Makita Drills Their Point Across

Makita Drill Billboard

Rarely is a billboard the best place to do a product demo, but for Makita, a blank wall proved to be the perfect way to show off what their drills can do.

Since you can call your products consistent, reliable, long lasting and accurate till you’re blue in the face and still not convince people, a demonstration of those characteristics is often the best way to make your point, which is why Makita created a self-portrait of one of their drills using 20,081 holes, all drilled with a Makita drill. The tagline was simply ‘Makita Precision’, and the work is meant to speak for itself. Taking a closer look, you’ll notice that all of the tones were created by merely spacing each hole appropriately, and that if just a few were off, the whole board would have been ruined.

Makita Drill Billboard Detail

According to Makita, the drills themselves are ergonomically designed to fit perfectly into any hand, rotate at an optimal speed to minimize vibration, and have a ‘shock buffer’ system that ensures the perfect pressure of the drill bit on any surface, but all of that can be learned from the tool isle display at the local home improvement store. For a billboard like this, the goal isn’t to try and sell the tool, but rather to give people a reason to go to the tool store in the first place, and secondly, to take a closer look at the Makita drills once they get there.

In addition to the foot traffic that got to experience the Makita billboard firsthand, this campaign managed to do what many campaigns strive for lately: It got the interest and attention of bloggers. Through the use of a well put together one sheet and a few high quality photos, many of the internet’s top blogs wrote about the billboard, giving Makita infinitely more value (and an infinitely wider audience) than they would have received from foot traffic alone.

It would have been nice to see them take the idea a step further and create something like a widget that turns any picture into a drill drawing, or a game where you have to drill out a certain number of holes in a limited amount of time to recreate pieces of art, but in this case, the idea was unique enough and the existing collateral was good enough that plenty of blogs picked up the story and ran with it, even though they were essentially putting out carbon copies of the same images and story.

The Good:

  • A simple but effective idea resonated well with a wide audience.
  • Unique creative got the attention of a variety of blogs and exponentially increased the engagement with the ad.

The Bad:

  • Labor intensive idea can’t be duplicated easily for large deployment across many markets.

The Future:

  • Ads become their own product demo, allowing consumers to get a feel for what the product can do before even knowing exactly what the product is.

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