Steven Davis, Expedia’s head of marketing for Europe, argues that outdoor advertising is in fact the “ultimate broadcast medium”. This statement makes sense to me especially when people are continuously spending longer periods of time commuting and away from their homes. If the artwork is eye-catching and well executed, the billboard ad has the potential to stop people in their tracks, literally.
Below, I’ll talk about a recent marketing campaign launched by Qatar Gas in association with the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning.
One day last month, people in Doha woke up to the sight of a little boy’s silhouette peeking out from behind a wall with the message “We All See You, You Are Not Alone”. Creepy, right?
I still remember feeling uneasy reading these words for the first time. Apparently, others felt the same way. Doha News reported that the ad has caused alarm and dismay among people. Some even suspected they’re being watched by the government. The reproachful tone that grabbed everyone’s attention was apparently not appreciated by Doha’s residents.
The teaser was hard to miss; it literally occupied major billboards across the city. Everyone I know was talking about it, and as days unfolded, my anticipation and excitement grew exponentially.
Until one day, the next phase of the campaign was rolled out. It featured a cluttered series of visuals addressing community problems like littering, spitting on the street, hanging laundry on balconies and using household equipment in public places.
I was hugely disappointed…
Not because the campaign turned out to be drawing attention to these problems, but because the execution was appalling. The visuals were a total mess of flashy colors that ironically “littered” the streets. Visuals were totally cluttered with all sorts of silhouettes and messages. Then, I came across a signage with the message: “Don’t Throw Garbage over Public Proberty” Proberty!? Seriously?
Someone has obviously forgotten to do a proper quality assurance…and has screwed up big time!
This blunder was “brobably” the final nail in the campaign’s coffin.