DASH TWO’S TOP 100 WILD POSTING® CAMPAIGNS IN THE LAST 15 YEARS
And the lessons we’ve learned from more than a decade of street-level advertising
INGLEWOOD, CALIFORNIA—DASH TWO, an award-winning media buying agency in Inglewood, California, recently celebrated an impressive milestone, hitting 15 years of Wild Posting®.
To celebrate this exciting anniversary, we combed through the many things we’ve done and picked our 100 favorite Wild Posting campaigns in that time, compiling them along with a writeup about each.
As we combed through all these campaigns (which involve street-level advertising featuring paper or vinyl posters fastened to construction barricades and sites or sides of buildings, done for music, fashion and beauty, politics, travel, food and beverage, and more), we reminisced about everything we’ve learned since we started in 2008. And we realized: There would be value in passing on those lessons.
So we put together this list of 10 lessons we’ve learned in 15 years of Wild Posting. It’s essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the advertising landscape better or gain insight into what makes a great campaign. (And why should you trust us? Beyond the fact that we’ve done this for 15 years, we also literally own the trademark on the term “Wild Posting.”)
Before we dive in, a few observations to set the scene.
First, the social element has become much more important over the past decade and a half, as you’d expect. Hashtags have been an essential element of campaigns since 2010, when Twitter really caught on, and augmented reality became a thing the past five years.
Second, this has become a surprisingly pervasive medium. More and more industries and verticals are using it (for reasons we’ll outline below).
And third, while historically the action known as flyposting or wheatpasting was done unpermitted, as a form of guerrilla/street advertising, these days most campaigns we do are permitted. Landlords recognize that selling space on the side of an abandoned building is a better use of their property, making this medium perfectly legal.
And now, 10 lessons from Wild Posting.
1. Creative Makes A Difference: The Simpler the Better
Sometimes the image says it all — NBA player James Harden’s face, the Playboy logo, the shaggy-haired Guns ‘N Roses skull. And hey, we’re not above showing a little skin in service to a worthy message—the Tamara Mellon, Isle of Paradise Body and Natori campaigns pop to mind. These simple, straightforward messages draw tons of attention.
2. QR Codes Are Not Always Good
QR codes were briefly popular in the early 2010s and then made a comeback during the pandemic, when everything went touchless. We don’t always love them, though—while they’re a solid replacement for a URL, they can mess with the flow of the creative, which is so key to a great campaign. You won’t find many QR codes on our top 100 picks.
3. Cut-Outs and Die-Cuts Break Through Clutter
When creative is key, offering the eye something unexpected makes your ad pop. Cut-outs and die-cuts provide unexpected shapes, differing from what’s around them on a barricade or building side. Their unique forms make them perfect when you want to try something a little different.
4. Alternating Poster Colors Helps Stand Out
The name of the game is standing out amidst a crowded background. Creating a checkered pattern with different-colored posters, alternating them along the surface, offers a surefire strategy. You can go with two colors or try for many to create a rainbow effect.
5. You Can’t Treat All Markets the Same
While advertisers often run the same ad in different markets on TV, you can’t do that for this medium. Each market has differences in where to post, what creative resonates with pedestrians, the local zoning rules and more. You need to plan for each market.
6. It Is an Exceptional Branding Medium
While a lot of people think of events (like album drops or museum exhibits) when they think of flyposting, it also works for branding. You can showcase the things that define your company and place you apart (and ahead!) of your competitors. People begin to associate these traits with you, growing awareness of your brand.
7. There’s More Expression in the Creative for Wild Posting
The posters are not big, but there is room for nuance. Using a different color, arranging a few words just right, or creating contrasts can tell a story as effectively as any medium—with more room for creativity. Here are a few fantastic examples:
8. Words Are Nice But Not Always Necessary
We buy into the expression “a picture is worth 1,000 words.” Sometimes all you need to get the message across is a really powerful image. We try to keep words minimal, delivering our clients’ big points mainly through visuals instead of verbs, as in the case of this Lucky Lager posting, another for Off-White Shoes and this from Spell Clothing.
9. It Is Less Regulated Than More Traditional Formats
We adore billboards—but they are pretty regulated. For instance, you can’t put QR codes on billboards, and certain industries, like cannabis and alcohol, are banned from posting boards near schools and churches. With Wild Posting, which started when this was as a largely lawless guerrilla medium, you face no such restrictions. It’s freeing, and it’s fun!
10. Wild Posting is Wildly Cost Effective
Got a modest budget? No problem. You can still fund a great campaign. The low cost of the posters and wheatpaste used to affix them to walls and barricades gives you a great return on investment. And you get good results for a low price.