Saturday, January 28, 2012

January's eye-catching fashion and lifestyle billboards around L.A...

Aside from the cool TV and movie billboards, there's been a real eclectic mix of fashion, travel, drinks, cause-related and more ads to kick-start 2012 around L.A.

Cause-related and charity billboards
Mona Lisa Smile Values billboard
Don't you just hate it when someone tells you to smile or to cheer up, or is that just me?

Regardless, I love the sentiment behind this billboard featuring the enigmatic Mona Lisa herself in a campaign from The Foundation for a Better Life. Let's face it, it is much nicer to be greeted with a smile, rather than a grimace or a frown, it just makes your whole day better and lifts your spirits.
HIV bulldog less stress billboard
Aids Healthcare Foundation has been noticeable with these two eye-catching billboards, using the cuteness of a sleeping bulldog and some old-fashioned needlepoint to attract attention for HIV/AIDS awareness.
HIV Stigma Sucks billboard
Meanwhile, actress and TV host Olivia Munn stripped off this month for another billboard in PETA's anti-fur ad campaign.
Olivia Munn PETA fur billboard

Fashion billboards
Sexy Guess beach billboard
This month in fashion, Guess tried to recreate a bit of that Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr beach magic from the 1953 movie 'From Here to Eternity' with their latest black and white billboard.
Miss Me reflection billboard
And even though this billboard from Miss Me fashion brand was hard to get a clear shot of, it still made for an arresting visual with its reflected image theme.
Emporio Armani Jan 2012 billboard
Emporio Armani debuted another chic mono ad this month to kick off the New Year.
Hale Bob Jan 2012 billboard
Meanwhile, Hale Bob's latest ad really brought the feel of Spring with this fresh new billboard for its bright prints and feminine styles.
Giant Christian Louboutin show billboard
Master shoemaker, Christian Louboutin, celebrated 20 years in the business with this vibrant super-sized billboard along L.A.'s Sunset Plaza.
Charles David fashion billboard
And finally, another shoe brand caught me magpie eye this month with this arresting billboard. There's something about the angle of the photograph and the model's styling which I find really captivating.

Drinks billboards
Bacardi regift until empty billboard
The holiday season may be over, but I still love Bacardi's latest ad campaign, including this witty and huge 'Re-gift until empty' creative.
Beau Joie Award yourself billboard
Beau Joie saw in the new year with a fresh creative for its champagne in its usual location along Sunset Boulevard.
Ciroc Vodka smooth billboard
Whilst Ciroc Vodka filled the sky with this colourful cocktail creation that really stands out.

Travel billboards
Peru travel billboard
This vivid billboard for Peru travel really sings out along San Vicente Boulevard in January, the zingy green and piercing eyes of the jungle leopard really drawing you in.
Disney Aulani Hawaii resort billboard
Disney continued to promote its new Hawaiian resort with massive billboards along L.A's infamous Sunset Strip. If you like this tropical spectacle, be sure to also check out this other giant billboard for Disney's Aulani resort from October last year.

Theme park billboards
Disneyland World of Color Buzz Lightyear billboard
Speaking of Disney, Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear returned to the skies this month with this spectacular billboard for the World of Color water and lightshow attraction at Disneyland's California Adventure theme park.

Food billboards
Wendy's W burger billboard
Meanwhile, it's been around for a while, but this burger billboard for Wendy's really stands out. Maybe it's the food pornography quality of the ad, with a burger looking more perfect than I'm sure you'll ever find in a fast food restaurant, but the bright red billboard really stands out.
McDonalds pop goes the chicken billboard
Keeping to the unhealthy food theme, this new billboard for Chicken McBites just seems a bit wrong. That mouth looks really weird and it's almost as if she's projectile vomiting those I-can't-believe-it's-not-chicken pieces. But still, it certainly caught my eye.

Health, fitness and sports billboards
GNC Live Well 2012 billboards
GNC brought a whole new look to its billboards for 2012. Gone are the mono ads, replaced with a bit more colour and slightly more sporty, yet still young and gorgeous, models. Be sure to check out more of the new GNC Live Well ad campaign at my Daily Billboard blog.
Santa Anita horse racing billboard
If you're more an observer than participant, then I'm betting (pun intended) you'll like this horse-racing billboard for the Santa Anita Park race track.

Financial billboards
Mercury Great Agent billboard
It's not often that insurance ads are worth mentioning, but I do like the new Mercury Insurance Group billboards, which are bright and use copy to great effect. Check out these other ads from the Mercury Insurance ad campaign to see what I mean.

Technology and telecoms billboards
Manhunt mobile billboard
For obvious reasons this billboard for Manhunt Mobile, featuring two buff, bare-chested guys about to kiss, stood out. It wasn't that long ago that a story about a similar billboard was picked up by a UK national newspaper, reporting local reaction to this kind of imagery as harmful for kids, or some such nonsense.

Obviously being surrounded by scantily clad Spearmint Rhino and other female stripper gentlemen club ads in the past decades is perfectly acceptable, but when its an ad for a gay adult service suddenly its all corrupting and unacceptable. You can find this billboard along L.A.'s Sunset Strip which is hardly a place for kids anyway.
AT&T 4GLTE Los Angeles billboard
AT&T introduces its new 4G service to L.A. to challenge Verizon no doubt, but I'll hold my breath before I see it in action. I've used AT&T for the past few years and it's a spotty service around Los Angeles at best, although I will say it has improved ever since Verizon introduced their iPhone service in 2011.

Performing Arts billboards
Cirque du Soleil Iris billboard
Cirque du Soleil's Iris show gets a bold new billboard for the New Year, but with all the bankruptcy rumblings at Kodak I wonder how long its performance space will actually be called the 'Kodak Theatre'.

Car billboards
BMWi Born Electric car billboard
I'm not saying that this billboard for BMW is terribly exciting, like most car ads, but isn't that the fab concept car that featured in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol?

Retail billboards
Space 15 Twenty billboard
And finally for this round-up, I thought this eye-catching billboard for the Space 15 Twenty collective of retail stores along North Cahuenga Boulevard was rather unique this month.

As you can see there's been lots of variety to start a brand new year. Let's hope it keeps up throughout 2012.

Keep your eyes peeled to Daily Billboard for the most interesting ad examples every day and come back next month for another round-up of the coolest fashion and lifestyle billboards around L.A...

Friday, January 27, 2012

And the medal goes to...

As my excitement grows for the L.A. Marathon (it's only 51 days away), I was suddenly reminded of all my race medals languishing at the bottom of a draw somewhere and lot it would be fun to revisit them.

My running medals to date
Running medals
I've never been that much of a sporty person, so it's quite a surprise and an accomplishment that I now find myself the proud owner of these shiny awards of ribbon and metal.

Disneyland Half Marathon medals
Disneyland Half Marathon medals
The one that started it all was this Mickey Mouse medal for the 5th Annual Disneyland Half Marathon at the theme park in Anaheim in September 2010, followed last year by the golden 2011 fairytale castle medal.

Rock'n' Roll Half Marathon medals
Rock n Roll LA Half Marathon medals
In preparation for my first marathon I also ran the inaugural Rock 'n' Roll L.A. Half Marathon in October 2010, which was far too hilly for my liking. Fortunately they changed the course so there wasn't so much of an incline the second year, but instead added a massive hill at mile nine to totally defeat my legs.

T2 and L.A. Marathon 2011 medals
LA Marathon 2011 medals
Last March I ran my first ever marathon, for charity and in the pouring rain no less, and so I feel I totally earned this finisher medal.

This year I'm training again with T2: Team to End AIDS and I am fundraising for AIDS Project L.A. once more.

100th Bay to Breakers 12k medal
100th Bay to Breakers 12k medalIn May 2011 I ran my second Bay to Breakers 12k race, which was the 100th anniversary of the fun run through the streets of San Francisco. I was dressed as Wonder Woman, so this makes this medal even more memorable, especially as they only usually have commemorative t-shirts, not finisher medals.

Going forward the plan is to run more marathons and less shorter races, but we'll see.

I can't wait to run L.A. again on March 18 and then the inaugural Hollywood Half Marathon on April 7. Plus if my legs can manage it I plan to tackle my first ever San Francisco Marathon on July 29, 2012.

So here's to many more medals for my collection in the future...

2012 running medals
2012 Running medals
UPDATED: Here are some new hard-earned additions to my medal collection from various 2012 races including the my second L.A. Marathon, the inaugural Hollywood Half Marathon and my first San Francisco Marathon.

L.A. and San Francisco Marathon 2012 medals
2012 LA SF Marathon medals
I even received an extra LA/SF Challenge medal for completing consecutive Californian marathons in March and July.

Next on the agenda is my first Honolulu Marathon in December. Until then, Aloha...

Thursday, January 26, 2012

January's coolest TV, movie and radio billboards around L.A...

New year, new billboards, that's what we like. It's television midseason time and so lots of billboards for series premieres, replacements and returning shows around L.A. this month. Plus some new movie billboards to line the city skyline too.

TV billboards
Smash TV billboard
No doubt following in the success of glee's musical format, NBC is trying its luck with its Broadway-inspired show Smash. I'm loving the dramatic and theatrical billboard, but let's wait for the viewer figures before we declare a new star has been born.
Californication season 5 billboard
David Duchovny returns for a fifth season of Californication, with this hip-hop inspired billboard. 'Notorious Hank', indeed.
Spartacus Vengeance Starz billboard
Another returning series is Starz Spartacus, although with a new face as the lead Roman hero.
Spartacus Vengeance billboard
Liam McIntyre does a good job of filling the loincloth of Andy Whitfield, who sadly passed away at a young age from cancer.
Southland season 4 TV billboard
Another returning series is the critically-acclaimed Southland cop show, back for a fourth season with the same creative, but an updated colour scheme for its billboard ad.
Bill Maher Real Time TV billboard
I loved how patriotic this huge Real Time with Bill Maher billboard was, especially fitting for the political nature of his talk show.
Giant LUCK TV billboard
That billboard was replaced by this super-sized ad for Dustin Hoffman's new HBO drama about horse-racing, Luck.
Justified season 3 billboard
A favourite billboard of mine this month was this cool third season creative for Justified. It has that iconic modern cowboy feel.
Hart of Dixie TV billboard
The CW continued to show support for their Rachel Bilson comedy-drama, Hart of Dixie, with this slightly amended billboard for the first season featuring more of the cast.
Dance Moms season 2 Lifetime billboard
There are a few shows that are just 'car-crash television', so bad that you can't help but watch. Fortunately I've never been sucked in by Dance Moms, but I've seen the trailers on Lifetime and the dance instructor seems like a really vile character, although this show seems to be one step away from a child's beauty pageant, which I find disturbing at the best of times.
Being Human US season 2 billboard
It's nice to see a remake of a BBC show getting a second season in the form of Syfy's Being Human. My dilemma now is, as I've never seen the supernatural-themed show but think that I may like it, do I watch the original British series or start over with this American version?
Shipping Wars series premiere billboard
Another fun billboard that appeared before year's end, but has stuck around this month is the series premiere billboard for Shipping Wars, which has a fantastic visual with that giant gnome being towed.
The Hub Januscary billboard
I also loved this 'Januscary' billboard for The Hub kids channel this month, which is very witty and appropriate considering there actually was a spooky Friday 13th in January.
Generale TV billboard
Finally for TV, this billboard for intrigued me. Apparently it's for a forthcoming new channel offering all kinds of programming, including children's shows.

Movie billboards
The Lorax special installation billboard
If there was one billboard that stopped me in my tracks this month, it was this one for Dr. Seuss' The Lorax movie. How amazing is this special installation 3D billboard. I love when I see these cool, attention-grabbing spectacles.
The Lorax movie billboard
The funny thing was, that only days before I'd glimpsed this two dimensional billboard version for the same film and thought it was brilliantly eye-catching too with its vibrant colour and bushy eye-brows peaking over the top of the ad.
Underworld Awakening movie billboard
January seems to be a real month for fantasy movies. Whether it be Legion or Daybreakers from year's past to 2012's Underworld Awakening, the fourth in the franchise luring Kate Beckinsale back into her skintight spandex as the vampire 'Selene'.
Safe House movie billboard
The eyes certainly have it this month and these movie billboards for Denzel Washington's Safe house and Liam Neeson's The Grey made me laugh as they are pretty similar with their face to camera creative.
The Grey movie billboard
I thought this Man on a Ledge billboard was clever, even if it was very literal.
Man on a Ledge billboard
And even though it's had the worst reviews, I still thought this was an appropriately creepy billboard for The Devil Inside. You can't beat a possessed nun for an arresting visual.
The Devil Inside movie billboard
Here's another creative for one of the big Holiday blockbusters, Mission: Impossible 4, which I thoroughly enjoyed, especially for the breathtaking stunts which this billboard clearly conveys.
Ghost Protocol movie billboard
Mark Wahlberg's smuggling action movie, Contraband, opened this month and I snapped this billboard for the movie towering high over Vine Street in Hollywood.
Contraband Mark Wahlberg billboard
And finally this super-sized billboard featuring the profiles of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson was a welcome addition to the other billboards for Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.
Sherlock Holmes 2 billboard

Radio billboards
100.3 FM Sound radio billboard
And it's not often I feature many radio billboard ads (mainly because they don't tend to be very good), but I thought this simple ad for The Sound 100.3 FM really stood out with its vivid colours against that clear California sky.

Be sure to check out Daily Billboard in the coming days for even more great billboards from the new TV midseason and come back next month for another fantastic round-up of the best February has to offer the skies of L.A.

Keep your eyes to the sky...