Wednesday, August 08, 2007

No One Is Writing Down Your Number

Can we maybe have some guidelines for billboards? Like phone numbers. How often do people write down the numbers they see on billboards? My guess is not very often, even if that number is easy to remember, like this one for what appears to be a crisis pregnancy center hotline. We're trying to drive. Ditch the phone numbers. Websites are far easier to remember. And while you’re squeezing your web address on that billboard, I can save you some space: drop the "www." We all figured out about 10 years ago that if you have .com, .org, .biz or dot anything at the end, that means we can find it online.

I'm no art director, but I think I just made this billboard better.

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13 Comments:

  • It's a low bar, but yes - you've leaped over it. I have to disagree with the phone thing, though. Lots of economically disadvantaged types don't have ready computer access. A piece of the problem here is: That woman is taking up valuable real estate with her useless face. Not that she isn't adorable, but she serves no point on this billboard. I'd rather see a positive pregnancy test. Or a sonogram. Or or or or. Something thad ads to the message, not just adding for the sake of adding. Otherwise, put the fucking headline up there big.Put the phone numbe rup there big. Put the URL up there (sans www) big and spend your photography $ on the people staffing the phones.

    By Blogger James-H, at August 8, 2007 at 10:53 AM  

  • Good point on the low income phone number need, JH.

    By Blogger Jetpacks, at August 8, 2007 at 11:01 AM  

  • Just to play devil's advocate, but you can use the computers at the library for free.

    Now whether you'd want to be on a site about being pregnant and scared while absolutely anyone could look over your shoulder is a different matter.

    Agreed on the image though.

    By Blogger Thinking In Vain, at August 8, 2007 at 11:18 AM  

  • Without the image of the woman I think it would be a little too impersonal. A woman in a situation like the one described might want a picture of another female to identify with or make a connection. But w/o the image, it'd be a little puzzling ... my first thoughts at a text-only billboard like that would be "Black market babies?!" or pro-life propagandists ... and then I'd be REALLY scared.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 8, 2007 at 12:08 PM  

  • Maybe she could be holding a library book open to the page with their url.

    Just sayin.

    By Blogger Make the logo bigger, at August 8, 2007 at 1:58 PM  

  • actually, the phone number alone is probably the better idea. online access is an issue. but even the lowest income folks seem to carry a cell phone 24/7, which negates the need to write down a phone number.

    By Blogger HighJive, at August 8, 2007 at 2:41 PM  

  • Another good point, HJ. Damn - I need to think these things through before running off at the keyboard (mouth).

    By Blogger Jetpacks, at August 8, 2007 at 3:24 PM  

  • yeah, you need to imagine yourself as a knocked-up poor chick.

    By Blogger HighJive, at August 8, 2007 at 4:24 PM  

  • I think she should show some cleavage.

    By Blogger New York Punk, at August 8, 2007 at 5:21 PM  

  • Problem with either approach is that unless you have a simple phone # or url, no one is going to remember it 5 minutes later. Or even if they're trying to write it down immediately after driving by.

    Worse is a disturbing trend I've been seeing where highway billboards have actual body copy on them. I mean it works if there's traffic on the road, but still...

    By Blogger Toad, at August 9, 2007 at 12:02 PM  

  • Anon: That's why you hire an ART DIRECTOR to typset that fucker with some sensitivity and grace. Jesus. Do I have to do EVERYONE's job around here?

    Otherwise, amen on the cleavage - it sells the "I'm pregnant thing" very strategically for me.

    By Blogger James-H, at August 9, 2007 at 5:10 PM  

  • Your issue with writing down the number is a non-issue because you don't need to write it down-all you need to do is remember three digits--395-because the word help would stay in your brain, and you could remember 800 because it is the original prefix/area code for toll-free numbers. Your argument for a website does not wash because a newly-pregnant, terrified sixteen-year-old needs to talk to a human being, preferrably one who is female, and ideally one who has had a child.

    By Blogger Mercedes Madison, at September 24, 2009 at 12:55 AM  

  • Writing down the number is not necessary here because all one has to remember is three digits--395--because "help" will stay in your brain because it's a word and because 800 is the original prefix/area code for toll-free numbers. Your argument for a website does not wash because a newly-pregnant, terrified sixteen-year-old needs to talk to a human being, preferrably one who is female and ideally one who has had a child.

    By Blogger Mercedes Madison, at September 24, 2009 at 1:05 AM  

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