Advertising 101

Can you read the tiny text on this billboard?


Didn’t think so. Imagine how difficult it would be to read it if you were driving past at 40 m.p.h. Back when I worked at ad agencies (I believe it was the Iron Age), the rule of thumb for billboard copy was “7 words or less.” And the goal was to have one key image with words and logo in a large font, so that drivers could get the message with a quick glance as they were whizzing by. Clearly no one at Erie Insurance’s ad agency got that memo. That text up top would be difficult to read if it were a foot from your face, much less from 40 yards away in a moving vehicle.

So basically they’ve wasted whatever money they spent on this billboard. That’s OK, they’ll probably make it up by jacking up premiums.




2 thoughts on “Advertising 101

  1. Remember when we’d have to cut out the billboard comps and do the hallway test? Park Uncle Vinny at one end and then slowly walk backward, holding the comp, until he’d yell he couldn’t read it? Oh, he’d yell other things, too. That was half the fun! One time I believe we had TraceyMae in a wheelie chair and test drove him by the comp. Oh, the good old days!!

    PS — my favorite #OutdoorFail was the incorporation of QR Codes. Yeah… just pull out that phone while you’re driving the Interstate to enjoy this extra content we just KNOW you will want to view… and share!

    • Ah yes, good times at B&G Advertising (RIP). So true about the QR codes, but trying to capture a QR code was probably less risky than texting and driving.

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