I've been driving around lately in Dubai with one eye on the road and the other on OOH. I can be bipolar and split like that at the same time without really losing focus on the road ahead. Well, usually. And, the reason behind this is my ongoing research project into how creative is being resized from print for outdoor without any concern for readability.
Back when I was a CD, we always did a wink-and-blink 3-second test when developing artwork for billboards – the ones you whizz past on the highway, or even crawl past on the streets. Because, the window of exposure is short. When adapting from a print ad, we would normally strip most of the copy and details, keep the main call to action and that was it. The headline, the logo, the product – say it all in like 3 seconds. Either art directors have gotten lazy, or media planners aren't even looking at what they're putting out there – but I am seeing a lot of outdoor ads with a lot of totally unreadable copy in there. Essentially, I am seeing a lot of outdoor where the artwork as simply been stretched or upsized. Like fries at McDonald's.
Some attempts are made for large billboards, but a lot of mupis out there, specially the ones on middle-of-road dividers are replicas of the 1/4 page ad, re-done in a different resolution output. Unreadable. Undecipherable. Waste. Come on folks, all it takes is a little bit of attention, and it's totally possible to have one campaign executed in slightly different artwork templates because the mediums are different. Trust me, and it will stretch your client's ad dollar. He deserves it. As does the Joe on the street squinting to decipher your message.
And my final rant, while I am at it. I came across a series of tweets last week where the ad was tweeted – not as a link (perhaps they didn't quite know how to do that?) but as a series of 140c tweets. The headline first. Which was pretty much ok, and should have ended with the brand name and would have been a pretty much acceptable (although lame) brand driven tweet. But then they started to unravel the paragraph of body copy in tweet after tweet. Until they were a complete abuse of the very existence of twitter. And stupid, meaningless waste of time and space. Yes, it's fine to drop in a link to your ad and have your tweeple share it with you, but you cannot tweetsize an ad verbatim. That's lazy.