Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Curb Your Enthusiasm: Good job advertising to me
I have to take a moment to give props to effective advertising. I've seen this poster twice today, and it's one of the few posters I've seen in Manhattan (where you're basically drowning in visual advertising) that made me LOL. Well, maybe not OL, but at least it made me L on the inside.
By the way, the little "Spades" above his crotch isn't part of the advertising image. It's just standard subway graffiti on the poster I photographed at 23rd Street. Now SPADES can brag that he tagged a blog, too, sort of by proxy.
Anyway, part of the reason it works is that it's doesn't just throw its message at you all at once. That mantra works great for laundry detergents on store shelves, but it's not the most effective way to get people to like your poster. The first time I saw this ad, I was drawn into the center by the white text, cradled by the composition of the photograph, and I was thoroughly unimpressed. I was like, "Is it me? Can't you make his neurosis a little wittier, at least?" I actually found the advertisement itself annoying, right along with its subject.
However, the second time I saw it, I was still drawn to it, simply by virtue of its size and simplicity, but I no longer had any particular reaction to the content in the center, so I sized it up a little longer, and I saw the punchline, which is tucked off at the very edge of the poster. That's when I laughed, and felt vindicated in my annoyance, and happy with the poster, because it had a witty treatment after all!
Anyway, good poster... elements that move you through the image, and the message, in the right order, and at the right pace, so that the whole thing comes across like a boring story with a good punchline. I hear the show's good, too... maybe I'll get around to watching it some time.