Two weeks ago, I noticed this billboard that caught my eye for several reasons. This is a good case of billboard advertising gone wrong. At first glance, some of the issues may seem obvious, but let's think about what's really going on here. What's really wrong with this picture?
It's a two-in-one. While it's not extraordinarily rare to see stacked billboards, this is one of a few locations for Clear Channel billboard advertising where this is the case. There are a number of general rules to follow when designing single billboard advertisements that a passing driver can consume. Now a driver is being asked to consider two, which may not be so bad if ...
Both billboards weren't using a yellow background. Yikes! But, to be fair, maybe they're advertising the same thing. Oh, wait ...
They're not. One billboard is for breast feeding. The other billboard is for a hair salon. Let's see. So we have two, stacked billboards that are using yellow backgrounds and advertising completely different things. The more I look at it, the more it seems like ...
These billboards start to run together. Wait, is this really one ad? Is the hair salon offering a spot for breast feeding? Probably not, but you can see where this is going.
Lessons to be learned
It seems like we've identified some serious issues here. Serious issues that are easily avoidable.
If you happen to purchase space where two billboards are stacked on top of each other, ask to see the art for the other board. You're spending a good fortune for them, and Clear Channel should be able to give you information on the other board.
Always, and I mean always, travel to the site where your billboards are located, and make sure everything looks as it should. Look at this practice as your quality assurance check.
The blame game
The last question we need to answer is, who's at fault here? Clear Channel? Nope. In the end, it's the buyer's responsibility to check out what's being purchased. If I owned this hair salon, I'd certainly have my board taken down and ask for a refund. Just my two cents.