticed to try their product after finding that a public bench caves in beneath their weight. This bench in Germany was made with a flexible material to shock people into thinking about how heavy they are, and convince them that 99.9% fat-free Special K was the way to fix the problem.
A Weighty Matter
(image via: businessweek)
Of course, if undersized or collapsing seating areas donâ€™t work, thereâ€™s always a more potent way to shame the overweight public: abus shelterÂ bench with a built-in scale that broadcasts their weight to the world at large. This one in Amsterdam was created by the worldâ€™s third-largest gym chain, Fitness First.
No Choice But to Get Closer
(image via:Â directdaily)
Just try sitting on this slanted bench with somebody else without sliding right into each other. It literally forces people to â€œGet Closerâ€, which happens to be the ad slogan for a Czech liquor called Becherovka.
A Stroller Fit for a Baby Giraffe
(image via:Â ads of the world)
This extra-tall stroller â€“ or pram, if youâ€™re not American â€“ certainly catches the attention of anyone who happens to sit on the bench beside it. The unusual ad by Calgary Zoo uses an embroidered blanket to tell the public that â€œthe baby giraffe is hereâ€.
Nivea Says Goodbye to Cellulite
(image via:Â directdaily)
Sitting on cellulite isnâ€™t pretty â€“ unless itâ€™s in the form of a dimpled blue bench. This ad by Nivea promoting its Goodbye-Cellulite lotion manages to convey the message that smooth skin is superior to cellulite without anything too disturbingly skin-like.
Homey IKEA Bench Makeover
(image via:Â culture-buzz)
IKEA proves that even the ugliest, most worn-out bench you can find in an urban environment can be instantly transformed into a homey, welcoming space to relax with some inexpensive Swedish fabric and accessories.
(image via:Â Noah Dylan Goldblatt)
Seeing the brown slats of a bench partially enveloped in a Kit-Kat wrapper begs the question: why didnâ€™t they think of this earlier? Itâ€™s a perfect fit that undoubtedly had many an onlooker suddenly craving chocolate-covered wafers.
Istanbulâ€™s Book Benches
(image via:Â adrants)
Istanbul is an open book â€“ 18 of them, in fact, all written by Turkish poets. This ad campaign not only promotes reading and publicizes the work of native writers, but turns boring public furniture into functional works of art.
Amnesty International â€˜Electric Benchâ€™
(image via:Â funforever)
We might let important social issues slip our minds while going about our daily lives, but Amnesty International is here to remind us that â€œMore than 4000 condemned until death are waiting for their execution. No to Capital punishmentâ€. Accompanying these words at a BarcelonaÂ bus shelterÂ was a bench designed to look like a pair of electric chairs.
â€˜Extra Safeâ€™ Credit Union Ad
(image via:Â thefinancialbrand)
If this ad and others in the same series were put out by anÂ insurance agency, one would have to wonder whether the â€œextra safeâ€ message really implies that consumers are buying way more coverage than they need. But the ads were actually created by FirstOntarioÂ CreditUnion to assure the public that their short-termÂ investmentsÂ are secure as can be, even in this shaky economic climate â€“ so it works.