The Importance of a Clear Message

No matter what the media, anyone wishing to communicate something to someone else needs to have a clear and easily understood subject for their message.   Also, no matter what the media, the beginning of the communication gets the most  attention and sets the tone for everything else that follows.

On the billboard here, there is zero communication!! “Be One. Use One,” is the likely “attention getter.”  One what?  Or, if the “RADD” comes over stronger, then what is that?  The gobbledeegook of the inset box on the right adds nothing.  Nor does the red graphic background on the top half of the billboard, nor the blue on the bottom.  An uninitiated person driving past this billboard would have no idea as to what message is being promoted.

[Given time to read the billboard, it turns out that the billboard was promoting designated drivers.  And, the billboard was paid for by “Recording Artists Against Drunk Drivers. (RADD)”]

At the most elementary level, the need for clarity is to focus the attention of the viewer/auditor.  Focused attention, then, allows for a message to get communicated.

A message which starts out:  “Cat Owners…” is pretty clear as to what the subject matter is/will be.  A cat owner almost HAS to pay attention to what follows.

As marketers trying to communicate with an audience or “demographic,” our task, or charge,  is always to be laser clear about what our subject matter is.

Keeping Distractions Down


Webster’s New World Dictionary defines “to communicate” as: “to give and receive information.”

The message which had to be the focus of the billboard, here, was to impart the phone number to those people likely to be interested in the plastic surgery.

Yet, while the billboard is cutesy, a person has to ask, is the graphic overpowering the message?  How many people’s eyes go back to the upper right hand corner of the billboard after their  eyes lock onto the graphic?

In my opinion, the creative department of the high priced ad agency, that did this billboard, got ahead of themselves and lost the communication they were after.


[Next week’s blog will be out on Thurday, September 20.]

Savvy or Tacky Marketing?

Credit Union building with posters in front

Credit Union building with posters on display

On the subject of “marketing” we see interesting examples from time to time and would be interested in other people’s thoughts.

For instance, is the presentation at the right — which uses large posters — doing a positive service for the credit union involved?

Posters advertising business

Are these posters tacky or savvy?

Another way to look at this is from the point of view of expectations.

Credit Union building with posters

View of posters in Credit Union windows

A person expects to see this sort of thing at a Taco Bell store.   Is there a taint to doing the posters in a modern office building?  Or, is it savvy marketing because it’s unexpected?