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Great Outdoor

Book features numerous examples of great outdoor ads

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Updating your knowledge is always a good way to stay ahead of the competition. A new book from the Outdoor Adv. Assn. of America (OAAA) just might help you in that effort. The publication, Great Outdoor, provides how-to information along with numerous photographs that are clear examples of the tips and techniques offered.

An analysis of more than 100 out-of-home advertisements, Great Outdoor is written by Rob Morris and Steve Grounds, partners in London, England-based Grounds Morris Ltd., an ad agency. Each chapter examines important elements of successful US outdoor ads: words, visuals, simplicity, humor, drama, or surprise.

For example, the book features an ad for Wienerschnitzel’s hot dogs. This is based on the idea that if you want fine dining, Wienerschnitzel’s is not where you should head. But if it’s a good hot dog you want, that’s exactly where you go. The ad reads: "Always fresh. (They should be, they’re full of preservatives.)" It’s this kind of humor, the book says, that attracts consumer attention and makes for a creative piece.

Similarly, an ad for Kingfisher natural toothpaste uses basic symbolism to get attention. In this case, the phrase "pearly white" associated with healthy teeth is portrayed visually. What we see are two strings of white pearls laid out as if they are a smiling set of teeth. The message is as simple as the presentation: If you want the whitest smile possible, you know what toothpaste to buy.

"Agencies must see outdoor in terms of ‘ideas’ and not just ‘information,’" says Morris. "It may be a platitude, but if you throw someone six balls, they’ll probably drop the lot. If you throw them one ball, they stand a good chance of catching it. Outdoor isn’t really so different. A single message expressed with simplicity and wit stands every chance of being digested."

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