Out of Home
A poster is a good test of a proposition. It challenges you to simplify your proposition so that you can communicate it, or at least hook your audience in just a few seconds. Some propositions are so simple that a poster can communicate them with just an image and a logo. That’s rare though. Usually, it takes at least a few words with an image to work effectively on the viewer. Sometimes you’ll see a roadside poster with lots of copy, and you know the advertiser is wasting their money since nobody is going to read it. As a general rule, with posters or any display ad, I think the shorter the copy the better.
If a proposition can’t be stated in one simple sentence, then posters are probably the wrong medium for your message. There are exceptions though. If an ad can be placed in a spot where your audience has time to dwell – for example, across from a train platform or in a Tube train carriage – then longer copy can work.
The poster medium has changed so much with the advent of digital screens. You can now run basically a silent TV commercial on a poster site, but in most cases there really isn’t enough audience dwell time to do this.