Monday, May 13, 2013

Messaging - The Billboard Metaphor


Today, marketing is dominated by social media. If you sell to consumers you must have a Facebook presence. If you market to businesses you must have a LinkedIN presence. Everyone is on Twitter. How does the marketer get their messages across in this media world? The old 30 second TV ad is too long these days. No one reads 12 page whitepapers any more, even if you now call them "e-books". No one is fooled. With ADD (attention deficit disorder) being a global phenomena what's the correct way to think about your messages.

The answer is the BILLBOARD.

“I would have written you a shorter letter if I had more time”

This quote in various versions has been attributed to Twain, Cicero and Voltaire.  It doesn’t matter who actually said it first. What matters is it defines the role of marketeers today.  

To get your message across to overwhelmed consumers requires marketeers to sharpen their pencils and spend the time to write the shortest letter possible.  These “letters”, whether documents, presentations or videos, need to get the key message(s) across quickly.  The apt metaphor is the billboard.   


Billboard marketeers need to get their message across to drivers in less than a second.  Think of driving down the highway at 65 mph and glancing at a billboard.  You don’t have time to read lines of text.  You have time to grasp an image and a key phrase.  That’s why billboard marketing is the ultimate form of messaging.  Creators must boil the value proposition over and over again until they have it terse to the nth degree.  Figure 1 shows some examples that illustrate this point.

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Figure 1
Examples of Effective Billboards
Source: Google Images

These examples are effective since the leave the view with a clear message of the value of the product.    Looking at the first on, we see a tasty hot dog and are asked whether we love dogs.  If we do, we leave with the action to think Pink’s.  The second example hits the viewer with a simple message:  Natural, a pineapple and Skyy Vodka.  


Call  978 992 2203 to discuss how billboard marketing can work for you

7 comments:

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