Deliver a Great Message, Simply

A poster campaign has recently caught my attention and I’m impressed by the impact of the message it contains. The elements that work well here can be as relevant to business.

A poster campaign has recently caught my attention and I’m impressed by the impact of the message it contains.

Peter Drew is an Adelaide artist with a background in poster street art. He has crowd funded his latest project Real Australians Say Welcome and is travelling around Australia putting up 1000 of the posters in public spaces.

The four word slogan in the poster artwork refers to current immigration debate and policy in Australia concerning asylum seekers.

While this campaign is driven by activism, that’s not necessary for delivering a message with impact. The elements that work well here can be as relevant to businesses as for artists or activists.

There is strength in a simple message

In 2007 Shepard Fairey told Americans to ‘Hope’, and the world took notice. For decades, Nike has been telling consumers ‘Just do it.’ The right message will resonate with readers if it gives them what they’re looking for or underscores how they’re feeling.

Peter Drew’s posters bear just four words. Nothing else is needed to explain their meaning. If you live in Australia (or even if you don’t) and you follow Australian news you’ll understand the reference to the asylum seeker debate that’s been building over several years and polarising the community.

If people feel an emotional connection to your message, they’ll support it and they’ll share it with their friends or their network. The simpler the message, the easier it is to share.

Go where your audience is

Real Australians Say Welcome poster on a city wall

This is one of the most common marketing messages around.

Peter Drew demonstrates that you don’t have to be online to make an impression, but you do have to be where people go.

(Peter has also gone online: he has crowd funded this project and says he will provide video updates online).

Where you audience goes may be obvious, or it may need research. Sometimes the most mundane of settings can be very effective. Like a city wall that sees thousands of passersby every day. Billboard advertisers know this well.

This also demonstrates why the simplicity of the message is so effective: people moving past a poster on a city wall don’t have time to read and absorb a lengthy text.

Delivery is important

The slogan isn’t enough by itself. Imagine if someone just scribbled it on walls around the place, or distributed it on leaflets. It wouldn’t reach many people that way.

Here, a professional design layout and screen-printing have been used, and Drew’s experience with public street art will ensure the posters are displayed, legally, at sites where they are likely to be seen by many. Plus, his successful crowd funding campaign has drawn attention from bloggers and media sites including Mashable, Cool Hunting and Buzzfeed.

If your work looks like there has been time, strategy and professional design invested in it, people are more likely to take notice and view it as a credible message. A shoddy piece of work won’t be given the time of day.


So what are the take home points again?

  • Craft a message which is simple (only a few words);
  • Make it genuine, to create a connection with your audience;
  • Take it to where your audience is—even the most mundane location can work well;
  • Follow through with professional design and execution.

These are principles that will work whether you are launching a brand, a promotional campaign or even a newsletter.

If you liked this you might also enjoy:

What Brands Can Learn About Marketing From Street Art at Contently

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