• Filtered for outdoor advertising

In my travels….adventures in other peoples’ advertising

by Wendy Riches

I do alot of driving. And because we offer creative services, I’m always attuned to noticing other peoples’ advertising efforts. So often, when I’m stuck in traffic or just out and about, a piece of advertising jumps out at me, and I just have to snap a picture of it – usually to send to Rod to say “Hey, look at this!”. It’s what keeps us fresh and excited about what we do.

Below are a few “snaps” from out on the road:

Plumbing advertising made fun.

1. Mr Swirl Plumbing – Fixed, Swirled, Plunged…..Amazing!
Gotta love a company that makes shit look fun, literally. The 50’s comic-style illustrations, fun typefaces and casual, friendly copy voice make plumbing seem a little lighter and brighter, and not so stressful. Trust me, we had plumbing issues this summer! I hope these guys mail drop local neighbourhoods with brand consistent flyers too.

Catchy photo and headline.

2. Two Rivers Meats
I couldn’t even tell what this truck was advetising at first, but the  catchy headline and huge photo caught my eye right away so I had to check it out further. Good thing I took a photo, as their url wans’t quite big enough for me to catch (maybe just because I was too busy taking the photo in traffic). My photo told me they were purveyors of fine, sustainable, ethically produced meats. I have no connection to this company, but I took the time to look up and link to their website above because I think they deserve some play for their great Outdoor advertising! And the bald guy on their home page is quite cute. 😉

These two examples illustrate the fact that good Outdoor advertising can be really effective. They make you look. Just be careful not to put too much information on your outdoor ads. They become cluttered fast and no one will get the actual info they need – your name and MAYBE your url.

Advertising crap to kids.

3. Finally, I couldn’t help it, I had to include a bad one. I was in the toy aisle of Superstore and found this gem of a product. That’s right, “Crib Life”. Positioning line: “Born Awesome”. Complete with cell phone, soother and bling – targeted to 5 year olds. Enough said.

MacDonald Creative is passionate about marketing and advertising. We’d love to help you make your product or service stand out to your target audience.

The great signage debate

By Rod MacDonald

Strolling through my neighbourhood the other day I saw a sign for a recently completed high-rise condo project and was immediately reminded of the great signage debate we sometimes have with clients and designers.
Designers want everything small. Clients want everything large.
In particular, clients want contact info large: phone, Email, URL. And let’s not forget their logo. Designers, on the other hand, want less copy and smaller type so the project logo can float in a sea of negative space.
I take the middle ground, telling clients that people read what they find interesting no matter the size, and asking designers to use a consistent and legible typeface.
Most real estate marketing signage is obtrusive and shouty, sending the wrong message about quality, value and attention to detail.
But in this case a designer’s sensibililities prevailed.
The sign tucks into the permanent fencing and presents the name of the project. That alone is enough to tell me homes are for sale. And sure enough, in the lower left corner it reads:
2 Bedroom Suites (some with dens)
Penthouses with Rooftop Terraces
No prices, sizes, phone or Email. But when I got home I Googled “coco spruce” and bingo, there was the project’s website, at the top of the list, with all the info I wanted. Except prices. So I had to call the sales staff 😉
And at that point I became low-hanging fruit, ripe for picking.

Charity Trucks: Pro-bono work pays different dividends

Wendy and I met Bill McIntosh while working for R Group Communications. He’s been a successful Realtor and has recently started a new company with a great idea. Charities need trucks. And companies need cost-effective ways to advertise. Put the two together and you have Bill’s new company, Charity Trucks. When a company agrees to sponsor a truck they get to place an ad on a side or rear panel.
Truck panel ads
We’ve been doing the ads for Bill’s clients and we helped him out with business cards, letterhead and web content. It’s not a big money maker but it sure feels good to work with a company that helps people less fortunate than ourselves.

If you’d like to learn more about Charity Trucks and sponsorship opportunities click here to Email Bill McIntosh.


Better Billboard Advertising

By Rod MacDonald

People love to hate outdoor advertising. And no wonder. Much of it is simply egregious clutter. But done right, billboards can bring a smile, build a brand and grab a target market.

The first thing to understand is that billboards, like quality print advertising, do not sell product. That gets done in person or on-line. Instead they provide awareness. When we first meet someone we try to put our best foot forward. Same goes for outdoor advertising. If you want prospective purchasers to like your product it’s better to entertain them than to appear anxious, desperate or boring.

One of the few hard and fast rules of advertising is to never put more than seven words in a billboard headline. Why? Because drivers can’t grasp anything more in the nanoseconds they have to look at a billboard. So we keep copy short, sweet and memorable.

Here are three of our billboards that really deliver.

Snoqualmie Ridge: This beauty sat on I-90 between Seattle and Snoqualmie Ridge where it was seen by thousands of commuters every day. It ran in conjunction with a print campaign, reinforcing the idea that, in an over-heated real estate market, Snoqualmie Ridge offered real (read practical and affordable) homes for real (read grounded and intelligent) people. Yes, we hired one of our favourite photographers to shoot the families shown in the print ads and gathered together here.

Dexter: This bright red billboard was created to serve as a directional sign placed between I-5 and Dexter’s South Lake Union location. Short, sweet and multi-purpose.

Premier Homes: Clients often want to include on their billboards a URL, phone number, Email address or, heaven forbid, all three. Not only does that surpass the seven-word rule, it just doesn’t make sense. When this request pops up I ask clients: Have you ever written down a phone number from a billboard – while driving your car or even as a passenger. The answer is always no. So why put it on your billboard? It’s usually a waste of time and space. Here, on the other hand, is one exception. It only works because the URL, which we created, is extremely memorable and we were able to make it the headline. Clever, if I do say so myself 😉

If you’re looking for outstanding outdoor creative, click here to drop us a line.