Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Billboards Cluster is not helping your brand at all

Visual Pollution in Lebanon is not new, yet, it has gone out of proportions. Billboard ads are visuals displayed in the public space for all to see. That is a big responsibility, that I feel, is sometimes taken lightly in Lebanon. While there is so many talented designers and art directors, we still submit to the eyes of the people on the road anything we have (+ a brand name), pay the money to rent that "display" and that's it.
I might sound like an idealist, but I think that since the viewer is granting us a bit of his attention, and space within his "framed sight", we at least owe him something interesting or beautiful if not both together.

Billboards Cluster is not helping your brand at all, the viewer is actually getting immune to these rectangles with images and words inside of them. Specially if it is a street where he goes everyday, after a while he knows how to dismiss certain parts of the view in front on him. So, what he actually ends up seeing is something like that:
In this corner, coming down from Yerevan bridge into Dekwaneh, there is at least 15 billboards.

Another epidemy, is that advertiser got the idea of mixing the "more is more" phenomenon with the "bigger is better" strategy and... apply that to the same campaign and you get something like this:
Same ad on 5 close billboards so close all seen in the same view.
This actually makes the product look so desperate to be noticed and shouting so much for attention, that it looses its "sex appeal" making it look like small movie/ plays posters only with a big budget.

Repetition of (small) posters in comparison with repetition of billboards.
Small budgets would wish for a few billboards distributed in the city, not having that, they repeat the posters that pedestrian see, hoping people in their cars, stuck in traffic, will notice their ads. While "big budgets with no creativity", let's call them the BBWNC bunch, are doing the same with billboards filling every corner with the same visual repetitively, for lack of a better way to spend the money and get the brand noticed.
Yeah, we saw the ad. Yeah, we read it. Yet, these ads are rarely engaging us (positively). Most of the times, we continue driving, thinking how suffocating that is the first time we see these, and the next days, these ads  just look like (ugly) decoration of the city or, on better days, like the lighting poles of the street (since it is the only night light we have with the electricity rationing on some nights in Beirut).
An Ad the size of a building you can not miss, yet so meaningless, lame and visually dull. Oh, How the view is nicer without it!

Also when mixing "really really bigger is really really better" with "meaningless" you get a counter reaction like: "I am never buying from that place, if that is the ad, imagine the product".
Of course, the relief you get from crossing past the advertisement and finally having an open view on the Mountain adds up to you regretting seeing that piece of  ____"Art".


  1. "Do re mi la soldes la si" this is so tacky it's hilarious.

  2. when u read it on and on, it is exasperating sounding in your head like small children repeating the notes on their piano on and on during their first lesson and you r the neighbor :-D

  3. At first sight, these billboards are still "bearable". There are places where they're a visual pollution, really: so overloaded, so congested, so oversized... In Tokyo for instance, the billboards have the sound, don't tell you the noise it makes.

    I wear very little attention to the ads, only if they are funny like this one that surfaced 2-3 months ago:

    it made me laugh

  4. true, I did not want to take the most exagerating big parallele billboards on the jounieh highway, since these smaller ones also bother a lot (as you fall unto them frm the bridge), and if they deal with it, most probably they will also deal with the more overloaded spaces.
    I can not imagine billboards with sounds with the honking in Beirut, that would be unlivable, yet if the ads (and their limited space) are part of a certain cultural identity (like Times square in new york) it can be, but it should remain restraint in space and known, as in "you known you are coming here to that spot, to see/hear this"

    The link attached to your comment does not work.

    1. Hi,
      It's not a direct link (sorry), simply copy/paste it in your browser. But it's not so important, just an ad.
      Did you read my last email? (simply a response to your response to my email)

      Good evening.

  5. of course i read it :) but still the link is not opening it is giving a "domain unregistered" message.
    Thank you!


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