There is a movie coming out July 25, called Step Brothers. It stars Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, and I have no idea if it is any good. But I do know they did something very clever with an Urban Panel. These are the advertisements you see in New York above the entrances to subway stations. The traditional ones were simply posters. The new-fangled ones add movement and look like short commercials.
Saw one for Step Brothers the other day, which looked very much like the print ad to the left. There were Will and John, blue shirts, sleeveless argyle sweaters, staring off into space. Will had his hands clasped together on John's shoulder. So far, so normal, looking like a typical static movie ad poster.
But after about four seconds, very, very slowly and casually, without changing his expression, Will moved his hand up and stuck a finger into John's ear. John reacted, and Will put his hand down again. They then held the original pose, again looking like a poster, and the cycle began again.
I loved it! It was subtle, unexpected, surprisIng, and took the risk that no one would even notice. And it told more about the brother's relationship in the movie than tons of copy would have accomplished.
There is a temptation, when you are paying for something, to use as much of it as possible. Paying for motion on an Urban Panel? Heck, keep it moving the whole time. Paying for orange ink on your brochure cover? Heck, make all the type orange, headline as well as the text.
Resist the temptation. When you use something everywhere, it is the same as using it nowhere.