Posters must show some restraint

Peter Souter is creative director at Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO

Although the campaign for the NSPCC is my favourite out of the ten, it’s also the one that I have reservations about. The ads are compelling and simple, but my query is whether posters are the right medium for them. We tend to forget that posters are a blunt instrument: you can’t control who sees them. We have a responsibility to use media discreetly, and I’m not sure that such violent ads should be up in the street where children are exposed to them. Having said that, it’s a brilliant campaign.

Judging from the words – “Man Kind” and “Man Power” – the Vaseline posters are repositioning the brand, from a medicinal, feminine image towards masculinity.

Though a cliché – if it’s to do with men, it has to be made out of metal – they do convey the message effectively.

Fifth Element has been put together according to the rules which all film posters seem to observe: the name of the film, the name of the star and a representative image; as if this is the formula that works. But as soon as a rule has been established, that’s the time to break it.


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