JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A new billboard featuring 15-feet tall, three-dimensional ants is catching the attention of drivers heading south on I-95 through Jacksonville, Fla. Peninsular Pest Control’s new billboard is creating buzz and helping the company with its rebranding efforts, according to President Carolyn Richardson.
Richardson said she and her advertising team — which also includes Kat Casey of Greenhouse Studio and Teresa Eichner of Access PR — came up with the idea after a brainstorming session. “As part of Peninsular’s 55th anniversary we are doing some rebranding with our logo and we wanted do something fresh and creative,” Richardson said. “One of the things we discussed was how creative the Chick-fil-A billboards are (which feature 3-D cows), and that’s how we came up with the 3-D idea.”
Richardson and her team came up with the creative design/sketch and enlisted Jerry Small, owner of Small Creations and the artist/builder who created the 3-D Chick-fil-A billboards. Small took the sketch and went to work creating the various components, which include: the billboard - which measures 14 feet by 48 feet; three large (15 feet) ants; and one half-ant (7 feet).
To create the 3-D ants, Small used polystyrene foam, which was carved, shaped, and sanded by hand. He welded a steel structure inside each of the ant’s appendages to give it additional support. “This was a fun billboard to work on because the articulation of the arms caused a bit of consternation at the beginning until I was able to figure out how to build it so that it would be sturdy (to hold up against the wind),” Small said.
The final steps included coating figures with a special material to make them impervious to the outdoors and then painting them with an oil-based paint.
Special considerations had to be taken for the assembly of the billboard due to local ordinances. For example, the maximum distance for the extensions (in this case the ants) were 5 feet from the top and 2 feet from the sides. Also the billboard faces southbound traffic, but it is actually on the other side (northbound side) of the road, which Richardson thinks actually has helps the billboard grab more attention because it is not the norm.
Richardson said she’s been thrilled with the final product. “You never know how with new advertising how it will work our, but I’ve been real pleased with the results,” she said. “It’s been a memorable ad and we’ve received positive comments from the community.”
The billboard was just put up last week (April 16) but Richardson says one-quarter of all new sales leads during the past week are from the billboard, so Peninsular already is seeing some tangible benefits.