Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Awareness < awareness + liking

If there’s a two-word rule of thumb for creating effective outdoor advertising, especially bulletins, it’s this: Simplify everything. Seven words or less in the headline, large and legible type, short words, no more than two things to look at, blah blah blah.

All of these make a lot of sense when you consider that your audience is probably driving by your ad somewhere between 35 and 65 miles per hour.

But what if they’re not?

What if you did your due diligence and discovered you had a board located across the intersection from a stoplight that takes its own sweet time in going from red to green? What if your audience, instead of imitating Speed Racer, is actually pretty likely to be sitting absolutely still with nothing to do but wait for that light? What if you knew that these nice people drove this same route five days a week?

How do those rules of thumb look now?

I’m not saying this is the greatest outdoor board ever (and my photo clearly sucks). But I do admire that it seems to have been created specifically for this location (and locations like it, one assumes).

For starters, it’s eye-catching simply because it looks unlike the outdoor boards we see every day. It’s intriguing initially because it appears to be a blank board that’s been tagged by some huge team of ninja graffiti artists. Once you realize it was designed to mimic an office white board (note the DO NOT ERASE note at the top), it’s easy to get sucked into exploring the many things written on it. And, thankfully, there are payoffs for exploring it by way of small jokes and funny drawings.

It would be easy to use this outdoor unit to raise awareness of Google’s job search capability. All you’d really have to do it put the URL on the board in big letters. Maybe set it in a typeface akin to the Google logo, to reinforce the brand, and voila. But after a month or more the audience would probably hate the way it seems to yell at them each and every day and gives them nothing in exchange for their time.

They’d know of Google jobs, but how would they feel about Google jobs?

Without saying—or really even implying—“we’re smart” or “we get you” this board leaves me with the feeling that, when it comes to job searching, Google is smart and might just “get me.”

1 comment:

Ben said...

No one can "get you," not even the world's biggest search engine. You sir, are an enigma.