The billboard says Advertising Works … but does it?
Certainly advertising can work and can be extremely effective .. but that doesn’t mean all advertising works.
More often than not advertising totally fails.
This billboard provides “evidence” that advertising works. It says “You’re Reading This!”
Sure I read it, I even took a photo of it. But the advert failed to make me buy.
A while ago I went into a client who were spending £50,000 a year on outdoor advertising (Outdoor media). That’s bus shelters, bill boards, backs of buses etc. I asked to see the evidence that it worked.
No one could supply any evidence.
It could have been working .. but no one knew.
So we stopped it. We turned off the waterfall of money that was paying for the advertising. We stopped paying out £50,000 a year.
Did the customers stop coming?
Nothing untoward seemed to happen.
Just because someone reads something it isn’t evidence that it will work!
PS And if it works so well why has this advert been in this bus shelter for month after month. If it were that effective someone would have bought the space.
Of course sometimes contemporary events have a long planning cycle and you cna be well prepared. But sometimes they are more unexpected. However even unexpected events tend not to be totally unexpected. For example we all know it snows in the winter; what we don't know is exactly when the snow will come.
At the end of last week we started getting snow. By Sunday Honda had large Responsive Adverts plastered across the Sunday papers. They focused on all the "snow issues" we face .. transport, path clearing, power cuts … A great picture and a few simple words filled a half page and got Honda's message over to every reader.
What a superb advert.
What about planning at such short notice. I'll bet that Honda had planned this advert for when it next snowed .. they were as well prepared for winter advertising as they are for heavy snow! The reality is that teh snow was going to come sometime .. they just needed an ad they could run quickly.
This 200 year "advert" is still going strong. In fact it may be even more effective now than it has been for decades.
There was a time when every business had a sign outside their premises. Those like the stripped barbers pole worked even when the passerby was illiterate as they all knew what the red and white stripped pole meant.
Today this sort of sign is rare.
Even rarer is a sign that runs over the road above traffic level. When suspended from a huge oak beam it stands out even better today than ever before .. simply because it is rare and because of the materials.
The hewn oak beam and simple black on white lettering conveys a hidden message about a time past. A time when service standards and values were different. It plays on the nostalgia for a day none of us were there to see but nonetheless have a image of in our minds.
It is the antitheses of Internet marketing and works well.
This sign is for the George Hotel in Stamford and after 200 years is still attracting attention and customers.
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