Thursday, December 23, 2004

Impact of billboards

I've been meanign to blog about this for a while now, but this prompted me to write about it this morning. Seen the Bush-monkey billboard? A young artists has created a billboard which has Bush's face formed with the heads of monkeys. Now what I want to write about tis the impact of billboards on us. Doubtless, the US administration wants it removed, but private donors are ensuring it stays in public space. Why? Because billboards impact our lives more than we relaise. It's like this: if you're asked to remember a quantum physics theory you learnt in Class XI, chances are you'll ahve to click google before you can even remember a word. Yet, whn an old classic plays ont he radio, you can instantly sing along. Some of you who have brillaint memories, like my friend Prachi Bhasin, can even remember what colour shirt she and you were wearing on your first day at work. Also, I am sure if you think about your favourite film, you will be able to recall dialogues, clothes the actor/actress were wearing and possibly even the monument in the background. Why? Because some of this stays in your subconscious and you can pull it out like a rabbit from a hat whenever you like (OK not all of us can do that, bet you get what I mean). Now with billboards, if you pass through the same route every day, chances are, the billboard you are staring at is also sending hidden messages which are getting embedded in your mind, whether you are actually making an effort to remember it or not. There was an interesting artcile to this effect in The Strategist or Brand Equity recently, and I regret not having kept a cutting. Anyway, back to the point, if the Bush billboard stays in public space, it will impact far more people than if it were to be published in print, electronically, or even telecast on TV. So the next time you look out of the window when you're driving, remember what you see is what will stay in your head, maybe for years and years to come.

25 Comments:

Blogger eM said...

Yeah, there was this cancer board up near Minto road with a huge cigarette and the words "I am dying for a smoke"
And it was supposed to be all oh-if-you-smoke-you-die, but I swear, every damn time I drove past it, I lit up, coz I started "dying" for a smoke! :)

23 December, 2004  
Blogger writer-in-egg-style said...

Lifelong memories are made of thoughts AND feelings. Ad pros know this. Billboards that penetrate the deepest are those that do not fall for the false dichotomy between the two; they ease their way in on the power of a good idea.

An artwork can evoke thoughts AND feelings on Natural Selection, for example... just how much of the dogma-driven world is structured in evolutionary harmony with it?

Whaddya THINK? Whaddya FEEL?

That's the stuff of advertising. There's no sainthood in splitting hairs over whether to shave up, down, at thrice the speed of sound or whatever, but ad professionals who know what they're doing know that they are on to something worthwhile.

And lasting...

24 December, 2004  
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