How classy does this ad look to you? How smooth and sophisticated?
Let’s see where it goes wrong. First – the image itself. Who is this for? As the radio station it’s promoting is aimed at women, I’m going to guess that’s the target for the ad too. Not lusty blokes, but women who, the station would hope, will identify with the image and want something of the experience portrayed. Laid back, relaxed, smooth, indulgent, not a care in the world.
Now put that image where outdoor ads tend to be displayed. In this case, sticking out from under a bridge. The kind of place you wouldn’t hang around late at night. It’s not an ideal fit for the image, is it?
Add a bit of particularly unfortunate placement. Where is the woman in this ad? What does that suggest she might be doing, or what might be happening to her? Don’t blame me if that thought disturbs you, it’s your imagination at this point. It would be working just as hard without your conscious awareness if we hadn’t asked the questions.
So maybe this is one bad example. But I’m hard pushed to think of a context where this ad would work. It’s a cut off half body, for goodness sake – your mind is always going to fill in the blanks. Even if the placement were perfect, in beautiful isolation and a splendid, pristine, relaxing environment (the kind of place no-one sees ad hoardings), it’s still not that good an image. It’s impersonal and devoid of identifiable character, the opposite of good radio for their target audience.
The station owners are Celador, by the way, creators of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. Next time… (insert your own “phone a friend” / “ask the audience” related joke here.)