23 Aug 2017

It’s the two-second test: does it convey the message quickly and clearly?

23 Aug 2017

Peter Brown spent five years studying architecture before realising he made a better art director, and then a further period at the ‘school of advertising’ (Ogilvy & Mather) before realising he made a better account director.

peter brown

After stints in Sydney and London he joined Colenso in Auckland in 1994 as New Business Director. He went on to become General Manager at Lowe and Draft FCB and now runs his own agency, Roycroft Brown.

The brands he has stewarded are too numerous to name, but here are a few: Vodafone, Honda, Tower Insurance, Placemakers, L’Oreal, Guinness, Stella Artois and BMW. More than a few of these famous names have ended up on street posters. Why?

 

What was your first campaign using Phantom Billstickers, and why did you put street posters on the schedule?

I first used Phantom when we launched Vodafone Pre Pay, back in the day.

The Vodafone brand’s DNA was ‘Youthful Spontaneity’ and Pre Pay was targeted at the younger end of the market who didn’t want to be tied up with contracts, as opposed to businesses who were locked into plans.

Street posters were ideal for the creative opportunity they provided and their suitability to youth-oriented challenger brands.

 

What was the outcome?

 Pre Pay was vitally important in getting Vodafone up to 1,000,000 customers and making real inroads into the consumer end of the market.

Street posters worked because Pre Pay recharge cards were available from dairies all over the country. Prior to that business plans were only available through Vodafone stores. So street posters were vitally important in letting consumers know they could purchase top-ups at that location

 

In your opinion, what do street posters do especially well?

They have an immediacy that other media just don’t seem to have. When you’re on the street, out and about doing stuff, shopping, eating and socialising, a poster can connect when you least expect it.

 

Any thoughts on the future of posters in general, especially with digital becoming more important?

Electronic media live in the ether – after 30 seconds they’ve been and gone.

By contrast, outdoor media have longevity, especially in the case of Phantom’s street posters, where you can target multiple and specific sites throughout the country.

This means you can be very specific with your messaging to a geographic area or target market, and you can build a multilayered message using two, three or four executions beside each other. So a street poster campaign can really break through the clutter and reinforce a brand message at the ground level.

Street posters also reach buyers while they’re on-the-hoof, rather than driving in busy traffic, so the advertiser has much more time and flexibility to convey the message and be creative with it.
Whilst digital adds impact and flexibility, the base tenet of a billboard or street poster still stands. It’s the two-second test: does it convey the message quickly and clearly?

 

Any examples of great poster campaigns that really nailed it?

Grand Theft Auto did a very impactful ‘Wanted’ campaign that made you stop and read. And of course the most recognisable and iconic poster of all time was the Uncle Sam and Lord Kitchener war recruitment poster.

The old Silk Cut cigarette posters are classic brand-builders, and any poster by Shepard Fairey also speaks volumes.

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