Thursday, May 7, 2009

Good test for effective outdoor ads

Nick, ad man and copywriter, left a comment last week, musing why so many brands mess up outdoor ads? I find it hard to believe that brand managers do not know the main principles of good outdoor. You can be sure most agencies know what it good and what is clearly not good.

So why poor ads?

I suspect there are other reasons. One might be the time-pressures to get a campaign live. Or perhaps there are internal struggles within the client's organisation. Everybody has an opinion on advertising. And many marketing departments do not have the clout or power they need. So the final result is not the single-minded piece of communication it started out as. But as this video demonstrates - compromise is not always a good thing. It might be good for relationships in the company - but not always a good thing for the end result.

In fairness, Heinz know how to do outdoor. Even from this distance, it is obvious this ad is for Heinz. The photo quality itself isn't great. And even if you can't read the copy - the tomato image suggests this message is something about being fresh. Simple.

If you can't figure out the intended message and the brand from this distance - the ad has failed.

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