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Some may say billboard advertising is old fashioned, especially when there is a multitude of social and online platforms to pick and choose from. But, the fact is, billboards are still effective in terms of the number of people they’re reaching. There’s an average of 350,000 people who commute from the suburbs into Chicago on a daily basis, not to mention all the commuters that live in the city and are stuck in rush hour traffic for far longer than they planned. We put together this list of some of the best and most creative billboards throughout Chicago that stick out and do their job of catching the viewer’s eye, no matter if that eye sees the same ad day after day or if they’re venturing into a new part of the city and seeing it for the first time.

10. Apple

What We Love: This ad lets the viewer know greatness is possible with the tiny device that’s likely in their hand at that very moment. Show off your product and make people believe they don’t have to be experts to capture beauty. 

9. McDonald’s

What We Love: This billboard combines the best of imagery in meaning. Did you catch the McDonald’s themed sun-dial too? 

8. Lebron James

What We Love: Look, anything is worth a shot, although at this point we’re a little late. If your billboard can inspire and give someone a good laugh, go for it. 

7. The Art Institute

What We Love: Enough said. It shouldn’t take a lot to advertise world-class art!

6. Shaw’s Crab House/ Miller Lite

What We Love: There’s nothing better than a picture perfect view of that skyline…but it’s always better when you’re moving towards it not at the pace of a turtle. These two signs are strategically placed and draw they eye because of what’s behind it. Plus you get the added knowledge of time and temperature! 

5. Restore

What We Love: If you’re able to get a familiar/famous face on your board, there’s no doubt you’ll find success. Additionally, don’t be afraid to use play on words.

4. @properties

What We Love: No frills, just a familiar logo (the Chicago flag) known to all residents. 

3. Lyft

What We Love: Okay, so admittedly this is definitely not one you’d catch if you were driving, but it’s perfect for those crawling moments in rush hour. Plus, they’re talking to YOU directly! Nothing beats a personal touch.

2. Brookfield Zoo

What We Love: If you see a bug that big, start running for your life! Everything from the over sized insect to the description of “Invading May 19th” makes this sign not only catchy, but fun for the kids too. 


1. Eddie Garcia

What We Love: Nothing to see but plain and simple facts here. Eddie’s image is largely displayed, ensuring you’ll remember his face and “Award Winning” sticks out so much you’ll just be dying to work with a prized winner! 

Not Billboards but…creative advertising!

There are so many things to see and do in a city like Chicago that your advertising doesn’t have to be limited to social media and billboards. Check out these more than creative ways to show off your brand.