Floating Billboards: Because Nature Needed More Ads 
February 13, 2024
Image credit: Reddit

When Beaches Aren’t Cluttered Enough, Let’s Float Ads on Water!  

In the ever-expanding world of advertising, no space is safe from the prying eyes of corporations desperate to sell you something. So, what’s the latest brilliant idea in obnoxious and intrusive advertising? Enter the world of floating billboards, because our oceans and waterways aren’t polluted enough. 

The brainchild of marketing geniuses who clearly have never heard of the term “visual pollution,” floating billboards have been making waves– both literally and metaphorically. Essentially, these aquatic eyesores are massive digital screens mounted on floating platforms, drifting ominously across our bodies of water like a bad dream you just can’t wake up from. 

One glaring issue with floating billboards is their environmental impact, a topic that even the most enthusiastic ad executives conveniently choose to overlook. According to a report by The Cool Down, these floating digital billboards are not only an assault on our visual senses, but also on the environment. The materials used in their construction and the electricity needed to power their dazzling displays contribute to the ever-growing and ever-glowing problem of visual and environmental pollution. 

A floating billboard ruining a perfectly good sunset. Image from Reddit.

In a world already grappling with the consequences of climate change and environmental degradation, one must ask: do we need more artificial eyesores cluttering up our oceans?  The answer is a resounding “yes” for those who believe that every square inch of the Earth’s surface is fair game for commercial exploitation. 

One major metropolitan area has stood up to the oceanic onslaught. In 2019, New York City recognized the potential disaster that floating billboards could unleash upon its waterways. A ban on floating billboards was put in place, preventing these aquatic advertisements from further invading the city’s iconic views. 

It’s a victory for both those who appreciate the sanctity of natural spaces and for the countless marine life populations who are undoubtedly grateful they won’t have to navigate around digital billboards on their daily commutes. 

But what more can be done? As the nation’s foremost nonprofit fighting for the preservation and protection of our scenic views, Scenic America is pledging to confront the proliferation of digital billboards, both floating and free-standing.

Image from Reddit

Floating billboards may be a dream come true for advertisers, but for the rest of us who value the beauty of unspoiled landscapes, they’re just another reminder that there’s no escape from the relentless bombardment of consumerism. Perhaps it’s time for marketers to set their sights on promoting products in a way that doesn’t involve turning our oceans into a giant, floating strip mall.