Is the poster a dying art?

In a world full of digital, are we neglecting traditional, offline forms of marketing? From the perspective of our Creative Director, he looks into what makes a successful poster and how to stand out to a technology obsessed generation.

How many posters do you see today that are as memorable as this famous Michael Jordan one for Nike? I personally don’t see many. Sadly, this powerful and simple creative concept feels like a thing of the past.

Far too often, posters (that are considered by many to be the hardest of all mediums to master) are too busy, have no clear message and the art direction confuses and does not guide the audience. Then, the cardinal sin is committed- which brand was that for again? The logo is too small, the call to actions almost invisible. Ultimately, can the poster be judged by the 5-second rule?

All because we are so enmeshed in the digital age and speed has taken over, the very basics, which have been engrained in art directors, designers and copywriters, seem to be a forgotten art.

We are lost in a world that is saturated with thousands upon thousands of messages each and every day. It is our job as creative agencies to champion the big idea, then guide them as and when to deploy the right message at the right time. All this has to be routed in creative insight and strategy wrapped up into a simple, ownable concept. Every brand has something different to offer. Finding that competitive differentiator leads to more brand authenticity.

There are glimpses that all is not lost, but to be honest that is not acceptable. The invaluable big idea is missing from a vast portion of marketing campaigns that enter our world on a daily basis. Why? A good question I ask myself.

In a world that has more marketing channels than ever, to communicate to a brands audience, I believe that the art of simplicity is desperately needed. The very best ideas live on multiple channels and appear to flex the brand message with ease. You have to make an emotional connection with your audience. Only once you make that connection can you go on to create a relationship with consumers with the hope that one day they will indeed become brand advocates.

Great brand campaigns should be able to live for 3-5 years. There are always exceptions to this rule and the truly iconic ones like Boddingtons ‘The Cream of Manchester’ and The Economists ‘Industrial Secrets for Sale’ live for decades.

To Conclude

When you see something unexpected, your mind is curious to understand what’s going on. With this knowledge, it is possible for brands to communicate clear, engaging and truly memorable brand messages such as this award-winning Carlsberg Experiential poster that continues the long-running ‘Probably’ campaign beautifully.

One thing is key if brands want to survive. They must be memorable and keep it simple.

Written by Dave Lambert