I’ve always been fascinated by airplane banners. There is no way you can miss them unless you are asleep.
Living in South Florida it’s not unusual to see these banners airplanes flying along the shoreline. Especially during holidays such as this past Memorial Day weekend. I’m always attempting to take photos of those that get my attention, some because they’re well executed, while others because they’re total flaps. I don’t always succeed at taking the photos, most times by the time I get the camera ready, they’ve already passed by.
The point of airplane banner ads is to identify the advertiser and the marketing message from afar. The most effective ones have a concise message, displayed in highly contrasting and the largest possible size text. In short, they are very easy to read.
Unlike these ads in this picture below, which seem to be 3 ads running together:
Can you see what these banner ads are advertising?
Not now and not when they passed me by at the beach.
Nor with the picture enlarged either:
I did get the impression that it has something to do with weight loss though. Not sure.
I’d bet the advertiser who bought these three ads was very disappointed when they saw their almost invisible ads flying in the sky. I’d also bet they saw no results from these poorly executed banner ads.
I’d also bet that they had an amateur design these ads. They didn’t take into account the context – and the distance – where the ads were to be displayed. They utilized the entire print area just as if this was the banner of a website, or a printed flyer, using images, and a lightweight font without much contrast. The result is an unreadable piece of advertising. I suppose their idea was to have a 3 part message, hence the 3 planes.
Although this is pure speculation on my part, I’m positive this was not done by a professional ad agency.
Now let’s compare to this other one. I took this picture as it was passing by. This is a well-executed ad. More so in person than in the photo, both the message and the advertiser were very clearly visible.
And here it is enlarged:
(And the lesson here for me is clean your phone camera lens)
In today’s digital times we have access to all kinds of design tools with their respective video instructions, which can be very useful. But only in certain instances. You can learn to manipulate text, add backgrounds, change colors, and that can be very helpful. But only for certain purposes, and if you have a good sense of design. So you should be aware of your limitations.
Creating a marketing piece requires a skill set that goes beyond the layout of text and images. You will always be able to tell the difference between professional design and a DIY job. Not only by the looks, which is bad enough for the way it portrays your company, but most importantly, by the (lack of results) results it generates.
I’ve heard many business people say – Facebook advertising (or LinkedIn ads, or this other form of advertising) doesn’t work. But what didn’t work is how it was executed, with important moving parts left out or done the wrong way.
Just because you can, it doesn’t mean you should. It’s always best to work with professionals if you’re looking for results for your business.
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Photo credits Nicolas Schmitz Unsplash