Posters Capture an Audience

This Poster Tells ’em Where to Go!

I don’t generally like overly “busy” posters, but businesses have to do something to cut through the sensory overload. Here in the 21st Century, advertising is the wallpaper of the world. Nearly everything in our environment is covered with corporate logos. So advertisers┬áneed to be creative to make an impression.

Splashy designs and bold colors are an effective way to get a reader’s attention. It helps especially when the colors match the product that is being advertised, such as a rich blue to advertise bottled water. Imagine a person reading a predominantly blue advertisement and suddenly discovering that he is quite thirsty. Artistic designs can be product-specific. Selling Mexican or Southwest cuisine is easier when the reader sees a sign festooned with sombreros and fiesta designs. Now picture the reader realizing she’s hungry for a plate of tacos.

Sometimes, however, simplicity can cut through our jaded senses. The unusual is a powerful draw, and amid the busyness of the world, that which is bold and bare can be an attention-getter—nothing there on the poster but a company name displayed in a big, strong font with an attractive logo, perhaps with a short tagline.

People or even animals are a powerful way to present the product. When a reader sees a sign covered with photographs of happy, laughing people, it’s instinctual to want to join the fun, which presumably can be done by simply purchasing the product. A poster can create a peaceful mood by showing people in placid environments that feel like home, or in beautiful outdoor settings with plenty of sunshine, lush-green grass, still lakes. Adding a dog or a house cat to the picture emphasizes the effect, causing people to think about their beloved pets. If the product is exciting, such as a sports car, the advertiser might want to use flashy colors and designs and show people letting loose, doing risky things, displaying devil-may-care chutzpah with wild grins on their faces. Everyone likes to see beautiful people triumphing over obstacles. Just ask the Mentos ad writers.

All these things drive at affecting people emotionally in a way that penetrates skepticism. When people are experiencing good feelings, they aren’t as likely to be evaluating the worth of a product or thinking about how well they can afford the expenditure. Whether it be excitement, joy, tranquility, confidence, hope or affection, all the tools are there for the taking in the world of poster ads. Pick the tool and make it happen.