Simply the best way for poster ads

Tony Cox is creative director of BMP DDB Needham

A poster has to make a simple graphic statement in order to get noticed.

Two poster campaigns in this selection do that very well – Colgate and Harpic Limescale. Both of them are in low interest categories, but nevertheless, both succeed in making the brands seem important, communicating their message quickly and clearly.

The Colgate campaign in particular is an excellent example of poster advertising. It is fantastically visible with a red background and enormous white type. The type-face is particularly appropriate, clean and trustworthy, and the word play is extremely witty. It isn’t easy to get your message across in a couple of words, but Dental Practice and Mint Condition are prime examples of succinct copywriting conveying both honesty and intelligence.

Kit Kat has historically used the poster medium very effectively with its long running Have a Break campaign. However, this latest execution is for a limited edition biscuit and follows the generic path of irresistibility.

The Midland Bank posters are, to my mind, too complex for the medium, telling a story rather than making a simple assertion. A poster, to really do the business, has to distil the absolute essence of the brand into a simple graphic statement that conveys an immediate benefit, not wander around trying to explain itself.


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