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The Power of Posters

Inspired by a conversation I just had with Richard, which reminded me of this.

We touched on the power of posters to deliver an immediate hit of communication - I think this is one of its great strengths as a channel and why posters can make such an impact.

Out of home formats are evolving rapidly and embracing digital but increasingly I'm thinking of them differently to other media.

Often hailed as the last broadcast medium, in some ways they are examples of spam as described in the previous post - completely unsolicited. In fact, Howard Gossage describes them as such in the 1950s:

First, what is the difference between seeing an ad on a billboard and seeing an ad in a magazine? The answer, in a word, is permission–or, in three words, freedom of choice.

I'm not sure I entirely agree. My point previously was that when what used to be considered broadcast channels become digital and hence consumption is controlled by the consumer, the paradigms established online will be applied to these channels. But outdoor advertising will never be consumed this way, so I'm not sure this applies.

I'm not saying that people might not want to see posters [although in locations where we have to hang about such as the underground people positively welcome the distraction] but the way we think about them is different.

They aren't appropriate vehicles for involved communication.

The power of a great poster is that it sort of makes you stop and think.