I often travel by Underground, MTR and subways -so I do get plenty of opportunities to see the ads at the stations, inside the train carriages and en route to my destination.
Therefore, I thought I choosing the good and the not so good from the world of print in the form of posters only seemed natural.
I’ll start with the good.
First thing in the morning on the train, nothing like a good ad facing you. In this for me, McDonald’s has succeeded. They use their own product, their famous French fries, to show a different product they are now offering in-store –free wifi. With few words, the visual stays with you and that for me is what makes this a winner.
It’s clever in that the wifi logo is a modern one and immediately the millennials (I’m assuming that is their main target market for this particular ad) can fully relate to it and for lack of a better word, feel connected to the Mc Donald’s brand. DDB, Sydney Australia with ECD Matt Eastwood and Creative Group Head, Adam Rose, brought this beauty to us.
Another I like
The second ad is just great because posters with humor are priceless. They have the power to make a bad day, good. Who remembers the 2012 Oscars red carpet where all the stars came out to play in their beautiful clothes and accessories. The ‘red carpet’ is talked about almost as much as the award winners that night. The ‘who wore it well’ and the ‘who didn’t look so great’ to the ‘what was she/he thinking …’
This ad was inspired by Angelina Jolie at the Oscars when she wore a black Atelier Versace gown with a daring split and decided to do a pose that soon captured everyone imagination. Yes, the one where she purposely stood for the cameras so that she could bare her right leg.
The pose became viral and, well, it was given a leg-up (sorry couldn’t help myself) on social media –from a twitter account (@AngiesRightLeg) to social media aggregator, Buzzfeed, setting up a page dedicated to ‘leg-bombing’ visuals.
I think that I was in Pakistan a few days after and chanced upon this poster outside the entrance of Nando’s. I loved it at first sight. It was humorous, current, witty and the talk of the town. In my books, a tick in every box is a winner. A great piggy-back off an event that actually took place.
Not sure of the agency, but I thought they did a great job in bringing the brand back into the pop-culture limelight, post-Oscars, using Nando’s own logo. Again, they leave it to their audience to understand the humor and there are just enough words to confirm that the connection you are making is indeed correct. And it’s not often that a chicken can take on and arguably, outdo Angelina Jolie. Genius.
One I don’t like – The one I forgot about
Ok now for the one I didn’t like so much. For posters, it’s easier to not be a fan simply because, unlike videos, it is static and can come across as boring, dull and even visually distasteful.
So for me, it has to hit the mark straightaway -humorous/thought-provoking/ interesting/informative –any or all of these lend it to giving it my attention. Videos, of course, have the ability to distract in a different way, they can divert your attention moment to moment. Posters don’t have that luxury.
Likes and dislikes of ads are subjective. I could have chosen any one of those everyday mundane car repair ads, a financial firm offering mortgages or other posters that are in the same vein. Those are the often forgettable ones which have the wrong font and no real message other than the phone number. Plenty of those around.
Ads –poster, billboard, print or otherwise- should try to leave the observer with something. Whether it’s a thought about the product or the brand, a truth about a social campaign or any feelings about the messaging. It is when an ad stays with you well past the time you have seen it –that is when I would say an ad is successful.
The forgettable ones remain as just that. Forgettable.