About the Steve O Zone

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Long A.A.R.M of Steve O...

ssemblage of
usings of an over-caffeinated, slightly ajar yet well-meaning writer.

Before I get to my post, I wanted to make reference to the title. For those of you who have been here before know I sometimes bring out the Long AARM just to get things off my chest.

The title is not exactly (understatement) for SEO purposes and folks like @MackCollier would probably question why I would choose such a title but... hey, this is my blog and I'll do what I want, right?

It's why we live in America... freedom of blog titles or something like that.

Anywho, today I want to touch on a topic that is very much a passion of mine: Advertising. I have an undeniable love and passion for it; its varied mediums, its role in American society and so on.

Here's some recent "stuff" I've come across re: Advertising and my take on it...

Have written more than my fair share of billboards in my time and I am never at a loss for the sheer ineptitude many "creatives" & advertisers alike display when it comes to outdoor advertising.

Take this one for example... (NOTE: The image is blurry as I snapped the pic while driving on Interstate 95 in Philly. I added in the text so you can read it clearly)

See how big and bold and in ALL CAPS the line about the Corolla is?

See how small the line about the Cruze is?

And see how small the Chevy logo is?

Now factor in the fact that this billboard is on an extremely busy highway with folks traveling at speeds well into the 70s, 80s and higher and what impression do you think the majority of them will take from seeing this?
You got it... they will think it's a billboard for a Corolla. Why in the world would you ever give more weight and prominence to your competitor?!?!?!

My all-time favorite billboard offenders are those who insist on cramming everything they possibly can...

Yeah good luck reading this baby going 75...

Of course not all billboard advertising is bad. On the same Interstate 95, albeit going the other direction, are two billboards for the new movie Little Fockers that are perfect... in every way.

The first one below (Stiller) is on the right side of the highway, the second (DeNiro) is on the left, just seconds after the first.

They are perfectly placed and they capitalize on the now-established brand of this movie series. There's no need to have any more verbiage, none.

Obviously every advertiser will not have the luxury of having such a well-known brand where the image can essentially tell the whole story but... even the least-known advertiser needs to realize you're dealing with a very limited window here... 4,5 seconds tops as they speed down the road. 

PLUS, in today's uber digital world, drivers, AKA your customers, will not only be concentrating on driving (I hope), their attentions will also be diverted via their omnipresent mobile phone.

Pick a city, any city and choose any main highway, interstate etc and the following happens every single day over and over and over... 

Your cruising along at 70... your phone rings, beeps whatever. While you know you shoudn't, you divert your attention to driving AND your phone. While all this is going on, your being deluged by one billboard after another. Your attention is now being sliced in thirds and we, as advertisers, want you to notice our billboard AND remember it.

And for our next trick...

So how bout you?

If you're in advertising, what are your thoughts re: billboards/outdoor?

And if you're not in advertising yet operate a motorized vehicle, what do you think?

Do you notice billboards?

Do you ever remember what you see on them?

Do they ever serve as the impetus to make a purchase?

The other ad I wanted to briefly touch on were TV spots Alec Baldwin recently did for Wegman's supermarkets.

While I think the spots are very well made, I just don't understand why Alec Baldwin?

Does Alec Baldwin conjure up home cooked meals, the holidays and families?

Um, no...

'Til next time...



Terri O said...

In response to why Alex Baldwin? I guess Steven Segal was busy :) Good article once again.

Todd Turner said...

Nice post, man. Would love to see the Little Fockers boards in the flesh. But this is what we're all about at The Hangline. Every client deserves well-crafted, legible, conceptual billboard creative. A local advertiser can make big waves with outdoor that's done well. It's not just for the mega-corporations.