Dezeen Magazine

Ads with a New Purpose by Ogilvy & Mather for IBM

These billboards by creative agency Ogilvy & Mather stretch outwards to double as street furniture (+ movie).

Designed for IBM's Smarter Cities campaign, the strategy fuses advertising with helpful additions to the street such as benches, shelters and ramps.

Ads with a New Purpose by Ogilvy and Mather for IBM

Ogilvy & Mather designed one billboard that curves over at the top to form a rain shelter and another that peels up from the wall to create a seat. A ramp covering steps assists those wheeling bicycles or suitcases through the streets.

Ads with a New Purpose by Ogilvy and Mather for IBM

Each ad uses simple graphics in bold colours to represent its function, with text encouraging users and passers by to interact online.

The billboards were first launched in London and Paris, and IBM intends to roll out the designs across other cities around the world.

Ads with a New Purpose by Ogilvy and Mather for IBM

Last month we reported that researchers from IBM had redesigned the bus routes across Ivory Coast's largest city using data from mobile phones.

Other stories about street furniture include a bollard with a foot rest and handle to help cyclists keep their balance at traffic lights and a perforated street lamp.

See more street furniture design »

Ogilvy sent us the extra information below:

IBM & Ogilvy France Create Ads with a New Purpose

IBM is committed to creating solutions that help cities all over the world get smarter, in order to make life in those cities better.

That’s why IBM and Ogilvy are working together to spark positive change with the “People for Smarter Cities” project, and unite city leaders and forward-thinking citizens.

To spread the word, Ogilvy created outdoor advertising with a purpose: a bench, a shelter and a ramp that are not only designed to be beautiful, but to be useful to city dwellers as well.

Initially launched in London and Paris, IBM has plans to take this idea to cities around the world and inspire citizens to think about simple ways they can help make their cities smarter.