There's something that's bugging me every day on the commute to work. As I approach the train station, at about 7:30am each morning, I have to walk past this set of posters advertising railcards:
Naff eh? What they're advertising is pretty worthwhile. I've always had a 'Young Person's Railcard' (now bizarrely renamed '16-25 railcard' - maybe 25 year olds aren't considered young any more) - and have saved a ton of money using it. Nope, my problem is with the form of the ads: spoof movie posters. This is such a cliché, and seems to be done endlessly.
Why do advertising agencies feel the need to borrow from the design of movie posters? I'm guessing it's because they imagine that movie posters somehow attract more attention than 'adverts', as they play a more informative role, telling people what's currently out in the cinema, and so can feel less like the traditional trying-to-persuade-you advert.
There's also a very established film poster format, which I guess ad people love to play with. There's the film name, displayed big in some fancy way, which the copywriters can turn into a pun ('fare break'), and the condensed font credit block which the graphic designer can mimic. In fact, this is one of the weird things about movie posters. All that text at the bottom isn't actually designed to be read, it's just visual noise. The only reason for the credit block is to satisfy contractual relationships with the production companies and key talent, people with big enough egos that they can insist on being credited on all media. Indeed, I wonder whether the use of the condensed font is a work-around for contracts that specify a minimum point size for the credit, which of course refers only to the height of the characters, and not the width. I'd love to know.
Given all this, I'd really like to see advertising agencies come up with some more original campaigns, and to never create mock movie posters again. Please. Thanks.
And now for the credits...