The definitive guide: Create a successful poster that engages your audience.
Posters have been a great way to ignite interest with potential audiences for movies, products, services and brands. They can be used successfully at trade shows as pull-banners or canvas printing for brand campaigns. Anybody can create a poster to advertise their product or service, but not all posters successfully bring customers. If you develop the wrong kind of poster, you will be throwing hundreds or even thousands of dollars down the drain. Classic Colour, who are Melbourne’s printing specialists have provided the following tips for businesses that want to put the ‘wow factor’ into their poster campaigns.
The purpose of your poster isn’t to entertain them, it is to sell to them.
Sometimes, business owners create a professional and interesting poster that may get talked about but fails to do the essential thing, which is to sell the product, service and the brand. It is critical that businesses take out the guesswork and work with proven strategies and tactics to ensure that the posters that they develop will be a success.
Developing an impactful poster requires artistic creativity with a scientific approach. David Ogilvy, the founder of advertising agency ‘Ogilvy’ wrote in his book ‘Confessions of an advertising Man’ how people should use potent copy to sell their product, service or idea. Some of the key takeaways that he promoted include:
Developing a captivating headline.
The headline is what will entice people to become interested and to keep on reading your ad. Appealing to the reader through their interests and by using power words such as ‘new’ or ‘free’ will make your advertising more effective. You can find a list of powerful words and phrases that you can use in your advertising copy from the book “Words that sell” by Richard Bayan. Also, keep the headline simple, to the point and try to arouse curiosity.
The poster must be interesting.
There must be no signs of boredom with your poster. That’s why it is important to select captivating images that will resonate with your advertising message. Split test the response to the images with focus groups if you have access to them. Ensure that the picture that you select conveys your message boldly and that it will successfully make an impact on your audience. For example, when Apple was released their new iPod, they made great use with their image selection to communicate their message.
It is also widely used in movie posters to sell their films, as illustrated by the iconic film The Terminator.
Formulas you can use to develop an interesting poster.
The advertising theme must demand the attention of the prospective consumer. That’s why it is important to use proven marketing formulas to build attraction and interest from your poster. Some popular models include:
AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action)
The AIDA model is one of the best models to use for your poster. You want your poster to engage the reader to take action. This should be accomplished by:
- Gaining the attention of the reader with captivating headlines and images.
- Creating interest in the product or service.
- Arousing desire
- Compelling the reader to take action.
PAS (Problem – Agitation –Solution)
Identify the problems of your target consumer. Ensure that the message that you plan to communicate through the poster’s text and images resonate with the problems that they have.
Once you have identified the problems, your message will need to address their frustrations caused from the problems. Communicate this in a clear and concise way so they will become emotionally involved with the message of the ad and their decision making process.
One you have agitated their pain, the message of the ad must provide a solution to the reader that will allow them to take action. Actions such as calling a phone number, making a booking, downloading an app, visiting a website or initiating brand recall are critical elements that should be kept in mind.
One of the greatest posters that achieved this successfully was through Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.
SAR (Situation – Action – Result)
One of the powerful storytelling methods is resonating with your prospects situation, proposing actions that will improve your prospect’s situation and providing them with the expected results or outcome. For example, in 2010, ING Direct offered new customers $1000 if they switched their mortgage from their current bank to ING Direct, which would be paid at the time of settlement.
Businesses can position their brand strongly by communicating through the power of storytelling. This can be for their own brand or they can leverage world events or celebrities.
Some of the brands that have successfully used this tactic in their poster campaigns are pictured below.
Have fun to produce good work
”You cannot bore people into buying your product,” Mr. Ogilvy once concluded. ”You can only interest them in buying it.” Developing an interesting poster is like combining art creativity with science. This is clear in the London Underground poster campaign celebrating 150 years of their service
The poster that you develop should trigger intent from the viewer of your poster. Tease the audience of your audience and compel them to take action with your brand and business.