The Friday Fail: “Something about a camel”

Photo by Atwater Village Newbie on Flickr

Each week, Content will present “The Friday Fail”: examples of communication gone horribly wrong. This week’s Friday Fail is this well-intentioned billboard from the Quartzsite, Arizona Visitor’s Bureau. What makes it so bad, you ask? Well, how about:

– More than 50 words, even by a conservative estimate (a good billboard should have about six)

– Six bullet points. Six.

– Three different website addresses

– Not just any address, but “395 North Central Blvd. Suite A PMB 85” (try jotting that down at 75 miles an hour)

– So much clutter that the audience’s only takeaway is “something about a camel”

Want to ensure that your billboard isn’t featured on the Friday Fail? Here are some tips from my old blog that are worth repeating. And here’s a new one: in a world where all the answers are just a click away, think twice before adding a web address or phone number. Sometimes just registering an impression for your brand is enough. And when you do want to accomplish more than just an impression, focus on making your message concise and compelling, and the audience may take the time to find you. But if you try to have the whole conversation when they’re driving down the road, they won’t listen to a single word.

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3 Responses to The Friday Fail: “Something about a camel”

  1. Robyn Sekula says:

    This is one of the all-time worst billboards I’ve ever seen. Thanks for sharing. I don’t even get an impression of the town name from this – it took me several reads to even get that it was a billboard for a town. All I wanted to do was look away. Awful.

  2. Andy Welfle says:

    Oh man, I meant to take a picture of the Taste of the Arts billboard on Jefferson. I feel like that must’ve caused a lot of car crashes over the past few months.

    • ajjuliano says:

      I had that one in mind when I posted this. Rule #198 of billboard design: if your billboard design is just a resize of your flyer, you either have a bad flyer or a bad billboard–or both.

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