Poster advertising can be difficult to get right. And the best poster advertising specialists understand far more than which print finish to use; it involves combining many disciplines – tapping into the brand image, creating something unique, and being eye-catching. When campaigns are executed perfectly they can last a long time in the memory and be a massive boost to brand recognition.
Whether they are selling a product or trying to convince their audience, posters can be used to great effect if you know what you’re doing. Here are six great examples of poster adverting done right.
Go Compare’s graffiti hoax
One of the UK’s most recognisable advertising campaigns of the last decade is that of comparison site Go Compare and its bombastic fictional opera singer ‘Gio Compario’. Starting off as a TV advertising jingle, the campaign took on a life of its own, and the singer Wynne Evans became extremely well known for his irritating singing.
And Go Compare was able to utilise the ability of the campaign to get on people’s nerves in another creative way with poster advertising. They launched a series of billboard posters designed to look like they had been vandalised. One example saw the word ‘Compare’ scrawled out and further words added so that the poster read “Go jump off a cliff”, along with scribbles over Gio Compario’s face.
The ads managed to fool many members of the general public, and this led to many photos being shared on social media sites by people believing that they were genuine graffiti.
Pedigree’s thought-provoking dog adoption posters
In an effort to encourage more people to adopt a dog, Pedigree released a series of posters highlighting the difference that having a dog in your life can take. The campaign cleverly showed two almost identical images – one containing a dog, and one without it. The presence of the dog in the picture shows it as a companion.
In the poster without the dog, the person looks lonely or isolated. This was a brilliant way to showcase that having a dog in your life can actually make things better.
The Barack Obama ‘Hope’ poster
It is perhaps the most lasting image of Barack Obama’s successful 2008 presidential campaign – the ‘Hope’ poster came to symbolise the simple message of what Obama was offering to the country. The simplicity of the design, combined with its use of a striking red, white and blue colour palette, makes it extremely memorable.
Interestingly, the poster was designed in a single day, showing that sometimes the simplest options may well be the best.
The McDonald’s sundial
One incredible piece of poster billboard advertising came from a branch of McDonald’s in America’s Midwest. Used to showcase the diversity of breakfast options offered by the brand, McDonald’s utilised a ‘sundial’ which created the shadow of a McDonald’s logo point at Egg McMuffins, coffee cups, and McDonald’s bagels.
The sundial clearly only had a short lifespan as a when the days began to get shorter and less sunlight was around to light the dial it no longer worked. Nevertheless, it was a very effective and eye-catching campaign for the short time that it was used.
In a rather absurd moment in 2018, fast food giant KFC ran out of chicken. This led to many news stories showing the dismay of customers as they turned up at branches to find them devoid of the fried chicken they were hoping for.
In order to manage this rather disastrous public relations nightmare, the company put out an advert apologising – and changing around the letters of their logo to read ‘FCK’. While the advert couldn’t make people feel better about missing out on their chicken, it did show the public that the company was accepting responsibility and trying to do the right thing.
Sometimes pictures can be used to say more than words ever could – and Whiskas used this to great effect in a poster titled ‘Feeding your cat’s natural instincts’. This was a great way to suggest that Whiskas cat food provides everything that a cat needs to act ‘naturally’. Additionally it uses humour to appeal to cat owners, as a collared cat chases a gazelle across the plains.