Virgin Trains were the exception rather than the rule

Earlier this week I travelled to Manchester for a meeting, via the M5 and M6 (the train was too expensive at 48 hours notice).

Just before the junction for West Bromwich, there is a section of motorway that has more than its fair share of advertising hoardings. The things are literally hitting you in the face left, right and centre for about a mile. Now I'm sure most people probably ignored them and concentrated on the more important things of the moment (travelling at 70mph in three lanes of car traffic) but I was actively interested in what was on view.

And what struck me more than anything - was that I could hardly read any of them*. Too much text, text too small, inappropriate fonts, you name why I couldn't read it, and it was there.

For me this is a classic case of laziness on behalf of both client and agency alike. Using the one creative execution across all mediums irrespective of how the potential customer is viewing it.

Yes, it is more difficult to spend the time and effort thinking about the particulars of each medium where your message will appear, but that investment also gives the best chance of that message being read and understood.

People don't have the opportunity to spend the same amount of time looking at a press ad as they do when driving past a 48 sheet - so why would you put the same amount of copy on it?

Just a little thought about how the customer is reading your communication goes a long way to helping its effectiveness.

*Virgin Trains, with their 'Fly by Train' site (one image and one single, readable message) were a notable exception. Not that that surprised me.