I saw this cross-track poster, for Nurofen, as I was waiting for a train:
I look at ads in a way that your average person wouldn’t. In fact, your average person wouldn’t notice this, because it’s just so boring… which is exactly why I noticed it.
It simply ‘does the job’. It restates the brief (‘let people know that Nurofen Sinus relieves pressure and pain’) in the most literal, boring way possible – finished with a product shot and a visual highlighting where sinus pain occurs (as if a sufferer wouldn’t be aware of this).
It’s like a plate of plain pasta in response to ‘I’m hungry’. It does the job, but nothing more.
I assume the client either wanted it churned out quickly, dictated that’s how the poster should look / rejected all other ideas, or the agency has just put it out in a rush.
I’m all for effectiveness being put above creativity, but this is as dull and lazy as advertising gets. Most commuters won’t even see it, or will view it as wallpaper among a sea of other ads on that train platform (and all of the others they’ve stood on that day).
Yes, because of the literal message, someone with sinusitis might see it and think ‘I should go and buy that product’ … but how many more people might have done the same if any effort had been made with that ad?
What do you think: does an ad that boring just ‘get the message across’, so it’s done all it needs to, or do ads really have to work a bit harder than that?