5 Design Tips to Make Your Wild Posting Campaign Pop
Wild posting is one of the most popular methods of out of home marketing. As a kid growing up in New York City, I remember the over-sized rotating poster being ubiquitous with the bustle of a busy urban landscape including food, fashion, and nightlife – one that, at times, approached an art form.
Defined as the temporary application of – usually – over-sized creatives to any man-made surface using wheat paste, wild posting is a type of guerrilla marketing successful precisely because of its analog nature. In a digitally dominated age, It doesn’t get lumped in with the news feed but ironically makes a perfect integrated complement to it.
And great design is a big part of the equation. To build successful wild posting creatives though, context is king. It’s definitely not digital or even small format graphics and you need to understand the differences in how passersby will experience your message before creating a standout wild posting design.
Design Tips for Your Next Wild Posting Campaign
It’s important to think at scale. Your audience for a wild posting campaign is generally headed somewhere. Maybe to work, school, the gym, etc. What you need to know is that you generally get a glance’ worth of time to communicate your message. Of course, this is a consideration for all marketers, but it’s especially poignant to remember here.
Your message needs to be large, clear, readable; generally, that means size. There are three points to focus on here:
- The actual size of your typography and images – People are going to be viewing this from several feet away, if not more. Make the subject large enough to create visual recognition.
- The size of the word in your copy – Stay away from big words when small ones will do. The longer it takes to process each word the less likely they will be to get through your message.
- The physical size of your poster – There are a couple of sizing options for posters, but they change a little bit by the vendor. Massively oversized posters aren’t necessarily better as they take a larger field of vision to take in. 24×36 is usually your best bang for the buck, but we’ve seen some great ones in various other sizes.
Wild posting campaigns are almost universally stacked, which means two posters sitting on top of one another. Remember that, while this is a great practice because it enables you to occupy the entire field of vision without distracting the viewer, it also means that content on the top and bottom of your posters generally won’t hold the viewer’s attention for nearly as long, if at all.
The meat of your message should be smack in the middle of the poster so that people can find and consume it quickly. If interested, passersby will sometimes stop and read further in, but when designing for wild posting, you should keep this in mind and know that that number of people is likely around 5% or less of your total audience.
Having a clear message or call to action is design 101. How does that change when designing for out of home formats like wild posting? We want to use clean sans-serif fonts that are easier to read at a distance. If your logo itself is in cursive or similar, that’s fine. What we’re trying to dial in here is better absorption of your key message.
Whether that message is namely visual or a written call-to-action, remember that we want to avoid clutter (unless it’s an inherent part of the graphic design or branded assets). We want to make it easily consumable for the reader by avoiding broad cursive fonts and overly busy images that will take the brain longer to process.
Less is More
I can almost hear my freshman English professor saying it in my head: “Keep It Simple Stupid” Where wild posting is concerned, that’s generally about 3 to 5 words. If you’re trying to drive broad awareness, you can use a general slogan or campaign tagline. For 1205 that might be “On-Demand Marketing” or “On-Demand Marketing for Growing Businesses”. Brevity is key.
The goal with wild posting is generally not to make them take action right then; it’s to make them aware of your product, service, or event through repeated visual representation. While calls-to-action can work in some integrated out of home campaigns, like digital and social follow-along, it’s likely otherwise lost
Number 5 on our list isn’t specifically design related, but it’s an important visual consideration for any designer or strategist working on a wild posting campaign. That is, you need to take up enough of someone’s attention to establish relevance. That’s very hard to do in less than three seconds. In many cases. The name of the game is repetition. We can create this through a step and repeat style layering.
Depending on your budget, you’ll want to expand this thinking to your audience’s lives. How are your target customers seeing your wild posting campaign? Once on the way to work and once on the way home? Walking to lunch every day? To generate that awareness, studies suggest that any given user will have to see your wild posting campaign at least six times. Map your plan out and deliver multiple creatives over a limited area to really grab potential customers’ attention.
Invest in Design for Wild Posting
Whether you have an in-house design team or use a creative agency like 1205, make sure you or your designer have explored the out of home space; if possible, take a walk around your city and pay attention to the wild posting designs that grab your attention and ask yourself why.