Poster effectiveness has fallen to its lowest level in ten years,
according to new industry research.
Average awareness for poster campaigns fell to just 29 per cent across
2000 and 2001, compared with average awareness levels of 35 per cent for
the past ten years.
The research from Ipsos-ASI RSL Signpost, commissioned by Concord, also
shows that only 52 per cent of consumers who recalled a campaign were
able to correctly attribute the right brand to the advertising. This
compares with an average recall rate of 54 per cent over the past ten
Concord, the outdoor specialist, blames poor creative for the falling
awareness levels concerning outdoor campaigns. Its research shows that
strong creative is the most important factor in the effectiveness of
outdoor campaigns, but it argues that ad agencies too often sign off
press ads for poster campaigns and push out sub-standard creative to
Nigel Mansell, the managing director of Concord, said: "Advertisers must
stop signing off press ads for their poster campaigns - it has cost them
dearly. We can deliver the right audience at the right cost, but there
clearly needs to be more effort in achieving creative that
Mansell said there are basic outdoor creative guidelines covering the
use of colour, humour and recognisable people and icons that are too
"This might not produce award-winning work, but it helps to create work
that communicates well at a brand level," he said.
Concord's findings follow the recent news that Adshel is to launch the
outdoor industry's first research service to assess the impact of
creative on posters. The Creative Research Service, launched earlier
this week, is available free to advertisers using the Adshel Research
Stevie Spring, the chief executive of the More Group, told Campaign last
month: "I'm staggered by the number of posters that are designed so they
can't be read. No other medium, even in really inept creative hands,
allows such a total, demonstrable waste of clients' money."
The Adshel service will be run in conjunction with Millward Brown. It
will put a range of questions to 300 people aged 18 to 54 every two
During a five-month trial of the Creative Research Service, the recent
Whiskas "Long live cats" campaign emerged as the "perfect poster".
Wall's also scored highly with its Magnum ice cream campaign.
Separately, the outdoor industry has reported a 3 per cent increase in
ad revenue for the first half of the year. The figures released last
week by the Outdoor Advertising Association show revenues up 14.6 per
cent in the first quarter, but down 5.8 per cent in quarter two.
The OAA attributed the increase to advertisers shifting TV revenues, and
increased sophistication in the outdoor industry.