5 min read

TOP 7 Fantastic AR Billboards that Amazed Us + Awesome 3D Ads (+7 more)

Written by
Pavlo Fedykovych
Published on
December 27, 2023
May 29, 2024

In 2023 AR and 3D billboards had their day under the sun. We’ve seen stunning activations in all parts of the globe. From Tokyo's futuristic life-like anamorphic campaigns to Times Square's mind-blowing installations, the creativity ran afloat. And it seems like this trend is just getting bigger. As we move into 2024, let’s review the best 3D billboards and AR activations. Are you ready to be amazed?

1. #TakeATaste AR billboard - Coca-Cola

Credit: Coca-Cola Company

Why: an incredibly smart DOOH-meets-AR activation has been unveiled by Coca-Cola in the UK this autumn. It featured a Picadilly Lights anamorphic 3D billboard with a QR code promoting the new Coca-Cola zero-sugar cherry. People could scan the code to enter a special AR experience on their mobiles that included a chance to virtually “grab” the bottle of new Coke and obtain a voucher. The coupon then could be redeemed in Tesco which partnered with the beverage company on this activation.

In other words, we’ve got a perfect combination of digital signage, 3D anamorphic billboard, and mobile AR experience. 

2. Toyota Crown AR experience - Toyota and Yahoo

Why: an intriguing collaboration between digital giant Yahoo and car maker Toyota bridged virtual and real. The multi-level activation used the engaging power of DOOH screens to invite customers to enter the AR and experience the new Toyota Crown. The QR codes on the ar billboards served as the entry points. The campaign’s main mission was to spark excitement and awareness about the new model. The customizable element within virtual reality also played a big part in the personalized marketing approach.

3. Maybelline faux-OOH London underground ad

Why: users of TikTok went crazy when the Maybelline beauty brand published a video of a Jubilee line with eyelashes on top seemingly getting a mascara treatment. “Wait, what,” was a righteous response from both customers and marketing professionals. Could Maybelline really pull it off and was the London public transport authority all in on such a crazy idea? It turned out that the ad was fake. CGI level fake. But the internet exploded, the video was shared thousands of times, and the conversation was started. 

It’s a great case of AR for the sake of AR that seems like it is OOH but it isn’t. Quite a meta way to market, but how creative is this? How much did the company spend on the physical campaign? That’s right, zero.

4. Final Fantasy VII Red XIII 3D billboard

Why: here’s one spectacular example of 3D anamorphic billboard technology. It was broadcast in Omotesando, Tokyo to promote Square Enix’ “Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade.” The campaign featured a cute hero of the game RED XIII that runs from a helicopter and falls into some kind of toy storage (the ad ran around holiday time). Realistic, dynamic, and futuristic, it won the people’s hearts and the Tokyo Outdoor Advertising Association Award. 

5. Times Square 3D Billboard - House of the Dragon (HBO)

Why: what can be better to promote an epic show about dragons than an epic 3D billboard on Times Square? That’s exactly what HBO did for their “House of the Dragon” series. House Targaryen fire-breathing beast descends to the streets of New York in this superb activation realized by VFX and Creative studio The Mill. While its running time is just under 15 seconds, the 3D billboard is fantastic to make a point. In our attention-short world, an impressive DOOH is more than enough to make people stop and stare. 

6. Piccadilly Circus 3D billboard takeover - Meta Quest

Why: Meta Quest wasted zero opportunities to advertise using the latest technology tools. We’ve seen their campaigns utilizing the LED supremacy of the Las Vegas Sphere, piercing the night skies of Los Angeles with mesmerizing holographic ads, and, yes, employing awesome 3D ar billboards to promote the VR device. This Picadilly Circus activation is the one you cannot stop looking at. The anamorphic part is deployed flawlessly with the highest quality of visuals that seem to separate from the billboard surface and live a separate life on the London street. “Wish for the Extraordinary” is an exemplary 3D billboard campaign that checks all the right boxes when it comes to DOOH perfection.

7. “Masterpiece” 3D billboard campaign in São Paulo - Coca-Cola

Why: yes, it’s Coca-Cola again. But what can we do, the beverage behemoth just knows how to turn heads with its creative direction. This time it’s about their “Masterpiece” 3D billboard campaign at São Paulo's Guarulhos Airport. The activation brings Vermeer’s famous painting “The Girl with The Pearl Earring” to life using digital signage technology and the anamorphic capabilities of the screen. There’s a catch, though. The girl with the solver earring loves to drink Coca-Cola. Probably, it wasn’t the original plan for the 17th-century master, but we’re not complaining. The AR campaign looks amazing. 


Here's our previous list of fantastic AR ads and 3D billboards

AR billboards have never been more fun. Along with 3D, augmented reality is a new playground for creative minds from around the world. Every month we’re getting new awesome examples of futuristic digital augmented reality AR billboards and it’s just the beginning.

As the technology progresses, new cool ways to use it open an unlimited number of advertising opportunities. And we’re here for it. Let’s see the best augmented reality billboards and discover some of the most fantastic 3D ads ever.

1. Sky Scary Shelter: Zombie-Attack

Why: an oldie but goldie. In 2014 Sky Austria has decided to promote the new season of Walking Dead in quite an original fashion. They used digital signage to turn a screen on a tram stop in Vienna into one of the spookiest AR billboards in the recent memory of advertising. 

Imagine sitting there waiting for a tram and then suddenly a zombie appears. The classic Vienna setting makes it even scarier. We don’t know if the people in the promotional video for the ad are the actors but some of them showed genuine fear. A skater even made an attempt to save the world from the zombie apocalypse with his skate (quite a bold move). Overall, it’s a great example of AR billboards done right. Here the creators used a static video of a street behind the billboard and combined it with the footage of zombie actors attacking the onlookers (with the sounds too). 

It’s brilliantly written too. There are three acts here: the zombie appears threatening the people waiting for the tram. Then the zombie is killed by one of the protagonists of the show. Vienna is saved. But in the end, you’ve got the actual ad for the show. Perfect job, everyone. 

2. BON V!V Spiked Seltzer AR Out-of-Home Advertising Campaign

Why: the previous entry used augmented reality that co-exists with the audience. This one is about interacting with the brand directly and becoming a hero of the brand’s story. A great application of static AR billboards this campaign is a charming one. 

BON V!V hard seltzer brand has placed special AR billboards on the streets of Los Angeles and San Diego in a form of vending machines for their drink. By following the link found in the center of the installation a person will see a 3D model of the vending machine on his/her phone with the possibility to choose the flavor and find the nearest place to buy it.

While this campaign doesn’t make any revolution in AR application, it shows what can be done and it can serve as a great learning point. You can use AR to deepen the connection between your brand and the user. Because a person spends much more time interacting with the content when there is an augmented reality edge to the billboard. And it’s an awesome way to capture the attention and hold it.

3. Doritos - Make Your Play

Why: Doritos teaches a lesson in how to properly do the augmented reality AR billboards with their Make Your Play UK campaign. There’s a link on a billboard that enables an interactive playable window on your phone, a “portal” to a live concert. The coolest thing is that it’s not just a flashy AR thing, it’s a contest with a real interest for the audience in a form of tickets to the Strawberries & Creem Festival in Cambridge.

A user is invited to see a fragment of a live performance and then try to win the ticket by filling out the form. It’s a perfect way of interaction that boosted the interest both in the brand and in the festival. Also, it has a special purpose, it has a mission to promote the music industry that was heavily hit by COVID. And that’s amazing when the advertising is done with a cause. We salute this kind of creativity.

4. 3D digital billboard image of a giant cat in Tokyo

Why: Tokyo is famed to be one of the most cutting-edge cities in the world and this latest 3D billboard addition to the cityscape doesn’t disappoint. There’s a cat. But it’s not a regular one, it’s a gigantic digital cat that showcases the power of augmented reality in marketing. The scale of it, the interactivity, the flawless execution, all of it regularly draws crowds to watch the visual spectacle.

5. Nike Japan’s Air Max Day 3D Billboard

Why: taking the same advertising billboard as the cat from the previous entry, Nike makes it its own. The ad is seriously bombastic featuring a beautiful celebration of Air Max in the most colorful, most impressive way. It also pushes the capabilities of 3D digital billboards by giving them a slick look and truly exceptional visual power. 

6. World's Largest Augmented Reality Billboard in Times Square, NYC

Why: augmented reality is not only for the brands, it’s also for digital art. Sometimes these two converge to spectacular results. This Times Square billboard is showcasing the work of Rubem Robierb, a sculpture that is called "Peace makers" that gets activated by your phone and provides an enhanced viewing experience. 

7. Dior's first 3D Billboard in Times Square, New York

Why: Dior used 3D and anamorphic imagery to create a beautiful visual experience on Times Square. And it’s definitely one of the coolest applications of AR technology we’ve seen in recent years. The colors and shapes come alive in a gigantic (and probably super expensive) New York spot. 

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