Poster Watch

Lucozade’s Lara Croft campaign came top this month in both the recall and popularity stakes. But Budwieser was only one step behind for approval. Plus, Grey Advertising’s Tim Mellors gives BA a dressing-down

Ipsos-ASI asked 300 adults to look at photographs of ten current posters, with the advertiser’s name and logo removed, and asked which ones they had seen before, and whether they liked or disliked each one.

Lucozade made far more impact than any other campaign. Nearly two-thirds – 64 per cent – of the population remembered this poster, seven per cent more than its nearest rivals, BT Cellnet and Budweiser Light.

There is a similar gap between these and the fourth campaign, American Airlines, which was recalled by 45 per cent of all adults. Renault Clio scored 39 per cent, surprisingly low considering the prominence of its well-aired slogan “size matters”.

Just over a third remembered Starburst, the Ribena Toothkind orange drink and Givenchy ð; Palmolive just fell short with 32 per cent and British Airways’ promotional “companion flight” poster was recalled by only 30 per cent.

Lucozade kept its grip on the top slot for approval, scoring 67 per cent, although it was closely challenged by Budwieser Light with 66 per cent and Palmolive’s fruity Shower Gel at 65 per cent.

Nearly six out of ten of the surveyed adults liked BT Cellnet and Starburst, giving them joint fourth place. Givenchy and Renault Clio were close behind, scoring 55 per cent and 54 per cent respectively.

American Airlines just scraped in under the halfway mark with 49 per cent and Ribena Toothkind was approved by 40 per cent. British Airways failed to improve on its recall position, and stayed in last place. with 38 per cent.

Puns should be palpable to give posters a punch

There aren’t many really great posters, but when you do get one, it can sing out louder than any other kind of ad, even a TV or cinema commercial.

I think Lucozade is an excellent campaign. I had noticed the posters around town, and I love them – especially the bus-side with the bullet holes. The Lara Croft figure is a powerful image for men and women, symbolising speed and action; and this is a brilliant way of attaching a contemporary reference to the brand.

The American Airlines ads are not great but they are good. The headlines lead you into the selling lines and the information they contain makes you reassess the brand. By comparison, the British Airways poster is disappointing. I’ve come to expect some clever work from BA, but this does not quite match up to past executions. The proposition is attractive, but it is not picked up in the headline, with its rather uneasy pun.

Come to think of it, it is amazing how many puns there are on posters. In this batch alone there is Renault Clio and Budweiser as well as BA and American Airlines. It makes you realise how careful you have to be with puns: when they’re right, they really ring, but otherwise, they’re a bit of a yawn.

Tim Mellors is creative director of Grey Advertising

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