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Niedziela, 21 Października, 2018
Feedback From Poland

The power of posters and… triggers

AUTOR: Michał Szczepański Opublikowano: 13.01.2016

Communication is image, word & sound

And the human brain interprets images thousands times faster then words. And they’re easier remembered than a jingle or even a #1 hit on Spotify’s best-of-the-best playlist. And we tend to forget that & also quite often we don’t give images the attention they require. Of course proper, creative (or not) words and their proper choice are crucial when it comes to communication in every aspect of life or work. But an image can make one think differently, impact on their life or choices or even win a war. Or make us buy product A instead of B, donate money to a specific NGO or rethink a certain point of view. Yes, a motivating quote, or whatever words you need to hear can result with the same, but images are more powerful. Because images have been around us from the very beginning and it lies in our nature to pay them the most attention.

Power lies in posters… and good ideas

Think about it for a moment. When it comes to simple, ruthless laws of cummunication in societies or via brands all around the world posters were (and still are) used to pass on information. And they’ve been doing a good job, no matter how cool, new digital channels pop up or how much tv (or Netflix) we watch. Hung around your city on fences, bus stops or billboards. And they’ve changed a lot during the decades (or centuries?). Because all that matters is gaining someones attention, even for a split second. Because that image, if thought through, will sink in.

So it’s about communication to the masses… or is it?

There are many ambitious projects & initiatives (commercial & not), that show that a single image with a good idea can be a life changer. For a very specific audience at a certain point in time and in the right place, both on the map and in the feels. So a good image with a bright idea can lead us to victory. Remembering that it lasts longer in ones memory & reveals more emotions & feelings. That’s what science says & experience.

HIV positive

„My measurements are 40 by 60 centimeters. I was printed on high brightness paper. And my weight is 250 grams. I’m just like any other poster. Except for one thing: I’m HIV positive. It’s exactly what you’ve just read. I’m living with the virus. At this point you may be taking a step back, wondering if I offer any danger.”

img. src. Oglivy Brazil

img. src. Oglivy Brazil

Take a world wide feared virus and leave it be in the public. On a poster. In São Paulo. Oglivy Brazil carrying out the AIDS program decided to leave a drop of blood on every campaign poster. And the results were amazing.

This idea made people touch the poster, understand the virus, what it can lead to, how it can be treated and most importantly opened minds. With a simple image, a drop of blood.

The image was what got the attention (a puddle of blood naturally is not an ordinary sight) and it stood out. Can you recall such an idea when it comes to CSR moves? I’d be glad to hear it out, because this type of print, is what makes a difference.

Dreams do come true

Can you imagine leaving a tap of beer running in the middle of a busy street in the middle of Europe? Like London? Carlsberg did and proved an important point, that no matter how much you may despise advertisements, you were gonna love this poster. Simply for making you smile, surprising you and making your day.


img. src.


Again a poster that made a difference. In this situation the image was easy, the claim was inline with brand identity, but what was a 11 on a 1-10 coolness scale was the tap installed in the poster. Because how cool is that? Even if everybody was allowed 1 beer per person.

All for one, one for all… sort of

Martin Luther King Jr. with his speech about qual rights for all races made an impact on the whole world. So did Andy Warhol with his work, but in a different way. Painting coca-cola cans & bottles, he proved that both the wealthiest of the American people and those broke to the last penny can still afford a can of coke. And this brings (sort of) the whole nation together.

img. src.

img. src.

The poster below shows a mass of coke, a simple idea, yet with a twist explain that the society is offered equality, and it can be also brought to them via image. That’s a smart way of working with human emotions, and make them feel better, right?

In the end, it’s the idea that matters

People tend to need motivation when it comes to interpreting ideas, understanding them. Therefore the KISS (keep it stupid simple) rule is at large, but still – the few examples above show that getting to the point, in a simple way is not the good way. Modern marketing taught us to think out of the box. And this is what communication via image is all about Being on the spot with the right message, but doing it in a way that will be remembered & that will stand out. Even at the price of telling the truth.

I don’t underestimate the power of image. A single idea, a simple bitmap can be the trigger to something way more powerful than you may think. It’s not just another poster, it’s an opportunity. #thinkdifferent

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