The Seven Rules of Cre­at­ing Ef­fec­tive Out­door Copy

ArabAd - - CONTENTS -

Drivers of­ten do not have the time nor are in the mood to in­ter­nalise the sub­tleties and im­pli­ca­tions of a com­pli­cated out­door message, no mat­ter how clever it may be. Keep your copy sim­ple and avoid too for­malised struc­tures, as they tend to fur­ther alien­ate you from the mass au­di­ence.

Keep it sim­ple Cap­i­talise on brand at­tributes Free your­self from call-to-ac­tion con­straints Con­dense. Stick to the brand’s tone

Brand at­tributes con­sist of the spe­cific con­cepts and char­ac­ter­is­tics that de­scribe and de­fine the qual­i­ties of your brand and dis­tin­guish it from its coun­ter­parts. Just like per­son­al­ity traits al­low you to iden­tify peo­ple, brand at­tributes will help the pub­lic iden­tify your brand. If your message does not re­flect the core val­ues per­tain­ing to your brand, then you need to scrap it out and start from zero. A call to ac­tion has al­ways been a given in terms of OOH copy but the in­dus­try is grad­u­ally lib­er­at­ing from this rule. Think of it this way: your bill­board, what­ever the pur­pose be­hind it, is in it­self a call to ac­tion as it will even­tu­ally gen­er­ate some kind of re­sponse on the part of the re­cip­i­ent. So do not go around fuss­ing about call-to-ac­tion mat­ters when you should rather ap­proach your message from a com­pre­hen­sive per­spec­tive. Look at the big picture. Limit your message to a max­i­mum of seven words for drivers to be able to read them on the move. In most cases, you don’t need more than that any­way.

July/au­gust 2016 Ac­cord­ing to the OOH Brand Guide­lines is­sued by the Out­door Ad­ver­tis­ing As­so­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica (OAAA), a brand’s tone should be bold, con­fi­dent, cre­ative, pow­er­ful, trusted, con­tem­po­rary and for­ward-looking. Think of these seven val­ues as the found­ing pil­lars that should be re­flected in your brand’s message.

Do not make it look like you’re try­ing too hard

Please, for Com­mon Sense’s sake, avoid spoon-feed­ing the message to your au­di­ence (if you have to ex­plain it, then it may not be as ef­fec­tive as you think!). Good copy bears no ex­tra ex­pla­na­tion.

Dare to be bold.

Once you’ve in­ter­nalised the rules, you can go ahead and bend/break them how­ever you want. And whether you choose to go by the book or rip off ev­ery sin­gle page, find that dash of per­sonal spice that will make your copy stand out!

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