Every day I drive past the same billboards, yet when I try to recall the messages of even a few – I get nothing. It’s sad really. Here I am, wanting to be affected by advertising, but poor graphics, small type, weak copy, or clutter prohibit me. Imagine how easily the average driver can dismiss even the most gaudy of signs. And haven’t we all dismissed gaudy at one time or another?
I’m forced to conclude – most boards do nothing for the companies spending top dollar to purchase them. But why? The truth is billboards are to image building what Reebok high tops were to the eighties – essential. So what’s the problem?
I’ve named them.
1. The Average Joe – a board that does little to break through the litter along America’s byways. It could be mistaken for a large tree or, worse yet, a very ugly telephone pole.
2. The Lone Ranger – a board completely independent of a larger campaign. Even Batman had
3. The Ugly Betty – really, it’s too painful to detail what’s wrong with Betty.
4. The Lost Lucy – a board misplaced. You can’t advertise clean restrooms and hot coffee after your customer has passed you – it’s just cruel.
5. The Generation Gap – neon boards with bawdy copy will annoy your grandmother. Why place it in front of her nursing home?
6. The Chatty Cathy – the board that says everything except what the customer needs to hear.
Because the outdoor market is so saturated, billboards are best used to create buzz for a new product, guide customers to a location, or embed a message through frequent, clever repetition.
Don’t botch a board.