What a Thousand Words are Worth

I'm in a beach vacation in Delaware and couldn't avoid writing about this particular experience. After coming here every summer for the last few years I've been able to witness a few changes through time. In regards to advertising, traditionally, I see a small airplane flying over summer bathists carrying a long paid banner advertisement. The sound of its motor even reminds me of summer since it's been part of the beach experience for a while. Well, the plane is still there and sometimes it's even fun to watch.

Last year, advertising was taken to water level: I noticed a small boat riding along the shore back and forth which had a bow in the shape of a shark jaw. My 4-year old boy loves it by the way! This particular boat would carry a giant printed advertising sign that would change every time it would come back. This year, the captain decided to swap that printed sign for an electronic screen. One should assume that his business has been successful since he installed an "upgrade". What does this tell me about modern communication, however? We want to tell/sell so many things at once! Of course, this guy can fit now five different advertisers in one single ride rather than one, by scrolling, in multiple type faces, all of their products and services including phone numbers!

Two things to this situation: 1) do you really think that these advertisers are getting the attention they think they are getting for their buck? And 2) is the new electronic system really creating the connection with the customer?

There was one thing that was nice about a printed sign in this specific case and even though advertising is not what i want to specifically see on my beach vacation, it did feel more organic somehow. First of all, look at the surroundings-or channel- in which you are advertising. This might be the best technology available but the context is not something to be ingored. If I'm at the beach, most likely, I'm looking for a more organic vacation experience. Why sabotaging the beautiful landscape with intrusive electronic screens? A bit out of place if you think about it, which brings me to my next point. When you design a piece of advertising you want to create the emotional connection with your target audience. You pick elements (an image, a font, etc.) to deliver a message, which even if it's just your business name and phone number, should evoke a sentiment, a specific feeling or emotion, about your product or service, that hopefully will stay and connect with the recipient. 

The shark ad boat in the coast of Delaware.