7 Presentation Lessons from Outdoor Advertising You Just Can’t Afford to Miss!

Presentation Tips from Outdoor Advertising

Outdoor Advertising is so powerful it can endanger your life!

If you ever found your hands on the wheel but eyes stuck to a billboard while driving, you know what I am talking about.

Don’t you wish your presentations could have that arresting effect on your viewers. We all do, and though we cannot display our presentations in mammoth billboard sizes, we can still incorporate some of the best ingredients that make outdoor advertising such a success in our presentations. What say?

Here are 7 presentation lessons that can really help us make our presentation striking and stylish:

1. Incorporate a single powerful idea:

Watch a billboard again this time, but with a critical eye (But please don’t to do that while driving!). You’ll find the best outdoor ads to have a single powerful idea or appeal as experts in advertising industry call it. That single idea is very easy to grab and doesn’t take a viewer more than 3-7 seconds to register. This adventurous ad by advertising agency The Reactor, Melbourne, Australia, uses adventure appeal in both the visual and the minimal copy to highlight its business i.e. specialization in outdoor equipment. Doesn’t it look like a slide?

Outdoor ad by advertising agency The Reactor, Melbourne, Australia

Image Source: Ads of the World

2. Use the Power of Emotion rather than Power of Logic:

Outdoor Advertising drives on emotions. Given that pedestrians and drivers don’t have more than 3 to 7 seconds to view an ad, advertisers shy away from using reasoning and logic that requires investment of time and brain on viewers’ part. On the other hand, emotions are recognised instantly without any effort. This powerful ad created by Mudra Group, India, for Bangalore Traffic Police is so strong on fear emotion that it hits the viewers hard.

Outddor ad by Mudra Group, India

Image Source: Ads of the World

How do you incorporate emotions in your slides? That leads us to the third point.

3. Visual is the key:

Yes, you knew this from so long. In fact, you might argue it should be the first lesson outdoor advertising teaches us. But the above two points give us the reason why you should use visuals and more visuals. Authors Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio in their book “The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand” reveal that the human brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text. Visuals also convey emotions far more strongly and quickly than words. Visuals of animals are perhaps the strongest. Look at the confused dog in Panasonic’s Air Conditioning ad. To the dog’s surprise, fresh air isn’t outside but where Panasonic’s AC is!

Outddor ad by Saatchi & Saatchi, Sydney, Australia

Image Source: Ads of the World

4. Less is More:

Outdoor ads have no choice but to use minimal to no copy. But that should be followed as a best practice in designing slides too. Audiences have suffered a lot many text-heavy and bullet-ridden ugly slides. It’s time to put all that extra information in your handouts and keep only the best takeaways on the slides. The attention-grabbing billboard below created by UK agency WCRS uses just three impactful words in the main head and four words in the sub head. The copy completes the visual and demands immediate action from the viewer.

Outddor ad by UK agency WCRS

Image Source: Ads of the World

5. Be Loud and Bold:

I mean the font here, not the model. Having a big font size might seem obvious too but is easily given a go in many presentations. Font size is often sacrificed to adjust more and more words. Font type too is very important here, a fancy font with less legibility should be dropped for a simpler font with high legibility. The adv. above is again a perfect example in this regards.

6. Color your slides but remember brightness contrast:

Color, color and color your slides like the ad below does, keeping contrast in mind. Red on white, white on blue, black on yellow, and many more combinations really make your slides a visual treat. A caution here: Don’t overdo; rainbows look good only in sky. The advertisement below by Bulgarian advertising agency Graffiti BBDO uses three perfectly contrasting colors- white, red and green. The psychology of colors has been beautifully applied here too- the strong red has been used for kill and the neutral white for boring.

Outdoor ad by Bulgarian advertising agency Graffiti BBDO

Image Source: Ads of the World

7. Be Creative:

Outdoor advertising beats all other mediums of advertising when it comes to creativity. That’s another reason why they are so arresting. It’s difficult to think “out of the box” when you are crafting a presentation on a serious topic. But it’s not impossible. Your creativity lies in how well you use the above 6 pointers: the choice of the visual, font, colors, and your story pitch. Bic Razor ad below is a creative masterpiece, don’t you agree?

Bic Razor outdoor ad

Image Source: Ads of the World

So, those were the 7 golden gems. They are staring you in the face, day in, day out, by the side of the roads, near railway stations and airports, and on the walls. It’s time you pick up these gems and give your slides a beautiful makeover!

Is there any presentation wisdom that I left out? Do share in the comments below.


About Author
Anuj Malhotra

A potter maniac, I live in a world inhabited by wizards and Marvel's superheroes. Writing is my defence mechanism (Mr. Freud, analyze this). Presentations are my new found love.

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