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Art, Rejection and OOH Champion

2 274

Take Ownership. You are the expert.


90 percent is visual bright red

Last week I rejected artwork/creative submitted for printing from the agency/client.  27 words. Red copy on blue background. Font to literally die over.  A stick drawing, by the owner’s 14 year old (not gifted) son. Phone number and web address.  Gesh.

I would share  picture but then client would would be ‘unhappy’.  Recalling obscure statistics I read over 30 years ago, 90% of what the brain recalls is visual.  And further the brain comprehends visual 3 times faster than spoken.

90% of what the brain recalls is visual

It was not a full on rejection, as much it was a number of firm, persistent suggestions to making the design a better billboard.   On the most basic of terms, a billboard must first be able to be read.  All else is secondary.

billboard image

This is not a story of designing a great billboard, which dozens of OOH experts and non-experts have written about. It’s a fundamental question of doing the ‘right thing’ as a representative of Outdoor Advertising.  Is it the ‘right thing’, in returning to the client/agency (which at this point will refer to as client) with change recommendations?

Who is responsible for reviewing artwork in your office/company?
At the agency level, should the planner who sees the artwork pass through her hands for a brief second, speak up? Is it too late for the agency print production person by the time it reaches her desk to say something? Should the charting supervisor at the Billboard Store send it back?   THE ANSWER IS, EVERYONE.

How often have you as an Account Executive received art which you knew, there was no possibility, the design was going to be readable once it hit the streets?
But you went ahead and accepted it anyways.  Accepted, without any push-back to the client. Accepted, as its jammed, unreadable copy and pastel laden illustration, will torment you and the public, like this long run together sentence, soon to be passing by, with an average frequency of 7 times for 28 long days.  The agony!  That’s how it feels when a bad design hits the street.  THE ANSWER IS: Every single time.  

How far does one go to screening and returning ‘bad’ creative?
Offering constructive revisions is one thing: Should you return the art for revisions or improvements. Do you return it more than once?  How resolute or insistent should you be? Does your in-house artist provide the changes for Client convenience and savings?  The hyper committed AE; Do you reject the business?  Have you ever rejected business, I mean flat-out refused to process the agreement?

The rules for OOH readability are everywhere.
If you would like the rules OOH Today lives by, send us a note. In the subject line, ‘Rules for OOH Readability’.  We’ll send you a copy.  Make sure you are a subscriber to OOH Today.  http://www.OOHToday.com  This offer is only for subscribers.

You are the expert in all that is OOH, whether you have been in the business 2 years or 20.

You are the expert in all that is OOH, whether you have been in the business 2 years or 20.  You have, with your client, an opportunity to make your mark. Yell out to the world, with all of the city to see in glorious larger than life, roll down the window and slap the sign as you drive by it, 288 or 672 square feet, in your face, creative splendor.

Back, to the story.  The Client signed off on the revised art with the recommended changes our in-house artist provided.  The revisions went very smoothly.  It’s a better reading, final design.  We are on schedule for install.

Be a Champion of OOH Today.

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  1. billboarddiscussion says

    agreed and I softly discuss it with the agency or client. Then I make a bold statement to tell them it will not work and don’t try and claim “billboards don’t work”. I think as an industry we should stand up and not allow bad creative as it reflects on the industry, company and AE. Unfortunately the might dollar will always rule but what isn’t understood is that they are sacrificing tomorrows dollars for todays and they will always lose. I would love to rip up a contract and tell whomever, we are better than that. Imagine going into a market with no ugly creative. I know, Sci-Fi, but a goal.

  2. Bill Board says

    Obviously you have been there before. “…as an industry we should stand up and not allow bad creative as it reflects on the industry, company and AE.’
    Great comments. Thank you.

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