The point of signage is to get attention and attract new customers to your business. Why, then, do so many businesses create boring, generic ads that have no “hook”? Some are afraid to be bold, whereas others just don’t know what to do to be unique. Have a look at these great ads that weren’t afraid to push some boundaries.
Ford—This ad is bold for several reasons. 1) The actual product takes up very little of the design. 2) The visuals are very powerful. 3) It takes a few seconds (or even minutes, depending on the reader) for the meaning to register. An ad that catches the reader’s eye and then keeps their interest long enough to figure out the meaning is an ad that will be very successful, but use it for signs that are viewed for awhile, like a store window decal.
3M—It’s hard to get more bold than an ad full of nails shooting toward the viewer. This one leaves even more up to the reader to determine than the Ford ad. However, the nails catch the eye, which makes you want to discover the purpose of the ad (for Scotch adhesive). Signs don’t always have to focus on a product or service to be effective.
WD-40—This WD-40 ad (and the others in this campaign) is a bit polarizing, but that’s what makes it so bold, and so successful. WD-40 knew its target and narrowed in on it with an ad that hits home. In the process, some viewers won’t appreciate it, but they’re not WD-40’s target customer anyway. This is a great strategy for businesses that serve a specific niche.
Utah Department of Public Safety—Scare tactics have been proven to be successful over the years, and this ad delivers on that strategy. Bold signs can be used for businesses, campaigns, non-profits—anyone with a message to deliver. In this case, both car drivers and bikers take notice. Use this strategy for highly-visible signs like vinyl banners.
Mercedes-Benz—This series of ads shows is incredibly-bold. Mercedes actually went far enough to create ads using the logos of its competition! The idea, or at least the way I see it, is that the SLS is so fast it leaves the competition in the dust, and this is the view from the rear view mirror of the Benz. Some would criticize this ad for being vague or promoting the competitors, but at the very least it gets you wondering.
So by now you should be ready to create an eye-popping design that gets people talking, right? A bold design can be the key to making custom signs work for you, so take a risk to stand out from the crowd!